Protect your brand’s social media, or get locked up like the King.
Did a Burger King employee shoot up heroin before making your Whopper? Probably not. But thanks to hackers, 180,000 of the fast-food joint’s Twitter followers weren’t so sure after the company served up a fury of profane tweets, and changed the account name and logo to McDonald’s.
Burger King isn’t the first company slain by hackers, and it certainly won’t be the last. The Associated Press, Jeep and dozens of smaller ones have also discovered the perils of lackluster security. Worse, your brand could be next.
Here are some ways to protect your brand and avoid the embarrassment:
Make Your Passwords Hard to Crack
A minimum of eight characters with a mix of letters (upper and lower case), symbols and numbers. And don’t use words or phrases related to your brand, like BK_socialmedia_1. (Note: That’s probably not the password BK used.) Here’s how hackers crack passwords.
Don’t Use the Same Password for Multiple Platforms
It should go without saying, but hackers don’t just want access to your Twitter account, they want the whole package. From Facebook, to internal servers, and even corporate bank accounts. If hackers manage to access one of your platforms, it’s easier to regain control of a single platform, instead of a bunch at once.
The Fewer People with Access, the Better
It only takes one rogue employee to make your social media empire crumble. Only give access to those who absolutely need it, and make sure guidelines are given to any key holder. And if you have to let someone go, make sure to change passwords.
Think You’re Compromised? Change Your Password.
For most social media platforms, it’s not necessary to create a new password every other week. We recommend every few months to be safe. But if you notice signs, like phantom tweets, change the password ASAP and notify the team.
Use a Password Manager to Store Your Login Information
With more platforms sprouting up everyday that require unique logins, it’s not realistic to remember a slew of passwords – especially if they’re tough to crack. With a password manager like KeePass (it’s free), you can securely store login information for different platforms and not risk forgetting it. Check out this list of password managers from LifeHacker.
Don’t Click Suspicious Links. Ever.
Most hackers don’t “brute force” their way into accounts. They use stealth methods, like phishing emails or tweets, that bait you into giving up your account information.
For example, if you spot an email from Facebook that asks for your login credentials, trash it. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want to verify your account. Hackers are trying to steal it. No reputable company will EVER ask for your username or password in an email or message.
And if someone randomly sends a vague tweet like “Hey, check this out,” don’t click the link. There’s a good chance that if you click it, you’ll unintentionally install malware or harmful viruses on your computer.
The best rule? Don’t click any links you’re wary of, or don’t expect. For added security, install a link scanner like AVG that tells you if it’s safe to click.
Still Reading? It’s Time to Lock Down Your Social Media Accounts.
Learn more about Ideopia’s social media start-up programs.
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