In today’s digital era, social media have become an essential tool for every business. Social media provides businesses with the opportunity to promote and expand their brand.
However, with the increasing use of social tools for business communications, preventive measures for social media security are also necessary. According to the Ponemon Institute’s State of Cybersecurity Report, small to medium-scale businesses across the globe report is experiencing cyber attacks.
Therefore, companies should come up with cybersecurity for social media. This article is a quick walkthrough on tips, tricks and best practices enterprises can follow for social media security.
What Is Social Media Security?
Social media cybersecurity refers to the measures and practices used to protect social media accounts and users’ personal information from unauthorized access, theft, or manipulation.
Today most businesses have a customer-facing business page on different social media platforms. Therefore, social media platforms have become a popular target for cyber attackers due to the vast amount of personal information and sensitive data shared on them.
Cybersecurity threats to social media platforms can arrive from various grounds, including social engineering, phishing scams, malware attacks, identity theft, etc. if the business social media page gets compromised; it damages the brand’s reputation. It might mislead the followers & customers associated with it.
For protecting against social media security threats, businesses should ponder cybersecurity best practices such as using robust (lengthy) & unique passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, keeping software and apps up to date, being cautious of suspicious messages & links, and limiting the sharing of personal information online. We will discuss all of these in the subsequent section.
Tips And Tricks To Deal With Social Media Security Issues
Let us explore the various tips and tricks to deal with cybersecurity issues associated with social media.
Strong passwords for security:
Cybercriminals use various techniques, like dictionary attacks, brute force attacks, credential stuffing, etc., to compromise an account. Strong passwords are difficult to break. By “Strong” password, we mean the password length and complexity.
With numbers, letters & special symbols, passwords become complex and secure.
Again, one must change their passwords frequently. Researchers recommend not using the date of birth, phone numbers, or ID card numbers as passwords. The password must be meaningless and a paraphrase long.
Social media users & other professionals should keep different passwords for different accounts/pages & social media platforms.
Avoid risk through proper social media training:
According to a report, 95 percent of security-related issues occur due to human errors by internal employees or social media handlers.
Training the employees the right way helps the brand and the social media handler prevent the company’s social media account from social media cyber threats.
Stay Vigilant from phishing:
A phishing attack is a social engineering attack type. It aims to deceive individuals into providing sensitive information such as login credentials, social media login details or personal data.
Attackers typically do it by sending fraudulent messages or emails that appear to be from legitimate sources such as banks, e-commerce sites, or social media platforms.
The attacker masquerades as a trusted individual & prompts the recipient to click on a link or download an attachment. Once the victim provides their information, the attacker can use it for malicious purposes such as stealing social media credentials or committing identity theft.
Hence, social media handlers should remain vigilant about which links (on social media inboxes, emails, SMSs, etc.) they are clicking. Researchers address users not to open unsolicited messages or emails.
Limit social media access:
Another social media security tip is to limit the number of admins and users. It will help the social media page handler to manage the company page securely. Security techniques like implementing multi-factor authentication, setting strong passwords, keeping a check on access logs, avoiding using public Wi-Fi, etc., can help prevent unauthorized social media access.
Set up a system of approvals for social posts:
Every social media team consists of more than one person. For publishing a brand’s post, the post must go through a social media approval process.
Setting up a system of approvals for social media posts ensures that your organization’s social media content is consistent, accurate & compliant with company policies. Content approval method goes through a standard step towards social media security and ensuring brand reputation.
Keep a check on your followers’ list:
Another best practice that social media handlers should do is to keep a check on the followers. Many cybercriminals and attackers will follow your page & track your social media posts, query-resolving techniques, social communication, etc.
As they discover one flaw, they will compromise that corner to get over the entire social media account. Some followers will say against your brand over post comments to spread hatred. Hence, cybersecurity researchers recommend staying vigilant on suspicious followers and removing them if found illegitimate.
Security through SSL Encryption:
Whenever you use social media platforms to run your brand pages & social media campaigns, ensure they are secure through SSL encryption. Social media platforms that do not have SSL certificates can be vulnerable. They transmit data without encryption. Hence, cyber criminals can easily steal your login credentials & other data. To avoid this circumstance, social media platforms come with inbuilt SSL certificates like Sectigo SSL, RapidSSL, GlobalSign SSL, etc. You can check with a single mouse click in the browser.
Malware (malicious software) is illegal programs that cybercriminals design and deploy on target individuals (general internet users or enterprise professionals).
Malware is one of the most prominent ways of stealing social media credentials, personal details, and sensitive files from social media handlers’ computers or personally identifiable information. Such malware often come attached to legitimate software programs.
Therefore, social media security researchers recommend using antivirus & anti-malware programs installed within the system. Also, security researchers alert users not to download attachments from unknown email senders.
Keep an eye on your mailbox:
Another social media security posture is to keep an eye on the mailbox. Today, social media profiles and brand pages remain linked with email accounts or phone numbers.
A social media handler needs to look at the mailbox or inbox. Any suspicious activity, login attempt, or social media account password-changing action will get prompted to your mailbox. Social media handlers can quickly take action if they remain sharp over their mailbox.
Brand impersonation is a cyber threat where an attacker creates a fake online presence that mimics a legitimate brand or company. It tricks the brands’ original customers or users into stealing money & disgraces the brand’s reputation.
Attackers use fake websites, internal employee names, email IDs, etc., that looks legitimate to the customers whom the attackers are targeting.
Attackers use fake social media pages and websites with the same brand name or use other social engineering tactics to accomplish a massive brand impersonation attack.
Social media handlers and website admins should remain cautious while sharing their data online. Also, researchers recommend not using the same password across all social media page accounts.
Monitor your account:
For basic social media security, handlers should monitor their account frequently.
They can use the social media page logs, mailbox, inbox, check comments & activities, etc., for monitoring any illegitimate pattern or action. They should also check whether someone else is not using their company or brand name on the same social media platform for brand impersonation. It also comes under monitoring.
Finally, social media security issues are on high. However, different social media platforms release security patches and updates timely to protect privacy and security of users. We have mentioned above security way to deal with such issues that will help to maintain social media security. Be wary while you deal with social media, as your data is important.