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We wouldn’t cross the road without looking both ways, we wouldn’t give away our social security number to a stranger. We take many precautions in our personal and professional lives and our use of Social Media tools should be no exception.
Here are some helpful suggestions to keep your information secure:
Always Protect Your Passwords
Password protection is important if your small business has a corporate social media policy. Users who have forgotten their network ID or have failed the number of allocated attempts (which could signal an intruder!) can sign in using another validation factor. This is appropriate for business Facebook accounts, content management systems for a company blog with multiple contributors or Twitter accounts.
If you are storing information about your ‘followers’ / ‘group members’ on a laptop and/or mobile device, ensure the machine is password protected in the case of loss or theft.
Don’t Just Opt for the Defaults
Popular social media sites have default security and privacy settings. Take the time to explore your options and set to a level you feel will secure your important information. Many sites will offer guides as well as links to Privacy Policies. Check out this example from Facebook.
Be Careful on Free Wireless Networks
Free WIFi is wonderful when you need to work outside of your home or office but offer additional risk. Transmitting data to a wireless router requires information broadcasting from your computer. This makes your informational vulnerable to programs specifically designed to hijack the broad-casted data. Ways to stay safe: look for an icon on your browser, such as a padlock, that indicates a secure site. Keep your virus software updated and if you are not actively utilizing the wireless connection turn this function off.
Don’t Hit the Headlines
Attempts to get individuals to click on a link for unseen footage or insight on a major news headline are all to frequent. Do not be unsuspecting – if you do not know the contact sending you the link, do not click. If you do know the contact, think twice -is this someone who would pass along information of this sort? They may have clicked the link themselves and be passing the malware on to you.
People will continue to exploit information and create socially engineered attacks. This should not deter you from leveraging social media tools - this can offer an opportunity to connect with industry experts, build your brand awareness and reach your customer base. Arm yourself by becoming educated on the latest tools available for protecting your digital brand or self identity, many adult education centers or universities offer courses on these subjects.
Always impress upon your employees to follow the company social media policy, provide information, like this article, to help set expectations. For other information related to social media from STOTW check out these articles: New Facebook Pages: Tips to Make your Page Rock, Blogging for Business Success and Confirm or Ignore: Is your Facebook for Personal Pleasure or Professional Networking?.
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