Steps To Secure Your Social Media Strategy

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Keeping your internal network secure is one of the top jobs of IT consultants like Tech Experts. You don’t want confidential company or client data to show up on the web.

But what happens when you start marketing your company on social media sites? How do you keep your company secure?

In general, cyber criminals aren’t stupid. They troll sites like Facebook and Twitter, looking to take advantage of useful information employees naively post.

A policy that educates your employees on the “Do’s and dont’s” of social media posting can save your company an enourmous amount of aggravation.

Here are a few steps to include in a social media policy to ensure social media is conducted in a secure manner. It’s important to have a solid policy if you want to ensure that your network and data remain safe from potential social media threats.

Watch where you click
Almost all social media postings contain links to other content. This is the sweet spot hackers are targeting. They place innocuous links to virus and spyware programs, or even worse, hijacked accounts of your friends and business associates.

You should tell employees involved in your social media efforts not to click on any suspicious links. If they receive links from friends that seem uncharacteristic, it’s a good idea to not click on them.

Update privacy settings
Social media sites constantly update and change security settings on their networks, leading to unexpected exposure of information you might not want indexed on the web. It’s a good idea to ensure that all of your profile information is private, and that you regularly review your privacy settings.

Don’t share personal information
This might seem obvious to you, but there are still unsuspecting users out there who share too much of their personal information on social sites. Remember, social media is all about being social. Pretty much everything you share can be viewed by others. The last thing you want is an identity thief accessing your contact information and other personal data.

Log in using HTTPS
HTTPS is a web protocol that ensures the data sent between your computer and a web site is secure and encrypted. Many social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus support HTTPS, and you should ensure that you use it.

To use HTTPS, you simply put an S at the end of the usual http address in the URL bar of your browser. I.e., will open a more secure version of Facebook. By using HTTPS you can eliminate Man-in-the-Middle attacks and other similar types of phishing.

They key thing to remember: If you don’t know them, they aren’t your friend. You’ll be miles ahead if you treat social media interactions like you do real life interactions. You wouldn’t offer a stranger your cell phone number or home address until you knew them well. The same precautions apply to your social media accounts.