The dangers that social media pose to businesses
The use of social media has rapidly grown in significance, both in and outside of the workplace. The vast majority of individuals utilise social media on a daily basis to interact with friends, exchange images and status updates, and keep up with the most recent news and trends. In a similar vein, many companies depend on social media to help drive revenue and develop brand recognition by drawing in consumers as well as potential workers. This attracts both customers and people who are interested in working for the company.
The significance of social media is not without its associated difficulties. Cybercriminals harness the power of social media to launch cyberattacks and scams with the goal of tarnishing your image or gaining access to sensitive information about you and your organisation. According to recent findings, one out of every five businesses may already be compromised with malware that was spread over a social networking site. This is due, in part, to the fact that users of social media are more receptive to being suddenly contacted by new individuals. This is because of the nature of social media. In addition, the ease with which one may connect and exchange information with other users makes it an ideal location for the propagation of viruses and spam.
This article discusses the dangers that social networking platforms pose for businesses, as well as the preventative measures that may be taken to ensure that employees remain secure while working online.
1. Common scams on Facebook
Facebook is by far the most popular social networking application in the world, with over 2.6 billion monthly active users. Additionally, it poses the greatest danger to the safety of businesses and is the primary target of the most aggressive spam assaults. These attacks frequently take control of a person’s Facebook page and publish unsolicited adverts or content that is explicit and distressing with the intention of shocking the user.
Other assaults try to persuade Facebook users to click on a link that leads to a malicious website. Scammers will then be able to repost the unwanted information on your Facebook timeline, which will create a snowball effect of spam that is bothersome and potentially insulting. Your company’s reputation might suffer if hacked employee Facebook profiles are found to be connected to your company in any way.
2. Popular Twitter scams
Twitter users should likewise be aware of such cons. Scammers will create false accounts that will follow individuals at random. If you choose to follow their account, they will very certainly send you an interesting direct message with a link that, if you click it, will give them permission to post using your account.
These hoaxes have the potential to become a serious security risk for enterprises. Scammers may easily manipulate you into visiting harmful websites or downloading malicious material, either of which can allow the scammer to take control of your computer. The repercussions may be significant if something like this were to take place in the workplace.
3. Violations of regulatory compliance
There is always the potential for your workers to disclose sensitive information if they are in charge of maintaining and administering your social media accounts on behalf of your company.
If you communicate sensitive material, you run the risk of breaking a number of laws and compliance requirements, including those pertaining to the infringement of trademarks and copyrights, breaches of data security, and violations of individuals’ privacy rights. Because of this, you run the risk of receiving significant fines from the relevant authorities, in addition to experiencing a detrimental impact on your brand and image.
4. Harm to your standing in the community
Social media platforms allow for the rapid dissemination of the thoughts of consumers. Therefore, you need to make sure that unfavourable reviews and comments on social media channels are managed according to a crisis management strategy, and you also need to make sure that social media channels are routinely checked. In a similar vein, employees can inadvertently communicate anything improper that might be traced back to your company. Anything from establishing service standards that are unreasonable to sending signals that are rogue or unethical may have a significant influence on your company and its reputation, and this is especially true if the messages come directly from your staff.
5. Applications from a third party
If your social media accounts are linked to susceptible third-party applications, such apps might operate as “back doors” into your accounts, giving cyber thieves access to your information and allowing them to disseminate inappropriate comments through your social media channels. Scams perpetrated by third-party applications can target businesses of any size; for instance, in February 2020, the Twitter account belonging to FC Barcelona was compromised using this method.
6. Cell phones that aren’t properly protected
There is a good chance that many of your workers will have social networking applications installed on their mobile devices, and some of those applications will be hooked into company accounts. If it is stolen, cybercriminals might acquire access to your social media accounts and put inappropriate or dangerous stuff on them. They could also share phishing and malware schemes with the connections you have.
How to protect your company from the dangers posed by social media
The practice of just blocking access to social media is no longer appropriate for the modern workplace, particularly given that certain workers may require access to social media platforms in order to fulfil their marketing responsibilities. Instead, we have included below a list of our advice for minimising the hazards associated with social networking.
Be certain that you have a strict cyber security policy in place, along with the essential procedures, to safeguard your data as well as your personnel from any cyber attacks. As a result, if you do find yourself exposed to dangers via social media, you will have the essential safeguards in place to protect yourself from such dangers. Your business’s IT partner will be able to provide you with more guidance and recommendations on the best cyber security solutions for your company.
In order to educate your workers on the possible dangers to which they might be exposed in both their personal and professional life as a result of using social media apps, you should require them to participate in some form of cyber security awareness training.
Participation in company-specific social media training should be mandatory for key workers (such those in the marketing department, for example). Provide them with an outline of what they may and cannot publish online from their company accounts, and make sure they understand what is expected of them.
Make sure that any third-party applications you use are both certified and reputable, and that they are official partners of the social media networks that you are utilising.
Face recognition, fingerprint authentication, or a password should be used to secure all of your workers’ mobile devices, whether they are used for business or for personal reasons. In addition, it is strongly recommended that managed device encryption be used on all work-related phones and other devices. This ensures that the data may be encrypted in such a way that it is incomprehensible to any individuals who are not authorised to access it, should any devices fall into the wrong hands.
We hope that you found this article to be helpful, and that you are able to put the advice given above to use in your company to reduce the hazards associated with social networking.
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