A recent report states that about 3 billion people across the world use social media each month. With the ability to reach more people than ever before, it makes sense that businesses are using social media to promote their companies. In fact, 46 percent of Canadian businesses use social media to promote themselves.

social media

Source: Smart Insights

In a world where anything can go viral, you don’t want your hacked social media to make headlines. A few years ago, Burger King’s twitter got hacked and turned into McDonald’s. While initially hilarious, it can be embarrassing for a company to be seen promoting a competitor. Furthermore, it calls into question a company’s ability to stay secure.

Five Ways to Protect Your Social Media Presence

Social media is a cyber security risk for your business but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it completely. There are steps you can take to keep your accounts secure.

Create a Social Media Policy  

Having a social media policy is a good way to define best practices for using your company’s social media accounts. Your policy should outline the rules and guidelines for posting social content and who’s allowed access to your accounts. You should also consider a security plan that goes over what to do if your accounts get hacked.

Review Your Privacy Settings

When you make a social media account, it comes with security settings already chosen for you. However, every social media website gives you the option to change your settings. This could help protect your privacy and help you choose what content you want to be shared. For example, on Instagram you can automatically add photos others tag you in or manually add them if you want to review them first.

Look at the help centres of your social media websites. They usually have a lot of options to help keep your account secure. For example, you can enable two-factor authentication. This is an extra verification step that sends a code to your phone in case someone tries to log into your account.

Secure Your Password

It may seem obvious that having a good password is necessary for security but not everyone seems to understand that. More than half of all users reuse their passwords and tend to use popular, well known brands, sports teams and pop culture references as part of their passwords.

Limit the amount of people who have access to your password and make sure that it has a mix of symbols and upper and lower-case letters. If you have more than one account, make every password different. Store your passwords in a safe place so that you can have access to them in case you forget what they are.

Be Careful of Third Party Apps

It can be hard to post content across all your different accounts. Using third party apps like schedulers help connect all your social media accounts onto one dashboard. Although this makes it easier to post content, these third-party apps can act as an additional security risk. When deciding on which ones to use, make sure you do your research on which ones are safe. Read the details on what information you are giving these apps when you connect your social media accounts. Some third-party apps have open authentication which gives them permission to act on behalf users. Pay attention to the security notifications for the apps that you use to make sure you are not vulnerable.

Monitor Your Activity

The best way to prevent a hack from spreading is to stop it as soon as it happens. By keeping an eye on your accounts you will be aware if anything bad happens. It can be hard to constantly monitor every interaction with your followers, but someone should be keeping an overall watch of your social media activity. That way, you can detect hacks as soon as possible and get your account back.