I understand that using social media for business is a controversial subject, but there is no denying that this very popular area of the internet is riddled with cyber-crime. Hackers targeting individuals and companies alike get a lot of information from the various social media platforms. A favorite ploy of criminals is to befriend a person in social media, even connecting to the target’s friends to build trust.
Companies are not immune. What their employees do on social media matters because information about a company’s systems can be gleamed through insidious online relationships.
If you think that the various social media outlets have got your back — you’re wrong. Facebook’s own SEC Form 10 filing projects close to 100 million accounts as false or bogus. Twitter also has its problems with bogus accounts.
Using social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, gives criminals the opportunity to set up fake profiles and masquerade as representatives of legitimate companies in order to infiltrate target businesses, tricking employees into giving them information they can use in social engineering attacks, etc.
Education is the key to protecting your business, yourself, and your employees from social media hackers. Make sure, at the very least:
- Strong passwords are used to access company systems and that your systems force users to change their passwords at set intervals.
- Make sure that employees know to never divulge passwords to anyone contacting them through phone, email, or social media.
- Educate your employees so they know what information about the company to NEVER divulge in any social interaction whether online or offline.
- Post a notification process for employees to report suspected hacking activity to management.
- Create a company-wide “Data Breach” policy that establishes a defined Core Management Team to deal with the crisis and lists the steps that need to be taken — and by whom — to report and mitigate the threat.
The threats posed by social media to businesses of all sizes are very real. Take it seriously, but more importantly, take action.
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