Protecting Your Small Business from Social Network Threats
Social media is constantly evolving. Today’s users often hold memberships on more than one network, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Google Plus. With so much of people’s lives being spent on these sites, it’s important that business owners identify and respond to the risks, whether they’re alone in the office or they have a team. This guide is designed to help.
Understanding Social Media Security Threats
On the surface, social media can seem harmless, since all of the posts remain confined within the site’s cloud-based platform. But account hacks are a serious problem on social media sites, especially with phishing being so prevalent. As one of the top social media threats of 2015, phishing thrives on social media, where members feel safe enough to click on links, as long as they’re posted by friends or followers. With phishing, hackers use a malicious link to trick users into entering their passwords or download malware. The end result could put a business’s entire network at risk.
In addition to malware risk and potential password theft, businesses are vulnerable to the information its employees post. From the initial startup phase to the day when additional employees are hired, an entrepreneur must make sure that every employee protects the business’s reputation. This includes the information they post on their personal accounts. Personal posts about company secrets, clients, and fellow workers can put a business at risk.
Addressing Social Media Security Threats
For small businesses whose employees do not need to access social media sites for work purposes, the easiest way to protect yourself is by restricting access to social media sites from work machines. Security solutions, like Bitdefender’s Gravity Zone Business Security, allows you to remotely restrict or block employee access to certain applications and web pages.
For those business who need to access social media sites, the best way to avoid threats is to be cautious when clicking links and to ensure you have antivirus and antimalware technologies in place. Business owners and employees should make a practice of avoiding entering personal information when clicking those links, including passwords and usernames. If business owners plan to maintain a personal site, they should tighten security settings on those personal accounts to prevent anyone who isn’t a personal contact from seeing their posts.
As business owners begin hiring workers, they should create security agreements that new hires will be required to sign as part of their first-day paperwork. This agreement should include the business’s stance on social media use, including whether or not they can connect with clients personally and what they can and can’t post about the business on their personal social media pages.
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For many small businesses, social media use is an important part of connecting with customers. By knowing the dangers that social media poses to a business’s network, small business owners can keep their systems safe and protect their reputation.
This article is written in partnership with, and sponsored by, Bitdefender. All views expressed are solely those of the author, not Bitdefender. For additional information from the sponsor on small business security, visit them on the web at www.bitdefender.com/. You can also join them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter at @Bitdefender