Safer Internet Day: Social Media for Brands

Image: Flickr, mkhmarketing

Safer Internet Day is a yearly initiative to educate and encourage safer use of technology around the world. It's important to protect yourself online and as a social media manager, your brand as well. 

Here are some ways to protect your brand's social media accounts:

-Make passwords long and strong. Too many brands use easy passwords to make it easy for their team to remember it, but also makes it easy for hackers to guess. Trend Micro has great tips for creating strong passwords in this blog post.

-Enable two factor authentication. If a social media platform your brand uses offers this, use it. It's an easy way to know when an attempt to access your account is tried, and verify with your team that it's an approved attempt. 

-Restrict access. You'll likely receive several requests from different teams and colleagues for access to your accounts for different reasons. However, the more individuals have access, the harder it is to ensure only those who still need (and should) have access are in fact, the only ones that do at all times. After all, teams change, individuals move on and social media account access updates are often not top of mind. Restrict access to only those that absolutely need it and for how long they need it, using alternative solutions for the others, such as executing content on their behalf on your social channels.

-Utilize a third-party social media tool. Preferably, one that records all admin activity via audit trails for compliance and is equipped to handle all your brand's social media needs. If all activity is moved onto a platform like this, any admin native activity on your channels will be an immediate red flag that something is wrong and can be acted upon quickly. A colleague of mine worked with a brand who was able to take down a post 4 minutes after a hacker published it through their account and then moved quickly to take control back without further damage done, all by utilizing this strategy.

-Don't log on through public Wi-Fi. Often, social media managers will execute live social media at conferences and events, and it's easy to use the Wi-Fi provided. Avoid this since any data transmitted through that Wi-Fi can easily be taken, including sensitive information such as logins to your brand's accounts. 

Finally, it's important to also protect your audience as well. For example, when I worked with the Exchange whose audience consisted of several deployed soldiers and airmen, we never ran social media campaigns that involved them having to "check in" to any location. This was to prevent them from disclosing their confidential location publicly. Fortune just published a piece that depicts just how important it is for brands to remember their audience's safety online.

What are other ways you protect your social media brand online? Please share in the comments below!