Social media misuse can bring irreparable damage to a company’s reputation. As social media user numbers grow by the second, it makes perfect sense for businesses to invest in establishing a strong existence on popular social platforms for maximum visibility.
Exposing your brand to billions of users also attracts attention from malicious actors. The threat of becoming an easy target is real for small businesses, considering what’s at stake (passwords, personal customer data, bank accounts, and so much more).
Still, many businesses remain unaware of these challenges. So, in this post, we’ll address the dangers of social media misuse and share practical tips to safeguard your organization from the repercussions.
The Risks of Social Media in Business
The scope and nature of the risks social media poses vary by the business; companies in highly regulated fields such as health and finance are likely to suffer more serious consequences when incidents are successfully propagated through social media.
Some potential risks to watch out for include:
1. Security breaches
Creating fake accounts and profiles on social media is just as easy for cybercriminals as it is for unsuspecting victims. Cybercriminals can exploit social media (undetected) to steal sensitive user information. The low barriers to entry and lack of proper scrutiny by social media platforms leave room for cybercriminals to create fake profiles and use these to share content that tricks unsuspecting victims into divulging confidential information.
2. Reputation damage
Negative comments from dissatisfied customers, or unhappy employees can quickly spread online and cause significant damage to your brand’s image.
3. Employee misconduct
When employees share offensive content, leak company secrets, or openly badmouth the organization on social media, it may trigger a crisis that can take even the most hands-on PR department forever to clean up.
4. Phishing threats
Social media breeds the perfect environment for phishing scams where creating fake profiles and accounts often go unpunished. Attackers can target employees by sharing phishing links through seemingly authentic posts.
5. Legal accountability
Sometimes, social media use blurs the lines between personal and professional lives, creating legal liability for your business. For instance, when employees make malicious remarks about the competition, it tarnishes the company’s image and attracts legal fines should those remarks violate state and federal regulations.
Another tactic cybercriminals use to target victims on social media is creating fake job listings, coupons, and giveaways to collect data for identity theft scams.
Securing Your Business from Social Media Misuse
Protecting your business from threats with origins in social media starts with taking proactive measures to bolster your accounts’ defenses and prevent mishaps from happening in the first place.
1. Check Your Privacy Settings
Set privacy settings to the highest level across all accounts, restricting self and employee access to sensitive information. Next, consider strengthening your cybersecurity measures with robust passwords, and two-factor authentication.
2. Educate Your Team on Proper Social Media Usage
Educate your team on social media risks, imparting safe practices to thwart scams and phishing attempts. Enforce clear social media rules for company and personal devices, customizing policies to fit your industry’s unique risks.
3. Identifying Impersonation
Impersonation can bring adverse effects to the business’s reputation. Develop protocols to detect and manage fake profiles and impersonations swiftly. Encourage your team – and customers – to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.
Act Now. Safeguard Your Business from Social Media Use
Following the guidelines laid out in this post sets your business on the right path to minimize vulnerability while reaping the rewards of social media. However, BoomTech IT understands that navigating the intricate realm of social media threats on your own may present more challenges than solutions. Don’t wait until trouble strikes first – connect with us today and fortify your digital presence.
Hear from Philipp Baumann, owner and founder of BoomTech: