It’s been the week of Twitter hacks–Burger King’s Twitter account hacked on Monday, then Jeep’s on Tuesday.
You might be thinking you’ll be next.
Why would you want to put your business out there on social media to be embarrassed by hackers? Obviously, you don’t (although Burger King did pick up thousands of curious new followers during the ordeal this week).
This is one place where you don’t want to be next
You won’t be next, and here’s how I know that: you are creating seriously secure passwords.
You are, right?
OK, if you aren’t, you will. I know you will. And don’t forget to change those secure passwords regularly. Your password should be a secure mix of numbers, letters (lower and uppercase) and symbols. A few tips for creating passwords:
- Longer is better. Think 8-characters or more when developing passwords.
- Throw in your capital letters where least expected (they don’t always need to be at the beginning).
- Don’t use the same password for all accounts; change them up.
- Instead of family names (just steer clear of names in general) or generic number codes (1234) try to get more specific–places you’ve traveled, a specific car model or a favorite restaurant dish.
- Turn numbers into letters and vice versa so words can look like they sound but have a mix of characters (ie: myg0k@rt) where the “o” is a zero and the “a” at the @ symbol.
Protect all sources
If you regularly make updates on your social media accounts from a mobile device, do you have password protection on your phone? Not that you would, but you could lose that phone, or an unhappy employee could swipe it off your desk while you’re in the bathroom.
I’m not trying to scare you. I’m trying to show you that you are in control of your social media, and you can stay that way.
Limiting access of your social media accounts to trusted admins only will help protect them as well. Develop a process that ensures not just anyone at your organization has access to post on social media channels. Maybe you’re using a content calendar where posts are authored and passed on, approved and scheduled by you only (but certainly you aren’t just letting that employee you just laid off continue to have access to your Twitter account, right?)
HMV learned the hard way. Understand the social media security gap and what you might be lacking as far as quality control and security measures that should be set in place within your own organizations.
Be sure to shut down access as soon as need; when people who have access to your social media accounts leave the company be sure to revoke their access and/or change your passwords immediately (or, if they are being let go and you know ahead of time, get proactive and revoke their access as close to “breaking the news” as possible).
I won’t mention any names, but the last time I logged into my Hootsuite account, I had access to more than one company’s social media streams that I no longer work for. I trust me. You can trust me. But just to be safe, yeah, go ahead and take old admins off accounts. Do it right away when they leave, don’t forget.
You know what to do
Will this protect you 100% against ambitious hackers? No, nothing is guaranteed. But, if you are hacked, you’ll know right away because you are monitoring your account. So, if Twitter is hacked or if Facebook is hacked, you can shut it down, get it back under your control, quickly. It happens to the best of them: Burger King, Jeep.
Just remember, if you do get hacked, handle it with grace, and you’ll be fine. Understand the risks and set your accounts up accordingly. Set your own standards for quality control and you can beat potential hackers to the punch.