Safeguarding Your Social Empire: Essential Security Tips for Small Business Success Online

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Is your small business's online presence an open door for cybercriminals? Learn the security tips that will protect your online assets and strengthen your brand reputation.

Social media is a great way to connect with your customers and grow your business. But it's also a prime target for hackers, so you need to take steps to make sure your social media accounts are secure. 

The key to protecting your digital domain is to establish a comprehensive social media policy that fortifies your online security while ensuring your team is well-equipped to navigate the complex social media landscape.

 In this article, we'll share essential security tips that will not only fortify your social media accounts but also empower you with the confidence to conquer the online world, knowing your small business is well-protected against cyber adversaries.

Establish a Social Media Policy

The first step to keeping your social media accounts secure is to establish a social media policy. This policy will assist in safeguarding your company's reputation and reducing any legal or security risks. Here are some essential aspects to include in your policy:

  • Confidentiality and privacy​
    Gently remind employees of their duty to protect the organization's confidential and proprietary information. Offer clear guidelines on what can and can't be shared on social media, while also mentioning the importance of protecting employee and customer privacy.

  • Legal and regulatory compliance​
    Discuss the legal and regulatory aspects of using social media, like copyright, trademark, and data privacy laws. Emphasize the importance of following these regulations and the possible consequences of non-compliance. Include guidelines on proper attribution, fair use, and obtaining permission for copyrighted material.

  • Employee conduct and professionalism​
    Set expectations for employees' behavior on social media when representing the organization. Offer guidelines on using appropriate language, treating others respectfully, and steering clear of controversial or offensive subjects. Mention the potential consequences of unsuitable conduct, such as disciplinary action or termination.

  • Responding to negative feedback and crisis management
    Offer advice on handling negative comments, complaints, or criticism on social media. Create a protocol for escalating and addressing issues and explain the roles and responsibilities of employees during a social media crisis.

  • Employee personal social media use
    Discuss the expectations for employees' personal social media use, particularly when it involves the organization. Give guidelines on disclosing their connection to the company, discussing work-related topics, and sharing company content. Stress the importance of maintaining a professional online presence that reflects positively on the organization.

  • Policy enforcement and updates
    Clearly explain the consequences of violating the social media policy and the process for reporting potential violations. Additionally, mention that the policy can be updated as needed and devise a system for communicating these updates to employees.

Secure Your Accounts

Your social media policy should also share best practices for keeping company social media accounts secure and offer advice on handling potential security breaches and reporting procedures. Here are some tips to highlight:

  • Implement strong passwords and two-factor authentication. Passwords should be at least eight characters long, with a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. You should also use different passwords for each account--and don't reuse them! When setting up two-factor authentication on your social media accounts, make sure you choose something that's easy for you but hard for others.

  • Review and update security settings regularly. Reviewing your privacy settings on a regular basis is essential because they change often as new features are added or removed from platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

  • Use a password manager so you don't have to remember all those different logins yourself! Password managers make it easy by storing all of your usernames/passwords securely in one place so all you have to do when logging into something new is click "log in" without having to worry about whether or not those credentials will work across multiple sites/apps.

  • Limit access and manage user permissions. Only give access to your social media accounts to trusted employees who require it for their role. Regularly review the list of users with access and remove those who no longer need it, such as former employees. Additionally, ensure that users are granted appropriate permissions based on their responsibilities, such as limiting access to analytics or the ability to post content.

Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity

Regularly monitor your social media accounts for any signs of unauthorized access, such as unexpected content, follower count fluctuations, or changes to your profile information. Set up alerts and notifications to stay informed of any unusual activity and respond quickly to potential security breaches.

Be cautious with third-party apps

Many social media platforms allow integration with third-party apps to enhance functionality. However, these apps may also pose a security risk if they have not been properly vetted or have weak security measures in place. Always research the reputation of third-party apps before granting them access to your social media accounts, and limit the permissions they have to the minimum required for their functionality.

Wrapping Up

Safeguarding your social presence is essential for building trust, maintaining your online reputation, and ensuring the long-term success of your small business in today's digital environment. By following the tips in this blog post, you'll be more than ready to handle social media security challenges and keep your precious online presence safe and sound.

Remember, staying proactive, vigilant, and adaptable is key to navigating the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Don't hesitate to seek help from reputable cybersecurity providers, like Lockwell, who can bolster your security measures and empower your small business to thrive in the online world while keeping your social empire safe and secure.