Cybervandalism - How secure are your social media accounts?

Social media security has become a key issue following recent events surrounding US Military Twitter account @CENTCOM.

The account was taken over by hackers claiming allegiance to Islamic State. Although it was reported that no classified information was leaked, the level of impact this incident has on a brand can be seriously damaging.

So we’re asking how secure is your social media?

Here at Gravitas we’ve put together our top tips to keep your accounts securely padlocked and avoid trespassers.


1.Use strong passwords

This is a given, but you wouldn’t believe how many businesses out there use passwords that are so easy to guess, like the company name for example. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols and you’re on to a winner. Also be sure to change this regularly, keep it safe and don’t use the same passwords for all of your other accounts.


2. Who can you trust?

Some hackings have been carried out by disgruntled employees – remember the live tweeting of HMV redundancies? Who can you trust with your business’s social media passwords? Make sure your accounts are registered to you, or that you at least have high level access, so you can always change passwords and restrict access.


3. Be wary of third party apps

Facebook, for example, gives you the opportunity to download apps onto your social media profile. Some of these state that they will post on your behalf. Watch out for these and other terms and conditions while deciding whether or not your organisation should use them. Ask which can be trusted with your company information.


4. Use anti-virus software

All businesses should have this software loaded onto their office computers - but have you thought about what happens when your social media manager(s) needs to work from home, or has to live tweet from an event? Generally speaking, smartphones tend to be okay on the security front, particularly Apple products, but there are apps that you can encourage your social media staff to download (five of the best here). You could even have a look at securing a deal with a security software company for discounted rates for staff.


5. Be careful what you click

If you use a social media marketing platform such as HootSuite, it can act as a buffer if you click on a dodgy link by advising you it may not be safe. Make sure you know what you’re clicking and can trust it also. Your anti-virus software should warn you if you click on anything untoward.