Protecting Our Social Media Accounts Against Hacks and Attacks
Social media is an integral part of building a small business. Almost 50% of the global population are using some form of social media with a staggering 145 minutes on average per person per day being spent social scrolling. This can be a great tool for marketing our businesses and is important for growth and for online sales, however with great potential comes great risk.
Unfortunately several traders have recently fallen victim to scammers targeting their business accounts, this can be devasting for small businesses so here are some tips and tricks to prevent hacks and attacks on your accounts.
- PASSWORDS. Set strong and unique passwords. This may sound simple but so many people still use easily guessable passwords, scammers are experts in guessing them, so be aware. A password is your first line of defence, pick one that has at least eight characters, preferably 12; contain a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, symbols and numbers, and are unique to each account (avoid the temptation of using multiple passwords across accounts). Don’t share passwords with anyone else and change your passwords frequently.
- MULTI STEP AUTHENTICATION. This is easy to set up and if you haven’t already, go and do it now. A hacker can have your password, name, email, secret question answer but still cannot access your account without your fingerprint, face, phone, or whichever factor you choose as your multi step. This is a great way to defend against hackers accessing your account.
- PERMISSIONS. Log into your accounts and see if anyone else has access, check associated email addresses and phone numbers. If you don’t recognise any of the information, then remove it immediately. Check which apps you are using via your Facebook, when you use your social media account to log in to another site or app, you often end up sharing a lot of information. If there are any apps that you no longer use or you do not recognise, revoke permissions. Most of these can be easily viewed via settings and manage access.
- ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE. Antivirus software such as McAfee or Norton stops malware before it downloads to your system or device. You can run virus scanners regularly and remove any malicious software that may be stealing your personal and business information. It can help protect your email, social media accounts and bank account.
- PHISHING. Look out for scams and phishing techniques from scammers. Check, double check and check again before responding to any messages that you do not recognise. Stop and review the message/email first. Look for things like spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes and email addresses not matching the names on emails. A current scammer technique which has proved popular when targeting traders is to email or message from a fellow traders account and request for help with something, sharing details, a post, a link or voting for them in a competition. If you are unsure come off the platform and contact them via a separately via email, text or a different social media platform before responding.
- SHARING. Sharing tips and information is vital to keep each other safe. If you have fallen victim to a scam or your business has been targeted, share this information with your fellow stall holders. Being alert to potential scams and techniques being used by hackers is key to keeping your accounts safe.
I hope that this has given you all some ideas on how increase the security of your social media accounts and help to keep them safe and secure. Please feel free to add any tips, information, or experiences in the comments below.