Social media can be an immensely valuable promotional tool for any business. It’s important to remember, however, that you need to use social media safely and responsibly. You must stay alert to potential security issues. If you or any of your employees misuse your social media accounts, it can expose you to potential threats that put your business’ online security at risk. In an age where cybercrime is rampant and hackers have more tricks up their sleeves than ever before, there’s no substitute for caution. Here are some guidelines that can help your company stay safe when utilizing social media.
Write up an official policy
Before you launch your company into the realm of Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of today’s social media giants, it’s important that you take the time to draw up a comprehensive official policy for all of your employees to adhere to. If you want to ensure that your employees use social media in a way that reflects positively on your company and reduces the risk of security threats, you’ll need to spell out the rules for using it. Even a seemingly innocuous mistake can open the door to a social media security breach.
Review your privacy settings
People can learn a great deal from your social media page. In some cases, people with bad intentions might learn too much for your comfort. How much of your company’s personal information do you wish to be made available to the public? That’s a conversation that every company needs to have internally. It’s critical to make sure that you don’t make that decision inadvertently, by accidentally making private information public. Review your account privacy settings on Facebook, LinkedIn, and your other social media platforms. Then, choose your preferred settings carefully.
Consider using encrypted data
If your company has weathered security breaches in the past, or if you need to handle sensitive information, such as customers’ health histories, you may be especially concerned about keeping data safe. Some companies may even wish to use encryption on their online systems in order to provide the maximum level of security. If you decide to go this route, be sure to talk to a cybersecurity professional first to ensure that you’re following the best practices.
Keep your operating system up to date
If you want to discourage potential hackers, it’s essential to ensure that your company’s IT systems stay strong and secure. Be sure that you’ve got the latest and best hardware and software to work with, and don’t delay installing all recommended updates. Buy strong anti-virus protection and use it on all of your employees’ computers. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—and that goes for cybersecurity as much as anything else.
Be alert to potential scams
Today’s hackers try to get other people’s information using a wide variety of tricks and ploys. One common method is to try to encourage people to click on URLs that will leave them vulnerable to phishing scams. Hackers may also try to plant spyware on your employees’ computers, and they may try to infiltrate your system with harmful viruses. Be careful about opening links that you receive in emails or direct messages. Make sure that all of your employees know how to recognize the warning signs of malicious online activity.
Adopt a password policy
A strong password is the equivalent of a fireproof lock for your online accounts. You need to make sure, however, that you know how to create a good password and how often to update it. All passwords should be at least 10 characters long—the lengthier, the better. They should also contain a variety of different symbols. Include both capitalized and non-capitalized letters. If you need a lot of passwords, you can use an online password application to keep them all straight. To doubly ensure your online security, change all of your passwords at least once every two months.
Get everybody on the same page
It’s important that everyone who works at your company is made fully aware of what your official social media policies are. Take the time to introduce the new policy to your current employees. Make sure that new employees are given the time to go through it. Not only will this prevent any confusion about what is appropriate—and what is not—when it comes to posting on social media, but it can also help your employees feel more involved and informed.
If you’re looking for help with your company’s social media, talk to the team at Pennington Creative. We can help you develop a strong and distinctive voice to make you stand out on your social media platforms. Our experienced content creators can provide you with the terrific posts and updates you need to get noticed. To get started, drop us a line today through our website!