Social media is, in a way, a double-edged sword for businesses. It promises the ability to reach out to more customers and make waves that can easily change your market share. With retweets and Facebook shares, a simple brand message can make it halfway across the world before you can even snap your fingers.
On the flip side, it comes with the risk of cyber-crimes and reputational damage. Without enough care on how you handle your social media platforms, it can be pretty easy for threat actors as well as your own workforce to sabotage your brand image. As long as you leave the negative aspects of social media to chance, there is no telling the amount of damage that can occur. With a social media risk management plan in place, this can be an issue of the past.
Here are the risks social media poses and how to deal with it:
Why Social Media Is Risky
In case a cyber-criminal gains access to your social media accounts, they can easily share misleading messages that can harm your reputation as a brand. Even worse, this spreads past your social media profiles. Some corporate applications allow employees to use their social media information to log into them, such as the “login using Facebook” option. In case a hacker manages to access the social media login details of an employee, the chances are that they might wreak havoc throughout your organization.
Also, criminals can use social media as a phishing tool. Not only can they target your employees, but they can also target customers and other stakeholders while working under your façade. Lastly, the activities of your workforce on social media can easily bite you in the back. Since brand image and employee reputation are almost synonymous, if an employee chooses to post unsuitable comments, they can ruin your reputation. However, all these issues can be fixed through a great risk management plan.
Educate Employees on the Risks
Your business’ security posture is only as strong as your weakest link. This means that having state-of-the-art security tools will be ineffective as long as employees do not understand the dos and don’ts. For instance, an employee who has substantial access into your corporate networks can easily fall prey of phishing attacks, leaving your organization in a bad situation.
Take some time to create social media policies and train employees on the necessities. This can include how to carry themselves on social media as members of your workforce, how to avoid phishing scams as well as how to manage their passwords. The training courses ought to be quite engaging to ensure that everyone understands the expectations.
Leverage the Right Technology
Lucky for you, technology can always come to the rescue when trying to mitigate malware attacks as well as spam. For instance, installing firewalls throughout your corporate networks will limit the chances of malware finding its way into your corporate networks through social media. On the other hand, using VPNs to access social media accounts, as well as other corporate accounts, limits the chances of a hacker eavesdropping on your network packets.
A great solution for your overall social media risk management would be a social media management tool. Other than keeping threat actors away from your corporate systems, a secure tool will record data, track it, and archive it for compliance purposes. If you are looking to streamline your social media campaigns and improve their success rates, such tools can be a game-changer.
Monitor Your Social Platforms
Even though an employee might post something damaging, responding in the right and quickest way possible will reduce the chances of the issue wreaking havoc. To be safe, have someone monitoring the online activities of both employees as well as your business’ accounts. In case you notice anything that might raise concerns, be quick enough in responding to it.
For instance, you can explain to your customers any messages or posts that might seem amiss. This also applies to complaints and negative reviews by customers or anyone you interact with on social media. As for things that your employees post on their personal accounts, be sure to warn them against their effects on your brand’s image. Remember, your image is tied to your employees’, especially c-suite executives, who are often seen as the face of your firm.
Limit Social Media Access
Social media threats are more likely to be launched by people within your workforce than hackers. It all trickles down to who you give access to your social media sites. Assess your entire workforce and decide on the best people to offer access to your social media accounts. They will be in charge of posting as well as responding to people on the platforms.
In case you are worried about having to change the passwords of your social media accounts if you fire one of these employees, working with an intuitive social media management tool can help you with this. Each employee who has been allowed to access your accounts can open an account on the tool that gives them direct access to your social accounts. Once they leave, you will only have to delete their accounts on the tool instead of changing your entire social media accounts’ passwords.
As long as you can mitigate the risks of social media, your business can thrive in the opportunities it presents. It all starts with understanding the risks it poses and looking for the necessary solutions. Consider the tips above to improve the security of your business when using social media.