Social media has become one of the essentials in digital marketing. It has become of the best avenue to grow your business, build your name, connect with your audience, and established rapport with your existing customers. Social media plays a vital role in the promotion of different kinds of businesses.
However, your social media accounts can become vulnerable to possible attacks. Every day the social media giant, Facebook, experiences over 100 cybersecurity attacks.
This social media powerhouse has even experienced a massive security breach just recently. You may have also seen big names in different industries experienced getting hacked on their social media platforms and losing control over their social media accounts.
As for your business’ social media account, you must take the necessary steps to ensure that it remains safe and does not fall into the wrong hands.
When your business accounts get hacked, it can create damage in your business and with your reputation. It can even compromise other sensitive information that cybercriminals can scrape on your social media channel.
The need to secure your account is vital. Here are some ways you need to make your social media accounts safe and keep attackers at bay.
1. Create a strong and complex password
Passwords are your first line of defense. It is your first step to secure your social media channels. However, a simple password cannot defend you against all possible attacks.
Using passwords like “password123” or your pet’s name will not give you a great defense. What you need is a strong and complex password that is hard to crack by hackers.
Having a weak password is a recipe for a strong attack. Therefore, you must have at least 12 – 16 characters in your password. It should also contain random combinations of numbers, symbols, punctuations, upper and lowercase numbers.
Your password should also have no relations or preferences with any of your personal or business information. As much as possible, do not use the same password on your various social media channels.
If it gets too hard to manage or memorize your passwords on each social media account, you can use a password manager to keep track of your password for you. Just make sure to use trusted password managers in the market today.
You can also use password generators to create robust and complex passwords for all of your social media platforms.
2. Update your passwords often
Aside from having a strong and complex password, most cybersecurity experts recommend changing your password regularly. You may do it at least once in every quarter or if every other month. This move will also help build a strong defense again possible attacks.
You may also need to change your passwords every time one of your employees leaves your company. It does not necessarily mean that your past employees will hack your social media accounts, but this is a good security practice that you can make into a habit.
Regularly changing and updating your password will also ensure that any of your old or public devices you have used to log in with your social media account will no longer have access.
3. Use two-factor authentication (2FA)
Passwords act as your first line of security defenses against any possible attacks. Furthermore, the best practice to ensure your account safety is the use of 2FA or two-factor authentication.
It is mostly recommended by cybersecurity experts and one of the best ways to secure your social media channels even if your passwords get stolen.
Once your password falls into the wrong hands, they will try to access and take over your accounts. However, if you have activated 2FA in your account, any infiltrator and hacker will have a hard time accessing your accounts.
When someone tries to log in one of your accounts, a PIN will be sent on a phone number registered. When they fail to input the code in a limited time, they will be denied access.
4. Limit page roles and regularly inspect access to social media accounts
Managing social media accounts can be very time-consuming; therefore, it is wise to have a team to help you achieve it. If you share your account details with your team members, you need to make sure it is regularly checked.
It is a must that you know you have access to your accounts and the type of access they have—assigned roles appropriately and do not give everyone the same access.
Limiting the number of people who have access to your accounts can refrain from possible attacks. However, it is essential to have more than one person who has access to your accounts and know your password.
This strategy is beneficial when someone leaves your company. You can quickly regain control of your account and remove ex-employees who can pose a risk.
5. Make an email address exclusive to your social media accounts
While it is tempting to use your personal or business email address for your social media accounts, it will not wise when it comes to cybersecurity.
If you use your account and any of your social media channels got hacked, it can compromise your other sensitive data. If it cannot be helped, make sure that you have employed security practices like strong passwords.
6. Avoid public Wi-Fis
Insecure connections can pose a significant risk in your social media account. Public networks found in coffee shops, airports, libraries, and restaurants can contain multiple dangers that can pose a great chance for your social media accounts.
One of the most common hackers does create a fake public Wi-Fi network connection. Once you connect to this network, they can steal all of your user’s information. All of your confidential information with regards to your business and work will become accessible to hackers.
Public Wi-Fi can also expose your laptop or mobile device to any virus or malware. If there is a need for you to connect on any public Wi-Fi, make sure to use a VPN to help you stay protected.
7. Invest in a reliable VPN
A VPN or virtual private network is a good investment for your cybersecurity. It is an excellent tool to give you online privacy, especially if you need to connect with public Wi-Fi. It can mask your IP address that helps hide your online actions.
VPN creates an encryption tunnel around your device’s online connection that re-routes your traffic in a preliminary server before connecting on any network connection.
8. Use only trusted third-party applications
Using third-party applications can help you manage your social media accounts. It can provide you convenience and ease.
However, for these third-party applications to work, you need to grant permission to these apps to access your account. Once permitted, they can do many things for you, like automatically posting your content on your behalf.
However, because you give them permission to access your account, make sure to utilize only third-party apps trusted by experts, have good reviews, and do well based on your research.
It is also a must and essential that you understand and thoroughly read all the information they need and how they are going to protect for your behalf.
9. Secure your business computers and mobile gadgets
Install antivirus software to ensure cybersecurity on your business computer and mobile gadgets that you use to access your account should always be on your list. This tactic may be the most common security practice you can do yet still proves to be one of the most effective.
Find the best antivirus software you can find in the market today. Make sure that you use antivirus software that is trusted, reliable, and have positive reviews.
Having an antivirus software can strengthen your defenses on any possible attacks that can infiltrate your system and can make way to your social media accounts.
Bonus: Know when you need to change your password
Your passwords are your first safety blanket in fighting any possible attack on your social media accounts. While it is advised to update and change your passwords at least every quarter, there are circumstances that you need to change your password abruptly.
These scenarios may include upon discovery of any evidence of unauthorized access to any of your accounts or you logged in to your account using a shared or public computers that are usually found in libraries and hotels. Necessary password change should also be done if you found any evidence of malware and other viruses in your devices.
You also need to change your passwords when your service provider or third party application discloses a security breach incident. Most importantly, change your passwords if you haven’t changed it for almost a year or more.
Final thoughts: Secure your business social media accounts
Some of the biggest cyber-attacks recorded in history happened because of human fallibility. Most successful attacks are brought upon by human error that easily allows hackers and cybercriminals to find open access to their attacks.
As social media plays a vital role in your business, you must always remember to keep it safe from any possible attacks. You have worked hard to gain a strong following, craft fantastic content, and allow it to fall into the wrong hands and take a toll on your business.
Take cybersecurity for your social media accounts seriously to avoid compromising all of your hard work.
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Maricar worked as a marketing professional for almost a decade. She became part of the biggest real estate company/mall operator in the Philippines and handled concerts, events, and community service-related activities. Leaving her corporate job for good to pursue her dreams, she has now ventured in the path of content writing and currently writes for Softvire Australia – the leading software e-Commerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand. A Harry Potter fan, she loves to watch animated series and movies during her spare time.