Small businesses today recognize that social media can enhance a marketing strategy. Too many, however, do not think to take simple steps to secure their company’s social media accounts.
- Protect your password – Use the same policy for access to your company’s social media accounts as you would for your company’s other sensitive information. Limit the number of employees with the password; the more people who know the passwords, the higher your risk of a leak that will allow someone else to access your account without your permission or perhaps even your knowledge.
- Control account use – If several employees will have access to social media accounts such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, consider using software such as HootSuite. It allows approved employees access to the accounts without giving them the actual password, thereby adding another level of security to your accounts.
- Alert employees about phishing – Employees can be the targets of phishing emails which leave the company open to security breaches. Phishing is when you receive an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization but contains a link to a fake website. If these links are opened, they may capture secure passwords that employees have recently used or saved.
- Set security policies – Don’t assume your employees know all the rules regarding online security; take time to make them aware. Clearly include social media rules in company handbooks and security-related policies. Social networks have privacy settings that need to be administered on all sites so that your social media platform is not left open to attack.
- Provide training - Require employees to learn about security measures for their personal accounts and suggest they use maximum privacy settings. This will make them more aware of security settings and policies so if employees “share” company social media pages and links, they are doing so in a more secure manner.
- Monitor your sites - All corporate accounts should be monitored regularly and kept up to date by an assigned person or committee. Often, organizations set up social accounts and then don’t update the password on a regular basis, which makes it easier for accounts to be hacked.
- Create a crisis plan – If you find immoral, illegal or offensive content on your social media channels, you want to be able to stop it immediately, so determine ahead of time who will be assigned to deleting inappropriate postings and responding to or handling damage control.