The Safe Method to Hack-Proof Your Social Media Accounts
The S.A.F.E Method to Hack-Proof Your Social Media Accounts
The S.A.F.E Method to Hack-Proof Your Social Media Accounts

Back in 2013 a group of hackers changed Burger King’s Twitter account name to “McDonalds” and it’s background image to “Fish McBites”. In the time it took for the officials to do damage control, the hackers were able to send a series of questionable and offensive tweets to thousands of their followers. Ironically this particular attack landed their Twitter account 5,000 new followers in the first 30 minutes since the take over. However, typically, attacks like these can destroy a company’s credibility and online reputation.

No one is immune to these internet tricksters, so what’s a socially active company supposed to do? Lucky for us, there are ways to hack-proof our accounts and reduce potential risks. Learn from other company’s mistakes and follow the S.A.F.E method to keep your social media accounts safe.

S. Secure your passwordsScreen Shot 2015-05-26 at 10.22.44 AM

The two most popular passwords still being used to date are 12345 and password. Yes, I’m still in disbelief too! This is one of the only things standing between your company’s social media accounts and it’s hackers. Your business’s reputation is on the line if you get hacked, make sure that each social profile password is strong and that you change them as often as your bed sheets. Try replacing letters with symbols or use a uniform capitalization format that all your employees would know. For example, if your password is ilovedogs substitute one of the letters for a $ sign, so your password will look like this: ilovedog$. As complex as this may seem, it’s one of the easiest ways to prevent hacking. You may want to invest in an advanced sign-on technology that will allow employees to use their own unique passwords to sign into the account to make posts and changes, the more variety the better.

A. Account awareness

Hacks don’t always come from the outside and at times could even come from rogue employees. You may discover that your employees have started dozens of “corporate” social media accounts, often without official permission. By centralizing control over all your social accounts with a platform such as Hootsuite, you will be able to tighten security and strengthen your brand’s online presence across various social profiles. Platforms such as the latter help you to control all social activity in one place. But, infiltrators can still magically find their way in. There are ways to prevent hacking into your beloved accounts with an app like LogDog, which sends you automatic warnings before the hacker potentially compromises a business account. These apps are worth the investment as they help you take social as seriously as you should be.

 F. Follow privacy policy changes

Most social platforms like Twitter and Facebook adjust their privacy policies and security settings quite often. The platforms constantly come up with new ways to keep profiles secure to avoid any security breaches. Keep up to date and follow all the new policy changes on a regular basis, and check out for any options that have been updated that will make life difficult for the hacker. This should be a routine part of your duties as a social media manager as some policy changes have been big enough to alter social media as we know it!

E. Educate your company

It’s only been a few years since social media was in its infancy. Today, it’s one of the pillars of marketing and sales for many companies. So it’s in your best interest to school your employees on basic social media education. By providing your social media managers with structured training on security, compliance issues and even best practices ensures that they are set up with the tools for success. We recommend using Lynda’s extensive library of social marketing training to keep updated on the industry. Specifically their “Up and Running with LinkedIn” and “Pinterest for Business” classes can do wonders for your social media awareness.

Keeping your company’s social media accounts safe is simple, just make sure you’re using the perfect tech systems, appoint the right employees to the task and be in the know on your network updates. And with that, your social will always be S.A.F.E!

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About the Author

Yoav Vilner
Yoav Vilner is the CEO at Ranky, a startup-mentor at Microsoft, and a contributor at Forbes, Entrepreneur, Social Media Examiner, TheNextWeb, VentureBeat and Inc.

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