Social media accounts are online assets, which no matter how big you build them, can still be a liability. This liability comes from how they can be exploited by hackers, especially when you do not take the proper steps to protect them.
You need to put as much effort into protecting your online assets as you do building them. You don’t need an entire IT team to do this, keep reading to learn the basics of what you need to do.
Defeat brute force hacks with better passwords
One of the most brainless hacks out there is known as a brute force hack. I hacker simply sets up a tool to target a specific account and the tool guesses passwords until it is right. You may know these tools as password recovery tools. They have be altered by hackers for nefarious purposes.
The video above shows a hack of Gmail, but your social media accounts can be just as vulnerable if you choose a common password like:
You have to defend against brute force hacks with better passwords that are complicated and use a mix of characters.
Fake WAPs: Use a variety of passwords
Let’s say that you took my advice above when you created a password that is “35IrulePLANETearthb1tches!” Good job, but now you have to come up with the new password for each of your social media accounts. This is important because of something known as the fake WAP. This is when a hacker will set up a free Wi-Fi network in a public location. They will then use the network to steal things like passwords.
Your first line of defense should be a good password manager. You can create a very strong password to get into the password manager, and then it could manage a wide variety of strong passwords for you. Good examples include:
Each one is going to help you protect your accounts by using a wide variety of passwords to defend against the fake WAP hack. Even if they do get one password to one of your social media accounts they won’t necessarily get access to all of your other accounts.
Secondary defense against fake WAP
Last failsafe to protect yourself against a fake WAP involves encryption. The problem with the fake WAP is the hacker will set up a hot spot that has no encryption on it. This means that they can see the following in plain text:
- Confidential information that you send over your social media through private messages.
- Any customer contact details that you sent back and forth.
- Brand strategies discussed between related accounts.
- Any credit card numbers that customers send through there.
The way that you are going to encrypt every single thing that you send over a hotspot, including your social media, is with a VPN with strong encryption. These tools are perfect for this job as they encrypt everything that is transferred to and from your device. All you have to do is connect to the VPN server and that takes care of your encryption, and your social media data.
Do your best against insider threats
Insider threats, especially recently fired employees that still have your social media, are very real. There have been a number of times when staff and being fired but they’re access to the social media has not been removed. The most embarrassing has probably been HMV.
Here are ways that you can defend against this insider threat:
- Make a record of all accounts that employees have access to.
- Have plans in place to remove people from all accounts before they’re fired. Make sure a specific person is assigned to this.
- If you have multiple accounts that multiple employees are given access to, it may be smart to consolidate these in one social media dashboard. You can use things like HootSuite, SocialFlow, or BufferApp.
The last point will make things easier ‘s that you only have one account to remove access from. Imagine having to remove access to twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Google, LinkedIn, etc.… Consolidate the accounts in one spot to minimize an insider threat caused by oversight on what accounts they have access to.
Social media and online security
Social media is a fantastic way to connect with your customers. It can be a very valuable asset to your company. The value that you get from that can be exploited by hackers for monetary reasons, or simply to troll you. Both of these will wind up costing you money. Invest in these tactics, make sure that your employees follow through on them, and you will save yourself a lot of money and heartache.