If you’re like most business owners, you’ve probably decided to embark on the inbound marketing journey and open a social media page. Unlike a traditional website, social media platforms have more security parameters in place, but these parameters aren’t always enough to keep potential cyber criminals at bay. So, what would happen to your business if one of these criminals happened upon your account?
Your Reputation Could Be Ruined
One of the worst things that can happen to any business is for its brand to be compromised. Brand reputation is an important part of attracting new customers and creating a prominent presence on the web. For this reason, many brands open social media accounts to improve their brand visibility. Unfortunately, social media accounts are only as secure as the company using them, so in many cases, the account can be hacked. If a personal social media account is compromised, the most and average user would have to worry about is their photos and personal messages being read or you used without their permission. However, when it comes to a business, there is a lot more stake.
If a relatively large company is hacked, consumers may respond to this by refusing to purchase from the business and telling others to do the same. We’ve all seen the media circus around the Target hack and unfortunately all of this bad publicity has caused the company to lose a significant amount of revenue. The same thing can happen to a business of any size whether it’s a corporation or a small business.
It’s not just random cyber criminals who are after this data anymore, some competing businesses are hiring people to hack social media accounts in order to send unsavory messages from the account. They may also steal contact details or personal information to create their own database. What results is a loss in sales for the company that was hacked and a reputation that isn’t conducive to growth.
Your Customer Data Will Be Up For Grabs
The next major disadvantage of having your business social media page hacked is the irretrievable loss of data. Hackers are usually after one thing: finding as much information as they can from the company or its customers in order to illegally utilize sensitive data. Unfortunately as we’ve seen in multiple hacks this year, businesses are still storing personal information, such as card numbers without proper protection, making it easier for hackers to retrieve and delete it. Unfortunately, in most cases the hacker is not found and the company who was breached is responsible for the loss of this data (and of the improper use of any of it). This could result in multiple lawsuits and a definite loss in sales.
To keep your social media accounts safe, there a few steps you can take that are very simple and not time consuming at all.
Process Payments Through a Secured Website
The first is to make sure all transactions are done through a secured web page and not through your social media accounts. Sometimes small businesses take card information and other details through their social media accounts to process orders. If you do this, you may violate the PCI DSS requirements as well as put your customers at risk for cyber theft.
Restrict Data Access
The second thing you can do is to only give a few key individuals access to your social media accounts. This ensures that only people with prior clearance will be able to log into, make edits to or delete information from any of your business social media pages.
Secure Your Access
Lastly, log into your social media accounts from a secured device and through a secured Internet connection. Unsecured connections are easily hacked into. Also, sign out of your accounts each and every time you exit the browser. This minimizes the risk of unauthorized individuals accessing the account.
By following the above advice, you can adequately secure your social media accounts and avoid the adverse effects of a breach.