Effectively Handling Social Media Risk

Social media is, in a way, a double-edged
sword for businesses. It promises the ability to reach out to more customers
and make waves that can easily change your market share. With retweets and
Facebook shares, a simple brand message can make it halfway across the world
before you can even snap your fingers.

On the flip side, it comes with the risk of
cyber-crimes and reputational damage. Without enough care on how you handle
your social media platforms, it can be pretty easy for threat actors as well as
your own workforce to sabotage your brand image. As long as you leave the
negative aspects of social media to chance, there is no telling the amount of
damage that can occur. With a social media risk management plan in place, this
can be an issue of the past.

Here are the risks social media poses and how
to deal with it:

Why Social Media Is Risky

In case a cyber-criminal gains access to your
social media accounts, they can easily share misleading messages that can harm
your reputation as a brand. Even worse, this spreads past your social media
profiles. Some corporate applications allow employees to use their social media
information to log into them, such as the “login using Facebook” option. In
case a hacker manages to access the social media login details of an employee,
the chances are that they might wreak havoc throughout your organization.

Also, criminals can use social media as a
phishing tool. Not only can they target your employees, but they can also
target customers and other stakeholders while working under your façade.
Lastly, the activities of your workforce on social media can easily bite you in
the back. Since brand image and employee reputation are almost synonymous, if
an employee chooses to post unsuitable comments, they can ruin your reputation.
However, all these issues can be fixed through a great risk management plan.

Educate Employees on the Risks

Your business’ security posture is only as
strong as your weakest link. This means that having state-of-the-art security
tools will be ineffective as long as employees do not understand the dos and
don’ts. For instance, an employee who has substantial access into your
corporate networks can easily fall prey of phishing attacks, leaving your
organization in a bad situation.

Take some time to create social media policies
and train employees on the necessities. This can include how to carry
themselves on social media as members of your workforce, how to avoid phishing
scams as well as how to manage their passwords. The training courses ought to
be quite engaging to ensure that everyone understands the expectations.

Leverage the Right Technology

Lucky for you, technology can always come to
the rescue when trying to mitigate malware attacks as well as spam. For
instance, installing firewalls throughout your corporate networks will limit
the chances of malware finding its way into your corporate networks through
social media. On the other hand, using VPNs to access social media accounts, as
well as other corporate accounts, limits the chances of a hacker eavesdropping
on your network packets.

A great solution for your overall social media
risk management would be a social media management tool. Other than keeping
threat actors away from your corporate systems, a secure tool will record data,
track it, and archive it for compliance purposes. If you are looking to
streamline your social media campaigns and improve their success rates, such
tools can be a game-changer.

Monitor Your Social Platforms

Even though an employee might post something
damaging, responding in the right and quickest way possible will reduce the
chances of the issue wreaking havoc. To be safe, have someone monitoring the
online activities of both employees as well as your business’ accounts. In case
you notice anything that might raise concerns, be quick enough in responding to
it.

For instance, you can explain to your
customers any messages or posts that might seem amiss. This also applies to
complaints and negative reviews by customers or anyone you interact with on
social media. As for things that your employees post on their personal accounts,
be sure to warn them against their effects on your brand’s image. Remember,
your image is tied to your employees’, especially c-suite executives, who are
often seen as the face of your firm.

Limit Social Media Access

Social media threats are more likely to be
launched by people within your workforce than hackers. It all
trickles down to who you give access to your social media sites. Assess your
entire workforce and decide on the best people to offer access to your social
media accounts. They will be in charge of posting as well as responding to
people on the platforms.

In case you are worried about having to change
the passwords of your social media accounts if you fire one of these employees,
working with an intuitive social media management tool can help you with this.
Each employee who has been allowed to access your accounts can open an account
on the tool that gives them direct access to your social accounts. Once they
leave, you will only have to delete their accounts on the tool instead of
changing your entire social media accounts’ passwords.

As long as you can mitigate the risks of
social media, your business can thrive in the opportunities it presents. It all
starts with understanding the risks it poses and looking for the necessary
solutions. Consider the tips above to improve the security of your business
when using social media.

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