How to Protect Your Business on Social Media

How to Protect Your Business on Social Media

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The widespread use of social media attracts people seeking to exploit our vulnerability in this open environment in which our valuable information is often exposed. Here’s some tips on keeping your business safe while using social media platforms.

Online activity is part of life for all of us now, whether it is ordering shopping, sharing holiday photos, collaborating with work colleagues or getting a new job, we could not be without the internet – and social media now dominates this internet activity. There are over 2.7 billion active social media users and 1 million new active social media users added every day (12 every second!). Social media isn’t inherently unsafe, but there have always been risks associated with sharing too much information, too widely.

Are you Inviting the Risks?

Using social media whilst at work and mixing leisure and work activities can lead to the two areas of your online life becoming intertwined. Your online presence includes all the things that you post and that others post about you. Sometimes those other people posting about you are doing it for all the wrong reasons. This can happen if you aren’t very fussy about who you accept as a social media friend and if you allow your social and work contacts to overlap. Suddenly the nice person you recently befriended online turns out to be a cyber crimina and you regret sharing your recent night out photos with them on Facebook and connecting with them on LinkedIn.

The Hackers

Criminals can exploit the behaviour typical of such open communities to persuade you to reveal personal data. Next thing you find they are using that information against you to damage your reputation or are sending you malware programs that infect your computer embedded in a file or zipped photos. Worse still, your personal information can also be used to commit acts of fraud, blackmail or identity theft.

Commercial Risks

All sorts of people could be interested in accessing the data of a bank or other financial institution:

  • Hackers, who may sell on the company’s confidential information to rivals, for example in the case of an investment bank, during an acquisition or merger negotiation.
  • Journalists and ‘hacktivists’ who may be interested in damaging the organization’s reputation, and put them at risk of fines from regulators for data protection breaches.
  • Criminals who might see an opportunity to steal money from the organization.
  • Blackmailers who might offer to keep the leaked information quiet, for a price.

Safe Behaviour

So, what can we do to reduce this risk to ourselves?

  • Beware of suspicious links and attachments. This is then primary way for a Hacker to try and deploy something onto your device. When in doubt, don’t click it.
  • Reduce the personal details on your social media profile to the sensible minimum.
  • Control who can view your social media posts by applying privacy settings and blocking unwanted individuals. Remember anything public can be found using a search engine. When you’re trying to work out if you should post something use the simple rule of “Would I show this to my Mum or Dad?” if then answer is no, then it’s probably a good idea not to put it on your social media.
  • Do not assume that someone you communicate with online is who they say they are. Of the 1.7 billion active Facebook accounts worldwide, as many as 83 million are estimated to be fake accounts.
  • Always log off at the end of each session. This is particularly important when you share a device with others. And regularly clear cookies and cached data from your internet browser.
  • Report abuse, via the ‘Report Abuse’ link that all social media sites should have.

Passwords

The key to all your social media accounts is your password, here are some tips on how to avoid having one, or more, of your online accounts compromised.

  • Use strong passwords (at least 8 characters with a mix of upper/lower case, numbers, and special characters and no real words) or use a pass phrase for example ‘I love to use social media all of the time” could be a password of “ILTUSMAOTT”
  • Use different passwords for each online service. Using then same means once that have access to one account that have access to them all.
  • Change passwords regularly.
  • Never share or write down passwords, and using a password manager can make storing password easier and safer.
  • If there is an option always enable 2FA for Social Media Accounts.
  • If you are ever asked to re-enter your password on Facebook check to make sure the address of the page is still right e.g. facebook.com or twitter.com in the URL/address box.

Safer Connections

In addition to strong passwords, you should always do the following to reduce the risks when using social media.

  • Install the latest browser updates security patches, anti-virus and anti-spyware updates from reputable vendors on all your devices.
  • Do not send or communicate sensitive information (personal or corporate) over public Wi-Fi networks.
  • In a work context, if anything looks suspicious, or you think you have made a mistake, then raise it with your company IT security team straight away.

And that is this topic covered again this was a small topic but just as important as then others we have covered.to cover but important none the less, next time ill be looking at Protecting Information.

Below are some interesting articles from the world of Cyber Security you may find interesting, but for now.

Stay Vigilant and stay safe.

MFA PSA, Oh My!
Puma hit by data breach after Kronos ransomware attack
Cybersecurity incident response: The 6 steps to success
How Phishers Are Slinking Their Links Into LinkedIn
Ransomware attacks on UK businesses up over 50% compared with 2020

Chris George,

Head of IT, CEME