In an ever-evolving digital world where all devices are connected, there is an imperative need of maintaining strong security – And with good reason.
As of 2019, there were approximately 3.4 billion active social media users. That number is expected to increase at least 10% each year, so we can only expect that the number of hackers and malicious software will also increase.
Social media is a powerful tool. With all the information and tools available these platforms can be a magnificent instrument, whether for business purposes or for a bit of personal entertainment after a day of work.
On the downside, social platforms can give a lot of information about you and your contacts. For this reason, cyber-criminals are trying harder every day to figure out ways to steal your information. If you are not careful enough and put some cyber-security into practice you could even become a victim of identity theft.
At this point, you might be thinking to yourself:
“How do I protect myself from a cyber attack?”
First, you need to understand how attacks occur.
Malware & Viruses
Navigating on shady sites. Clicking on unsafe links. Installing unknown programs or apps. All of this can lead to a serious problem. In fact, even links found on social media platforms could propose a risk of infection. This occurs because hackers go where the numbers are.
Since there’s an incredible amount of social media users, there are also myriads of opportunities for these cyber-criminals. Social media managers are more the most exposed individuals, putting, at the same time, companies at risk.
Phishing & Social Engineering
Just like with those pesky emails that you might have received from an unknown address asking for your credentials so you can claim a price, but in the social media context. The thing here is that social media shares much more information by default.
We all know that passwords and other sensitive information should not be sent via email, let alone to an unknown address. But what do you do when you or an employee receive an email from “Facebook” asking to re-enter your address and password so you can prevent your account from being locked? Or maybe “Twitter” keeps sending you a password reset link.
Spear-Phishing cyber attack
Now, this one is more straightforward than normal phishing. Due to the amount of information available, hackers can impersonate your family members, friends and other users that you might be familiar with.
The problem with spear-phishing is that it works extremely well because most people don’t suspect anything. After all, it almost looks as if someone you know just sent you a link.
Now, depending on the circumstances you might think this is not very common anymore. After all, hackers and social engineers must be working from a dark basement thousands of miles away from you. Right?
No. It is certainly not the most common method nowadays, but many accounts are still hacked this way. Leaving your phone or your computer unlocked proposes a security risk for you and your company, allowing people to get access to your social media or other information.
As Powerful as it is, social media cyber-security must be taken seriously to protect individuals and companies as well. Since the most affected groups are small business owners and their employees, security measures should always be taken.
There platforms are an outstanding tool, but not following simple guidelines can have catastrophic results. With the help of readily available cyber-security solutions, you can rest assured that the risk of a social media vulnerability will be dramatically reduced.
For every problem, there is a solution, and this is no exception. A good cyber security strategy for social media should include steps for every possible scenario, from general steps to other more specific. Such strategies must be worked from the bottom-up.
Understanding how breaches occur is the simplest step to avoid it. To identify social engineering and other threats is a big step towards a secure system. In fact, it is the first step.
Properly handling and storing information of any kind regarding you or your business. This also includes monitoring the information that is going to be shared via the internet or a social media platform.
Good practices on Social Media
Facebook, Twitter or Reddit Cybersecurity. Call it whatever you want, but hackers are focused on online customer service and social media manager accounts for a reason. An extra effort must be made to ensure that managers and anyone with access to the account understand how to avoid malware or falling victim to social engineering.
Although one tends to choose passwords that are easy to remember, this is detrimental. Something that should not be done, especially in business accounts and managing accounts. Use different passwords for each and every account and change it often.
When proper, use two-steps verification as well. This is an extremely secure way to prevent anyone else from gaining access to the account.
Physical security & Hardware
Limit and monitor access to physical devices. Especially the ones that might be easier to access your social media platforms from. This is not to say that it’s going to be an inside job. But better safe than sorry.
Updates and Software Patches
Making sure that your device or devices are always up-to-date is one of the most effective ways to maintain strong protection against an attack. This is extremely important because updates exist to address emerging issues and vulnerabilities – Besides, updates are practically automatic.
Cyber Security Protection System
Employ technology to protect your accounts. As the number of threats increases so does the efforts to prevent them. Firewalls and Antiviruses will do a great job when the best practices and human elements fail.
These solutions offer multilayered protection that includes, internet surfing, network, email, etc… Basically they do a great job at stopping malware, viruses, malicious URLs and other threats from stealing your information.
In short, when you develop a cybersecurity strategy, your goals must be clear. Whether the task falls to a specific individual or an entire department, without clear goals and a strong plan you might as well not even try it.