How Businesses Can Protect their Social Media Accounts from HackersVanessa Venugopal
Social media is a powerful tool in our current generation. It brings people closer together, particularly in a situation like this. Businesses get to reach more customers and build their brand. It’s an insightful and flexible tool that people enjoy in today’s world.
However, as much as we like to think that social media is a safe place to share, promote, and communicate as simple as that, well, it’s not always. Sometimes these online platforms have hackers lurking around and trying to find ways to get into your accounts. Since there are billions of users worldwide, it attracts cybercriminals.
Whether it is personal or business, we often do not secure our social media accounts. What most people do is create a strong password, and they think that is enough. This practice would only invite hackers to easily access your account.
You cannot avoid social media if you own a business. Social media has a powerful impact on your brand. 40% of consumers in the US alone are often using online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and more to make a purchase. Aside from that, people also search for information about your brand by using social media.
So, the numbers shown are just the tip of an iceberg as to why businesses should get into using social media platforms to promote their brand.
Importance of Social Media for Businesses
REACH NEW CUSTOMERS OR POTENTIAL CLIENTS
Online presences allow you to reach as many customers as possible. You can get customers from all over the world when you go online as compared to the traditional physical store. Furthermore, when you get recommended to others, they can go online and read about your brand’s reviews. Which when you receive a lot of positive ones would attract more buyers than ever.
IMPROVES SEARCH ENGINE RANKING
Social media and search engine optimization go hand in hand. Although it is not a ranking factor, it influences your brand’s visibility on search engines.
When you share valuable content on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and more, people will engage in it. The more people share your content online, the more people will notice your brand.
Search engines like Google like quality backlinks, and if they detect people linking or reading your content, they will push your blog content to the top of the search engine.
CUTS DOWN EXPENDITURE
Sticking to your budget campaign is essential. You want to promote your brand without spending a lot of money, and social media is the best option you have. It is a free tool that any business and marketing experts can utilize. All that is important is to create engaging and eye-catching content to reach more customers and followers.
Sometimes you can opt for promoting your business on social platforms. It is possible and one of the most affordable ways to attract potential customers. In addition, it is even customizable as to how much people you want to reach, the specific demographics you want to promote your brand, and so on.
Your social accounts are a vital part of your sales process. It increases brand awareness, reach more customers, aids in ranking on the search engine, and more. As your social accounts become visible, there is a higher chance that your business will sell.
So, with a well-curated social media account and valuable content, it can boost sales.
Now that you have an idea of the importance of social media. It is about time to set up one for your business. But as you consider social media marketing, also think about how you can protect your social media accounts from hackers.
Why Do You Need to Protect Your Social Media Accounts?
Your social accounts are as vulnerable as your website. But unlike your website or online store, you haven’t put much effort into protecting your social accounts. In fact, most individual users and businesses don’t think of securing or protecting their social media. They are unaware of the risk until it’s too late.
Since social media users are rising in number and people don’t care to secure their accounts, hackers see this as an opportunity to hack into accounts, steal data, lock you out of your accounts, send malicious links to your followers, and more. Therefore, as early as now, you should consider the following steps on how to protect your online accounts.
How Businesses Can Protect their Social Media Accounts?
USE A STRONG PASSWORD
The very first step to consider when creating an account is to come up with a strong password. Passwords such as “qwerty12345” or “password123” are not an ideal choice because these are examples of how do social media get hacked. In addition, it should be something not personal to the user.
A strong password must include numbers, capital letters, and symbols. But sometimes, we tend to forget complicated passwords. So, you can use a password manager to store all your passwords and sign in automatically to your accounts. There are plenty of password managers available LastPass, Dashlane, and 1Password are just a few of the best password managers in 2020.
In addition, avoid recycling passwords and using a single password on all your accounts.
CHANGE PASSWORDS OFTEN
Creating a strong password is not enough because hackers may discover it soon. So, it is recommended that you change your social accounts’ passwords.
How often you change your passwords depends. Some choose to change their passwords after three months. But you don’t have to wait three months before changing a password. If an employee left your company, passwords should be immediately changed and given to individuals who have access to the accounts.
