Protecting Your Social Media from Hackers

Share This Post

On February 18, Burger King discovered that someone had hacked its Twitter account, renamed it as McDonald’s and splattered the background with a picture of Fish McBites. During the hour it took to fix the problem, the culprits made 53 tweets to Burger King’s 80,000-plus followers. The tweets included the amusing “If I catch you at a Wendy’s  we’re fightin!” and the distasteful “We caught one of our employees in the bathroom doing this,” followed by an picture of someone injecting drugs.

It wasn’t just Burger King, either. Under a day previously, Jeep was similarly targeted. Their Twitter avatar was replaced with Cadillac’s logo and told followers that Jeep had been sold out due to drug use by the CEO and employees.

These events come shortly after a security violation at the media retailer HMV a month prior. An angry social media manager took over the company’s accounts and leaked information about layoffs and poor management.

What is a good solution? Avoiding social media isn’t a viable option anymore. The fact that the above companies have such vast followings on Facebook and Twitter demonstrates its power. Furthermore, moving away from social media means surrendering a huge advantage over competitors.

However, the risks can be minimized with some training, common sense and the proper technology:

Take Passwords Seriously

In 2012, the most used passwords were “password” and “123456″. Most people don’t understand that a strong password is the only thing keeping their accounts secure. Rather than using names or personal information, try using random numbers and upper and lower-case letters, or perhaps the first letter of every word in a favorite saying or phrase.

Similarly, control who knows the password, something that can be learned from the HMV incident. The company’s senior management obviously didn’t know the password, who could access it or how to close the account. This is an IT nightmare. A good solution is to employ single sign-on software. Business-quality management systems let employees access social media accounts with the username and password used for their company email account. However, only the IT department has the ability to activate and deactivate accounts and can grant or take away access as needed.

Consolidate Accounts

Big companies are usually shocked to find that employees have opened “corporate” accounts on social media without their permission or knowledge. An important step in improving security is bringing all of your company’s social media accounts under the control of one management system. This lets employees launch profiles on multiple outlets from a single interface.

This setup also provides a sort of firewall. Malicious links are an easy way for hackers to obtain sensitive data. For example, a link to something that seems like a bargain may actually take you to a site that infects your computer with malware. Higher-quality management systems feature protection against threats and issue a warning when a site is suspicious.

Control Posting Ability

Large companies may have millions of followers and allowing low-level employees to have access to these accounts can have dire consequences. It’s safer to use a management system that controls who has publishing power. This helps to maintain company standards in messages.

Provide Basic Education

Not long ago, social media was a plaything for college kids. These days, it’s a critical tool for sales and marketing. Allowing employees to access this powerful resource without some knowledge of it is like giving someone keys without teaching them to drive. It’s important to give training on compliance and security as well as on using the technology to enhance sales and enhance internal company functioning.

Combining both both social media technology and information can significantly minimize the risk of security problems, whether it’s from inside or outside of the company.

Wait dont go

Get 15% OFF your order
use coupon code