Everyone has experienced seeing a stream of strange posts on a friend’s social media site with a tweet or status update later on saying “sorry my account was hacked!” But what if this friend was a social media manager for an organization, or what if this was a brand’s account you follow?
It’s stressful to have an account hacked as an individual but when managing social media for an organization there are much higher stakes. A hacked Twitter or Facebook can do great damage to a company’s reputation.
Burger King and Jeep are two examples of huge brands that have had their accounts hacked since the start of 2013. For Burger King, having their Twitter account hacked meant having a verified stamp next to the brand’s description which read, “Just got sold to McDonalds because the Whopper flopped.”
There are simple tips we can remember when managing social media for a company to help us safeguard our brand’s reputation.
- Use a unique password for each site: It seems like an obvious answer but we all have the tendency to use the same password over and over for ease of use. If a hacker obtains one password, at least you are able to deal with an isolated issue.
- Centralize a social media administrator: In a previous blog post, “Who Owns Social Media?” I discussed the trend toward collaborating between departments for social media. While you will want to do this for content, sharing the password between a large group is not secure. A solution could be for the administrator to use auto fill on other employees’ work computers to give access while on the job without sharing the password for use outside of work.
- Randomly generated passwords: It’s a pain, but randomly generating passwords makes them nearly impossible to guess. Try Random.org’s password generator and then backup your data with a cloud service that will store it in an encrypted form online. Some popular services include Lastpass, 1password and mSecure.
- Make your mobile device secure: For most, a four digit password on the screen of an iPhone is fine. However, if you manage social media for a business and have passwords saved on your phone it’s a good idea to go into settings and turn the “simple passcode” feature off. This will unlock the option for you to use the full keyboard to make your password harder to crack.
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kyra Mazurek.