Social Media and Cyber Security

 In Cyber Security Articles

Social media, particularly Facebook, has been in the media spotlight recently, following its data breach scandal. The news sent shockwaves through the 2.2 billion of us who use Facebook, with #DeleteFacebook even trending on Twitter.

However, most of us are still scrolling through our news feeds despite social media and cyber security being brought into the spotlight.

There are ways to keep safe on social media. They are also far less drastic than no longer using the platform at all. Here’s some expert advice on how to bring together social media and cyber security.

Don’t mix business and pleasure

With so many people using social media, some employees will log onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram after – or even during – office hours. It is essential to have a policy in place which outlines company guidelines on social media and cyber security. Despite this, only 29% of companies have a social media policy. This is important for so many reasons, regardless of whether staff are using it for business purposes or not. Employees are representatives and ambassadors for your brand. A social media policy will outline exactly what is expected of employees on various digital platforms to help maintain a positive and professional company reputation.

Keep your details safe

The security steps taken in the offline world should be mirrored online too. This includes social media and cyber security, particularly with the rise of social media advertising. It overtook the spend on television advertising recently, so it’s big business. It may seem basic advice but do not share banking details with potentially untrustworthy sources. Look for an SSL certificate on any transactional websites, which should have a padlock in the browser bar. This should be more commonplace following the recent introduction of GDPR. Google will indicate if a website is without one and classed as non-secure.

Mix up your passwords

Change your password now if using the same simple one on more than one website. A recent survey found 61% of respondents use the same password across multiple sites. Make that password too complicated for hackers to crack to tighten up social media and cyber security. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters as well as special characters. Also, have a different password for each social media platform and/or device. This may sound like a lot of admin, but it’s worth it to keep data protected. There are also some tools which can help with this, such as password managers. Also, consider ‘two factor authentication’, which is an additional security measure offered by lots of sites. It’s worth taking these steps to help safeguard data should a hacker gain access somewhere.

Imitation is not always flattery

Social media is a much more relaxed environment yet it is still dealing with precious data and carrying out transactions. ‘Brand fraud’ is becoming increasingly common – a study found that 19% of social media accounts associated with the top 10 brands are fraudulent. This puts both the users and a brand’s reputation at risk.

Businesses need to be alert to this with social media and cyber security. Keep track of brand mentions and report fake accounts so they can be removed. Do not be wary of using the official account to warn users if a fake account has been spotted – it proves that the business takes its reputation seriously.

As a business, keep a close eye on your social media and cyber security by limiting publishing rights to people who directly manage company profiles. Not all employees should be given that privileged access to create content on public and professional profiles. Keep on top of this over time too, to ensure that any employees who have left or change jobs are removed. This minimises risk by keeping access to a close and necessary network which helps to prevent any accidents from happening.

The Link IT team are experts in all types of digital security. Visit our blog for more free advice on how to keep your company safe, covered and complaint.

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The security of your computer and entire IT network needs to be watertight. However, even a robust cybersecurity policy may not be enough to prevent a database attack from happening. Click to find out more on our blog.Once again, the headlines are full of news about another company falling foul to a massive data breach. Dixons Carphone revealed that 5.9 million customer bank card details and 1.2 million personal data records including names, addresses and email information had been accessed by cyber criminals.