Creating social media safety awareness at work may not be as exciting as developing TikTok engagement strategies, for example. But it’s still a critical function for social teams in organizations of all sizes.
This is because social media threats don’t just affect your brand’s social accounts. If not addressed, security risks can seep into an entire organization. They can even threaten the security of your company and your customers.
To protect your brand while maintaining the trust of your audience, you need to increase social media safety awareness.
In this article, we will examine some common security risks in social media. We also discuss best practices and ways to increase social media safety awareness in the workplace.
What are common security risks in social media?
When you go online, you expose yourself to a range of security risks, from phishing attacks to stolen passwords. Having active social media accounts carries similar risks.
These security risks increase when you’re responsible for managing multiple accounts, training employees, and protecting your brand’s online reputation.
Here are some common cybersecurity risks on social media:
Malware is a type of malware. It infiltrates a server, network, or computer and is intended to cause harm. If malware infiltrates your brand’s social accounts, you risk exposing the entire organization to the virus.
When a hacker pretends to be a reputable business or source to ask for data, information, or money, it’s called “phishing.” Phishing attacks often promise a reward in exchange for personal information or a purchase.
From catfishing to fake profiles, identity theft is another common risk for businesses on social media. Creating a fake profile using your brand name or likeness damages your reputation. It can also put your followers at risk. For example, the fake account might organize a sweepstakes to collect followers’ information.
A data breach is when sensitive data about your company, employees or customers is compromised by an unauthorized source.
Similar to identity theft, there are also fraudulent advertisements on social media. In these scams, accounts make false claims to trick customers into giving them money or information. The TV show ‘Shark Tank’ recently shared a PSA warning its viewers about social media ads from businesses making false claims:
The occurrence of any of the above risks in your company can cause great damage to the brand reputation. Especially if customer data or confidential information is exposed. Your customers’ trust in your brand decreases. It will take a lot of effort and time to regain that trust.
While these risks may intimidate you, don’t let them intimidate your company from being active on social media. You can prevent and reduce these risks. You just need the right protocols, policies and training.
How can you improve social media security awareness for your organization?
The role of social media security doesn’t just fall on the social team. Every member of the organization plays a role in protecting company, employee and customer information.
It is your responsibility to ensure that everyone in your organization is aware of the risks associated with social media. They should also be aware of the protocols to keep the company and sensitive data safe.
Here are a few ways your social team can improve social media safety awareness at work.
1. Create a social media policy
Companies and social teams should encourage their employees to discuss the company on social media. After all, employee advocacy is a great way to expand your social media reach. But you need a good social media policy to ensure everyone stays safe online.
Therefore, creating a social media policy is the first step towards improving social media security awareness. This policy should include guidelines and protocols for employees when using social media.
A social media policy is designed to protect the business and its employees by ensuring that everyone is compliant. Outline what employees can and cannot share on social media. Provide guidelines for people working with the company’s social accounts.
Collaborate with your legal, public relations and IT teams to create a comprehensive social media policy. Compliance should cover all aspects of security, including cyber threats and privacy.
When multiple departments are involved in the creation of your policy, you can be sure to account for every possible risk.
2. Train your employees
The ultimate responsibility for social media safety often falls on the social team. But other employees also play an important role. To some extent, we are all responsible for making sure the company is protected.
Social media safety awareness begins when new employees come to the company. Make sure they are aware of the social media policy and that their following is turned on.
But awareness shouldn’t end there – after all, social media safety education is an ongoing effort.
The social team can hold regular training sessions to keep employees up to date. These sessions should cover the company’s social media guidelines and the latest risks of social media.
Share important platform updates, new or emerging risks, and reminders about your social media policy. Open the communication line during your training session. Make sure people feel comfortable asking questions about social media safety risks.
3. Enable two-factor authentication
Using two-factor authentication to log into online accounts is commonplace at this point. You use two-factor authentication for both personal and professional accounts. This method provides an extra layer of security, so it makes sense to use it for your business’ social media accounts.
Two-factor authentication isn’t just for your company’s social accounts. You can also enable it for any external tool connected to your social accounts.
Encourage employees to use two-factor authentication for their personal accounts. This is especially important if they plan to share anything company related.
4. Use a tool to control access to your accounts
It doesn’t matter how big or small your team is. You still need to be mindful of who is accessing your company’s social media accounts.
For example, let’s say you give someone full admin access to your company’s Facebook Page. The admin role can control who else has access and even block people from accessing the page.
If the person with full administrative access leaves the organization, this can quickly turn into a security issue. Your team’s account may even be locked. If you want to regain access, you need to work with the platform to get things done.
You can avoid security and access issues by using a social media management tool (like Moyens I/O). This prevents people from directly accessing your social media accounts. A tool can create an additional layer of protection between your business and those that help manage accounts.
5. Monitor your social accounts
Social listening is a critical practice that applies to many functions of the social team, including security. When it comes to security, use social listening to monitor suspicious activity. If you want a quick tutorial on social listening, follow the steps in the video below:
Watch out for unusual login attempts, suspicious links in your inbox, or fake accounts. If anything looks out of place or suspicious, flag it and alert the rest of your team. Even if it ends up as a false alarm, it’s better to be safe than risk your data or brand reputation.
Meta for Creators is taking additional measures to help protect your identity through Meta Verified. The subscription includes a verified badge that authenticates your account. Verified also includes additional account monitoring and protection.
Social media safety awareness FAQ
What are the security issues in social media?
Security issues on social media are similar to cybersecurity threats. These include data breaches, malware or phishing, fake accounts, and scam ads.
Why is security important on social media?
Social media security helps protect your business, employees and customers from cyber threats. It’s also important to avoid risks that could damage your brand’s reputation.
How do you ensure security on social media?
There are several best practices to help ensure social media safety for your business. Start with a clear social media policy, two-factor authentication, ongoing employee training, and ongoing monitoring.
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