No longer the “New Kid in Town.” Social Media has gone from a compulsive form of recreation for many to a fundamental piece of any business plan, large or small.
What is still not readily known by many business owners and managers is that use of social media by companies and their employees can seriously compromise a businesses’ security.
Very often, when it comes to maintaining safety and security via social media, employees can end up being the biggest issue.
Whether it’s from posting on their personal page about things happening at work, or clicking on things they shouldn’t while using an office computer, employees can accidentally leak information or download mal-ware into your network without even realize they are doing it.
To help avoid the issues that can result in these seemingly small actions, here are some tips to assist you in keeping your business and your employees safe from social-media troubles, both at work and at home
Advise Employees to Avoid Posting Info About Where They Work
Even though you can’t stop an employee from telling people where they work, explain that like giving out their home address and phone number online, revealing where they work can make it easy for people to find them and collect more info on their daily routine.
Employees should also be informed that associating the company with a personal account on questionable social networks could hurt the company and, by default, hurt the employee as well.
Keep Privacy Settings Updated
This is important on two fronts. First, train your employees how to maintain their own accounts’ privacy settings, this will lessen the possibility of unauthorized info getting leaked.
On your businesses’ accounts, it’s likely you don’t know most of the followers you’ve cultivated. Taking steps to secure those accounts as much as possible, with privacy settings that will work best for your company, will significantly add to your online security
Establish Work Place Use of Social Media
Most of us have done it, checked our Facebook page during lunch or a break. Instead of trying to ban the use of social media on work computers, it may be better to create some policies on how to use it instead.
For instance, stating that updates may only be made during breaks and that the use of apps like games and quizzes that require clicking on links are prohibited on company computers. Putting these policies in place will assist you in avoiding the download of malware or other issues that can affect your network.
Make Sure Your IT Specialists Are Trained to Handle Social Media Specific Issues
Once you’ve established an office policy for Social Media use, it will need to be enforced. This means ongoing surveillance of online activities. To accomplish this, invest in consulting, and antivirus protection via software and hardware.
Additionally, the company’s technical staff will need to be updated about current social-media security risks so they can manage the technology needed to deal with online-security issues as well as data protection.
A Word on Hacking
As recent history has shown, hackers love to show off and be challenged. For them, social media is a proverbial candy store of puzzles just waiting to be solved. Facebook and Twitter alike are constant prey.
All businesses and their social media accounts are potential targets and can especially affect a business since social media is a valuable tool for attracting new customers and connecting with current ones. Any compromise of these tools could result in irreparable damage. Fortunately, the items we’ve already discussed can help prevent a hacker from successfully breaking into your account.
Additionally, use strong passwords with unique alpha-numeric combinations. Gone are the days of the 4-letter password for your AOL account. These days to create the best possible login security, you need to use upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and accepted punctuation as allowed.
Once you have one password put together, don’t use it for multiple logins. It may seem like a convenient way to remember them, but if a hacker manages to figure one account out, you’ll have given up the keys to the entire kingdom, so to speak.
The most important way to prevent harmful issues from social media use is to educated and even provide training for your employees.
Whether this is via a workshop, meeting or included in a section of the employee handbook, be sure your employees have the knowledge that can save your business’ social media accounts and their own from unnecessary attention and use.