This is alarming to me, but apparently password hacking is one of the most enjoyable hacks for bad guys, because it fuels their sense of exploration and desire to figure out a problem. (Sounds like hackers need someone to buy them a puzzle or a chess game instead.)
Unfortunately, social media accounts are hacked pretty frequently. Often, it is just for fun, or to mess with someone’s account. Sometimes, the hacks are a phishing scam and will link to some sketchy website filled with malware. According to online security writer Marcus Habert, your account can be “hacked as part of a wider plan to hack accounts and get them to follow a specific account. This account that you’ve been forced to follow, that may have a fake brand name, will then be used to spread malware.”
If a business account is hacked, there may be irreparable damage to trust with your customers, as well as to brand loyalty. Plus, it is just a headache to solve, especially if you are a small business without an IT department.
Here are a few tips for keeping your social media safe and secure. Remember, hacking is sometimes inevitable — these mysterious computers of ours contain more secrets than most people know, and the world just has some bad people in it. However, regular maintenance and proactive steps can help keep your social media as secure as possible.
1. Reduce the number of people who have access to your company’s social accounts. It is simple math: The more people that have access to your company’s accounts, the greater the chance you have of being compromised. This is one good reason to use something like Hootsuite, where employees can have access to social accounts without access to sensitive account information. Even if you do have Hootsuite, make sure that only the people who need to have access do have it. Be consistent about removing former employees and managers from accounts immediately.
- Change your passwords, but not as often as you might think.The latest research shows that changing passwords every 60 to 90 days is actually toofrequent, and dilutes the strength of the creative password. “With a strong password, there is little to be gained having to change it every few months,” says password security expert and author of Perfect Passwords Mark Burnett to Wired. “6 months to a year will result in a better experience for users and allow for stronger passwords.”
- If someone is using social media accounts on a work computer, make sure all users have antivirus and security software on both their mobile devices and their computers.On devices, programs like AVG AntiVirus protect the device from viruses, malware, spyware and unsafe apps, according to startup CEO Yoav Vilner.
- Keep passwords hidden. Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmeswrites, “Whole teams of staff, from interns to top executives, are now sending out messages from the corporate Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account. Consider implementing a password management solution, like LastPassorKeePass to store, distribute and manage your organization’s secrets.”
Nothing is foolproof, but taking these steps will save you hours of headache if your accounts are hacked. Any other tips I missed? Leave them in the comments section below for others to read!
Image credit: CC by reynermedia