7 Best practices to mitigate social media risks for business

7 Best practices to mitigate social media risks for business

Almost every business nowadays uses social media to market their products, heighten customer engagement, build customer loyalty, and other reasons. However, many business owners are unaware of the security risks associated with using social media.

For instance, confidential company information can be unintentionally leaked on the business’s social media page, or the company’s social media account can be hacked and used to gain access to internal data.

If you use social media use for business, here are seven best practices you should follow to minimize these risks:

1. Establish a social media policy

Your social media policy should outline what is and isn't allowed to be shared on your company’s and employees’ social media accounts, as well as the consequences for not following the guidelines. It should also identify which employee will be responsible for specific social media accounts and who to notify when a security incident occurs.

By putting these protocols in writing and explaining them to your employees, you can make sure that everyone in your company is on the same page when it comes to appropriate social media use.

2. Manage access to social media

Limiting employee access to the company’s social media accounts is vital to data security. This is why your company should implement role-based access control, which involves giving different users varying levels of data access based on their job duties. For example, social media managers should be given a level of access that allows them to post on the company’s Facebook page, while employees in other departments such as finance shouldn’t.

3. Implement critical security measures

There are several security measures you should implement to protect your company's social media accounts, such as:

  • Encryption – Encryption protects data by making it undecipherable to entities who don’t possess the decryption key. While social media platforms typically have their own encryption solution, you can also encrypt the data you send or receive to further protect your information IYAPS. For instance, Twitter requires API requests to be made over Transport Layer Security, but it also recommends businesses to encrypt any communication made to their own servers.
  • Multifactor authentication (MFA) – Always enable MFA for your social media accounts. MFA requires users to provide two or more authentication factors, such as a password and a fingerprint scan, before they can access an account. This makes it harder for malicious actors to access your pages, as they may not be able to provide all MFA requirements.
  • Automatic updates – Setting your devices to install updates automatically ensures that you're using the latest versions of social media software and apps. These updates often contain security patches for newly discovered vulnerabilities.

4. Regularly update your security strategy

New threats will emerge, so be sure to update your security measures accordingly. This might involve changing passwords, adding new security software, or revising company policies that will allow you to better respond to a security incident. Keeping your overall security strategy up to date also guarantees that your company is prepared to handle not only social media-related risks but any potential threats.

5. Monitor your social media accounts

Make sure to regularly check your company's social media accounts for any suspicious activity, such as unexpected logins from new devices, unusual posts or messages, or changes in account settings. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, investigate and take action right away. By catching any potential threats early, you can minimize the damage they can do.

6. Train your staff

It's essential that all employees understand your company's social media policy and the security risks associated with using social media for work, so provide them with regular training on how to do so safely and securely. Emphasize the importance of not sharing confidential information, being careful about what links they click on, and notifying a supervisor if they see anything suspicious.

Related reading: 7 Essential topics to cover in your cybersecurity awareness training program

7. Partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP)

Working with an MSP can help take the burden of securing your social media accounts off of your in-house IT staff. An outsourced team can provide expert guidance on which security measures to implement and how to use them effectively, as well as monitor your accounts and respond quickly to incidents.

If you do not have an IT department, an MSP can handle your tech needs and be responsible for the maintenance and security of your systems, including your social media accounts.

Implementing these best practices can help reduce the risks associated with social media use for business and keep your company's data safe. If you need help rolling out any of these measures, XBASE Technologies can assist you. Contact us today.