How to Protect Your Brand on Social Media
Your company’s brand is your most valuable asset; it is the face and personality of your organization. To show off your brand, or personality, you need to interact with your audience. Social media is a great way to get to know your customers better, engage with them, and teach them more about who you are as a company. However, you must also work to protect your brand on social media. There are three truths to the threats on social media: social media is everywhere, hacking is easy and there is limited visibility as to who is behind the attack. We have put together a list of the common types of social media security attacks, how to mitigate them and how to prevent them from happening:
A study at the University of Phoenix found that nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults with social media accounts say they have been hijacked. Social media has become one of the most dangerous attack services because it can be used for major data breaches that cause a drop in stock price, number of customers and engagement. To avoid account hijacking, you should enable two-factor verification on your social media accounts. Two-factor verification asks you to provide your password and then additional information to verify that it is truly you, such as a password code sent to your phone or email, or a series of personal questions.
On Twitter, there are 319 million monthly active users; within those active users, about 48 million accounts are bots. Why do so many of these fake accounts exist? These fraudulent accounts can jump into a social media conversation and respond to your customers’ question or request providing the customer with false information. As a brand, it can be difficult to have these accounts taken down, but to prove that your account is the real one, you should obtain a verified account status and monitor for spoofed and impersonated accounts that may be responding to your clients.
Social Phishing and Malware
Tied to fraudulent accounts are both phishing and malware. Fake accounts can look very similar to real business accounts and with that, they may share links leading to phishing pages that can steal personal information. To prevent your followers from falling victim to these attacks, make sure to train employees on social media hygiene. Your employees that are responsible for social media should be aware of all mentions of your company on social media, protect your social media passwords and be aware of which information can be shared with the public, and which should be kept private. This way, you have multiple eyes monitoring conversations and accounts increasing the changes that your company is the first to respond to your followers, not someone pretending to be you.
On the black market, spammers are paying $300-$400 for 1,000 fake Facebook accounts. This price has increased since Facebook’s crackdown on 30,000 fraudulent social media accounts earlier this year. Retailers can lose revenue from these attacks as fraudulent accounts post fake coupons that cause customers to attack you and your brand. Therefore, it is essential that you develop a strategy for how to handle these types of attacks on social media and incorporate a plan for how you will deal with these issues and how you will detect these threats.
Considering the frequency of social media account attacks, you should remember three pillars of protection: visibility, automation and remediation. While having a presence on social media can bring potential threats to your customers, not having a social media presence leaves your brand’s reputation at risk as well. If you do not have a social media presence, you will not know about these fraudulent accounts that are communicating with your customers, send them phishing links and ruining your brand’s reputation. Having a social media presence is essential, to build and protect your brand. If you do not currently have a social media presence, or you are looking for a dedicated team to monitor your reputation on social media, contact us to schedule a consultation.