Many small businesses have turned to social media to build brand awareness and reach new audiences. In today's world, digital marketing has become essential for every business, large or small, and it has proven to be very rewarding. However, with reward comes risk. Be sure your small business is taking proper precautions to stay safe and secure while utilizing social media (Tweet This!).
Create a Social Media Policy
- Set standards for who can use social media at work and how often
- Include information on how employees can use personal devices on company networks
- Detail what company information is confidential and should not be shared
- Routinely check to ensure policies are being followed
- Train employees on social media policy and best practices surrounding social media
- Many cyber-attacks are due to employees accidentally bringing malware into a corporate network. Educate employees on how to recognize phishing schemes, scams and viruses
Create Secure Passwords
- Make sure company passwords are changed regularly (about every two months)
- Passwords should be complex -- include both upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers and special characters
- Only share the passwords with trusted individuals
- Don't use the same password across multiple accounts
- Depending on your company's policy, you may choose to limit access to social networks to those who need to use it for business purposes
- URL filtering is also beneficial if an employee unknowingly clicks on a social media link that leads to a compromised website or inappropriate content
Make sure your Antivirus Software is Up to Date
- Up-to-date antivirus software is essential to protect your business from the latest social networking threats
- If an employee does bring malware from a social network into the corporate network, antivirus software can protect your company
- Social networks are often accessed from mobile devices
- Ensure employees have a password on their mobile devices
- Have a plan in place for when an employee's phone is lost or stolen
Be Prepared for a Crisis
- Chances are your company will experience some type of social media crisis, whether it is a hacked social media account, disgruntled employee or a virus
- Implement a detailed social media crisis communication plan and train employees, so that they can react in real time when a crisis occurs (Tweet This!).
The bottom line is that small businesses are at risk for cyber-attacks and loss of company information when they use social media. These cyber threats can be mitigated by following the simple steps listed above to ensure safety and security. Happy tweeting!
Written by: JD Sherry is Vice President of Technology and Solutions for Trend Micro. He is responsible for providing guidance and awareness regarding Trend Micro's entire security portfolio aimed at protecting both commercial and government cloud ecosystems.