With these 5 social media marketing security tips you can rest assured that your online presence is top notch and risk-free.
Your social media metrics have seen exponential growth due to your solid strategies. Several of your targeted hashtags have trended on Twitter; your paid campaigns are succeeding, and you’re meeting your engagement goals. Suddenly one evening as you are closing up shop for the day after chatting up an influencer that just mentioned you in their latest podcast, you see that you are receiving many mentions. Yet many people are upset about some of your tweets.
A glance at your Twitter feed shows a series of offensive tweets published on your account in the last hour. In your panic, you start trying to find out what may be happening. Is this a community manager with a score to settle? Perhaps your social media software is posting to your account by mistake? In a few minutes, you conclude that you are the victim of a hacker.
This scenario could happen to you as a marketer as even large brands such as Crayola have had their Facebook page hacked and used to post objectionable material. For a social media marketer, having a compromised social media account is one of the worst things that could happen to you. Nevertheless, maintaining the security of your accounts does not have to be as complex as it seems. You can protect yourself and your accounts in your social media marketing campaigns by following these tips:
#1 Beware of Phishing Scams
A phishing scam is one of the oldest methods hackers use to gain access to your accounts. To perform one, a hacker will impersonate a trusted entity online and send you (and likely thousands of others) an email that tricks you into giving them your password, email, and username. In many instances, such scammers will create a real looking page that they will use to capture your data.
It is critical to be cautious when opening unsolicited links sent to you as a comment, reply or message. Whenever you are required to log into your social media accounts (or any other websites), do not enter your username and password into the given form. Rather open a new tab and manually enter the URL of the trusted website before logging in from there.
#2 Enable Suspicious Activity Alerts
It is always important to monitor activity on your social media accounts to prevent and control any suspicious activity should it occur. One of the best ways of keeping tabs on your social media accounts is through the installation of an intrusion detection system that gives you an alert on your device each time someone logs in. Such an app is critical as it will monitor and detect any unauthorized and suspicious activity on your accounts.
The LogDog app, which you can employ as a personal mobile security system for your social media marketing accounts, might prove useful to your efforts. It will continuously monitor your accounts and scan for any signs of unauthorized access. Any attempt to access your selected accounts will send an alert to your mobile device allowing you to regain control as soon as possible. At present, it is compatible with Dropbox, Yahoo, Evernote, Gmail, and Facebook. Unfortunately, it is only available for Android devices.
#3 Use a Password Manager
As a marketer, you will be juggling several social media accounts at any one time. This makes it hard to keep track of all of your passwords. You may be tempted to save and remember your passwords on your browser or use the same password on multiple accounts. This is detrimental to your security and is not recommended. Should you lose your device or have a single account compromised, hackers could more easily gain access to your other accounts. If your social media accounts are hacked, you could lose your reputation in the industry.
Tools such as 1Password and LastPass are essential since they will make it easier to manage and keep your passwords safe, as your passwords will be stored on an encrypted server. Moreover, these tools make it more convenient to log in to your accounts, as you do not have to log in every time. What I like about LastPass is that it comes with a random password generator that assists you to create secure and strong passwords for every site you create an account for. Both tools are compatible with Android, iOS, Mac OS and Windows as either apps or browser extensions.
#4 Employ Two-Factor Authentication
Even if you were to use unique and strong passwords, avoid phishing scams and use password managers, a determined hacker could still possibly hijack your social media marketing accounts. Luckily, there is one very effective means of ensuring no one could ever get into your accounts: two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication works by requiring a verification code sent to your phone in addition to your password each time you need to log in to your account.
One of the shortcomings of two-factor authentication is that you can only use one mobile phone number per account, which can be a challenge if your marketing strategies require multiple people or devices to manage the accounts. However, with tools such as Sprinkler that link two-factor authentication to an individual user account as opposed to a social media account, multiple people can manage your social media marketing efforts without compromising security.
#5 Use a Virtual Private Network
As a social media marketer, you will constantly be updating your social media accounts on the go. You need to retweet influencers, repost new articles to your feeds and quickly reply to comments. This means that you would sometimes need to login into your accounts through public networks that make your information vulnerable to hackers.
In such a situation, you need to have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that makes it impossible for hackers and identity thieves to gain access to your usernames and passwords. A VPN will encrypt your device’s connection and route it through a secure offsite server. This will ensure that you can perform your essential social media marketing tasks while keeping your social accounts safe. Just make sure you use a VPN that is lauded by the security community.
Social media does not have to put your marketing strategies at risk. Once you have a good appreciation of how to avoid threats online and use the best tools to keep your accounts safe, you should be able to prevent most hacking attacks on your social media accounts and maintain your online integrity.
Are there any other tips that you are using in your social media marketing security that we have omitted? Do you have any thoughts on the tools or strategies mentioned above? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below for the benefit of other readers.
Cassie Phillips is a cybersecurity expert and social media enthusiast who enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. She is a blogger who hopes that this information prevents damage to your digital assets and private information.