Social media is one of the best tools to build a brand and secure a following, both personally and professionally, but an account that isn’t secure can do serious damage. The accessibility and potential for connectivity social media provides is a perfect opportunity for scammers to take advantage of people, both on a corporate and a professional level. The best way to prevent your social media from damaging both you and your business is simply to educate yourself on how hackers and scammers take advantage so that you can best prevent falling prey to their scams.
The first place to begin securing social media is with your passwords. If a hacker has your passwords, they can essentially do whatever they want with your social media, even going so far as to leak personal or company information, or steal from you or your business. Avoid using the same or similar passwords on all accounts, and don’t fall back on common or easily guessable passwords, like birthdays or relative’s names. Include special characters and numbers and vary capitalization to create the strongest possible password.
After you have chosen a safe and secure password, add in additional security by enabling two-factor authentication. This extra step requires additional information from the user of the account to gain access to the social page. This typically requires additional information such as a phone number to go with the account for an extra layer of protection. Most social sites offer this protection and it can be located in the settings feature of your accounts.
From there, be wary of what exactly you are posting on social media. Do not post information about your whereabouts, or share anything that you wouldn’t share with someone you don’t know. Once your information is online, it’s there forever, and informing the masses that you will be out of town for a week gives them easy access into your home and into your life. Beyond that, everything you do online, whether it be a page you “like” on Facebook or a website you visit, provides information about you; and that information can easily be used against you. Disable tracking on your browser and be sure to regularly clear cookies that track your activities in order to avoid running into this issue.
Finally, simply be aware of how you are representing yourself as a person online; don’t engage in rants or arguments, or anything that might project a poor image of you or your company. If your employees are creating a bad personal brand, that is then associated with your company, and can be a security risk.
Social media is a powerful tool when used correctly but is also a powerful tool for anyone looking to manipulate people, or abuse their power. Don’t fall prey to social media scams; simply be vigilant and remember that everything online is essentially online forever.