Organizations invest immense resources into social media, which is quickly becoming the primary communication method for both individuals and businesses. But intertwined in the snaps, pins and tweets are a multitude of information security and business risks, spanning targeted phishing, social engineering, account takeover, piracy, fraud and more.
760,000 social media accounts and pages are hacked every day.
An organization’s publicly facing accounts are the ultimate prize for an attacker. Attackers leverage an organization’s real account to flood followers with spam and offensive content, disseminate malicious links to customers and employees, or even influence stock prices. Account takeovers have huge impacts on brand reputation, customer engagement, trust and, ultimately, an organization’s ability to grow revenue.
Tips for Security in the Social Media Realm:
One of the easiest things you can do is to not use the same password for your social media that you would use for things like PayTM, banking sites, email access and other important websites. Password security on social media is more important that you think. Research shows that 10% of people used the same password for their social media accounts and a banking system.
Let’s face facts: it’s easy to forget passwords. People often use simple words, such as a pet’s name, or easy-to-remember dates such as a wedding anniversary. A hacker could try your name, children’s names, birthdates and pets’ names as passwords to get access to your computer. When they get lucky, your ID, privacy and financial security are all up for grabs.
- Create strong passwords by not using personal information, including any words related to your name or names of family members or pets in your passwords. Also, don’t include easily recognizable numbers like your address, phone number or birthday.
- Do not use real words. Password cracking tools are very effective at helping attackers guess your password. These programs can process every word in the dictionary, plus letter and number combinations until a match is found. Steer clear of using “real” words from the dictionary or proper nouns or names. Use mixed characters. By combining uppercase letters with lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters such as “&” or “$” you increase the complexity of your password and decrease the chances of someone hacking into your system.
- Create longer passwords. It is generally recommended that passwords be at least eight characters in length. Probability dictates that longer passwords are harder to crack.
- Modify easy-to-remember phrases. One tip is to think up a pass-phrase, like a line from a song, and then use the first letter from each word, substituting numbers for some of the letters. For example: “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” could become “10oBb0tW”.
- Use a password management tool. One way to store and remember passwords securely is to use a tool that stores your list of usernames and passwords in encrypted form.
- Use different passwords on different accounts. Don’t use the same password on more than one account. If a hacker discovers it, then all of the information protected by that password could also be compromised.
Passwords are just one piece of the protection puzzle. To create a safer environment online, you will also want to use a firewall and other security products that help keep hackers out of your system and protect your identity online.