How do I stop my social media account from being hacked?
Doctor Digital Says
If you have a presence on any social media platform, you need to ensure that your business accounts remain secure. A security breach could have disastrous consequences ranging from financial to reputational loss. It's estimated that 20% of social accounts will be hacked at some point, and that is a conservative estimate given how underreported the phenomenon is.
Hackers often take control of company social accounts in order to distribute malware that steals sensitive information linked to those accounts, including passwords, social security numbers, mobile phone numbers, emails, and more. Once they get that information, cybercriminals use it for multiple purposes such as intellectual property theft, blackmailing, stealing money and selling data.
Cybercriminals can also squat on your brand, creating fake accounts that drive traffic to misleading web pages in order to sell knock-off products or steal sensitive information. This can cause severe branding and reputational damage to a business and worse can be happening without you even realising.
Keeping your business social media accounts secure is essential to protecting your brand's reputation and your customers' trust. Here are some steps you can take to keep your accounts safe:
- Use Strong Passwords: Create strong and unique passwords for each social media account, and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security for your social media accounts. It requires you to enter a code sent to your phone or email to access your account, in addition to your password.
- Limit Access: Only grant access to your social media accounts to trusted employees. Remove access when an employee leaves your company or their role changes.
- Monitor Your Accounts: Regularly check your social media accounts for any unusual activity or unauthorized changes.
- Keep Your Software Up-to-Date: Make sure you're running the latest version of the social media platform's software and any associated plugins or apps.
- Educate Your Employees: Train your employees on best practices for social media security, including how to spot phishing attempts and how to create strong passwords.
- Use a Social Media Management Tool: Consider using a social media management tool to manage your accounts. These tools often provide additional security features and can help you monitor your accounts more effectively.
What to do if your business social account is compromised
How you regain control over a compromised social media account will vary depending on the platform. Most have well-established procedures that you’ll need to go through and which you’ll find on their website. Contact the social media platform immediately, notifying them of the incident and providing any proof they may need to verify you as the legitimate owner of the account. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner you can shut down any unlawful activity on your account. Unfortunately, the timeliness of response is not always noted with many of the bigger platforms, so keep vigilant with contact until you get some support. Once you have regained control of your account, your first step should be to change your password, making sure to choose a strong, random one. As for all devices and platforms, it’s a good idea to enable multi-factor authentication if the platform supports it. This means secondary authentication is required before access is granted to the account. You can then undertake these follow up steps:
Review all apps - Ideally, remove all third-party apps until the security of your account is confirmed, and you know how the compromise took place.
Check all settings - Review all settings on your social media account individually to ensure no changes occurred while the account was out of your hands.
Check recent activity - Review all recent activity to see what might have been posted while the account was compromised.
Carry out complete device scans - Run a comprehensive scan on all your devices to see if any malware or virus may have been the culprit.
Lodge a report - Report the incident via the ReportCyber page on the Australian Government's Australian Cyber Security Centre website.
The most crucial element of social media security for business is keeping in mind the responsibility you have to your customers. The nature of social media means that users get connected in many ways. While that’s an advantage for business, it also means you need to ensure users can access your page safely. By following these steps, you can help keep your business social media accounts secure and protect your brand's reputation.
Need to get your cybersecurity for socials sorted?. Why not start with our Digital Ready Fundamentals course, designed to give you all you need to get on track in a quick, easy, actionable video format. Then go deep with some one on one Digital Ready coaching experiences and you will be safe and sound across all your business arenas.