Do not share your new passwords via email. According to Ignite Social Media’s account manager, Taryn Canedo advised that you communicate the new password via call.
USE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION ON EVERY SOCIAL ACCOUNT
Two-factor authentication or two-step verification is a security step where users are required to provide two verification factors before they can log in to an account. It adds a layer of protection to your account.
Aside from your password, it requires a pin to log in, which could either be received via email or SMS.
With 2FA, you’ll now be aware that someone is trying to log in to your account, as every time someone attempts to hack into your account, you’ll receive a passcode for verification.
Some social networks automatically require 2FA when you log in to a new device, but it’s best to set up a 2FA every time someone logs in instead of only when logging in to a new device.
CONNECT TO A PRIVATE OR SECURE WI-FI NETWORK
It is always advisable to use a private Wi-Fi connection when you are managing your social accounts for your business. Never connect to public Wi-Fi, as the risk of being hacked is high.
Hackers can create fake Wi-Fi connections that some may connect to it without thinking twice, especially if it’s a free connection. Once you are connected to a fake Wi-Fi, all your information and accounts are visible to the hacker.
They can gain access to your accounts, inject malware into your devices, or encrypt your data. So, the best way to avoid this is to only connect to a private Wi-Fi network.
But if you have no choice and if you have to access your social accounts using a public connection, here are tips to consider:
- Verify network before connecting: Make sure that the Wi-Fi you are connecting to should not be a fake Wi-Fi network. Check the name of the Wi-Fi connection and confirm employees of the establishment if the link is legitimate.
- Turn off file sharing: If you don’t turn off the file-sharing feature, your files and folders can be accessed by anyone. Turn off your file-sharing once you are connected to the verified network.
- Use VPN: One of the best tools you should invest in is a VPN. It keeps your data traffic protected between the browser and the server. Hackers will not be able to see and access the information you share and your activities. In addition, it masks your IP address and shows a different location. Some well-known VPN you can try are Avast SecureLine VPN and Avast! Hide My Ass! Pro VPN.
- Enable firewall: Use a firewall to prevent hackers from gaining external access to your system. Furthermore, a firewall serves as a barrier that protects your devices from threats. It actively checks your network for any suspicious activities. If a virus is present, the firewall will block it.
- Install an antivirus: You need an antivirus on your device to detect malware or viruses that enter your system when you are connected to public Wi-Fi. Antivirus software such as Bitdefender, Panda Dome, Norton, and more are some of the best brands for detecting threats.
CHECK THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR ACCOUNTS
Check your social profiles for people who have access to your accounts and their roles. Make sure that they are assigned appropriately. In addition, you should limit the number of people who can access your account but should be more than one.
You can protect your account by limiting or assigning specific roles so that the information in your page account is safe.
DON’T CLICK ON SUSPICIOUS LINKS
Similar to the email phishing tactics of hackers, they use it on social media. So, if you have seen links online on social networks or your email, do not click on it. These links could lead to sites with malware and viruses that could destroy your devices or gain access to your information.
How to spot a suspicious link:
- Clickbait words and content used.
- Quizzes with popular topics.
- Contests from non-verified accounts.
SECURE DEVICES WITH ANTIVIRUS, VPN, AND MORE
Give your employees who have access to your social accounts security software applications on their devices. Provide them with the best and updated antivirus software and VPN. There is a lot of VPN and antivirus software available online from legitimate sellers. Go and get your business a protection software application so you can protect your accounts.
CREATE SEPARATE EMAIL ADDRESS FOR SOCIAL ACCOUNTS
Instead of using your business email for your social accounts, it is best to create a separate email account. In case a hacker gain access to your social accounts, they would not have further access to other of your company’s data.
REGULARLY CHECK MAILBOX FOR SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES
Get into the habit of checking on your social email account. Check on email from your social media to see their activities. It will inform you if there are suspicious login attempts to your accounts. If you have received such an email, immediately visit your social media profile and change your password. Never click on the link sent to you via email.
By following the steps mentioned above, you will have the peace of mind you need when it comes to your social media accounts. Always make an effort to secure not only your devices, network, cloud storage, and websites/ e-commerce shop but to include your social account too. When you protect all your accounts online, the chances of your data being compromised would be low.