Hello SOTGC community,
As is my tradition at the beginning of each year, I try to keep my online life a little bit safer by doing security maintenance.
As a social media consultant, I use many different social media platforms and host my own website. Personally, I have tons of logins and passwords for sites ranging from airlines to banks.
Scary, really, to think how many passwords I have.
This is a good time to get on top of things and do what you can to stay cyber safe. While there is no guaranteed way to keep out cyber criminals, there ARE ways to minimize the risk.
Cyber security is now part of marketing’s responsibility. Why?
Maybe this scenario sounds familiar to you?
“Every day there’s some new source, social media platform, data feed, document format, or language to monitor. We are trying, but we are falling further and further behind. We need some way to keep up with all of these sources and threats.“
(Source: LookingGlass Cyveillance)
If you’d like to find out what you can do, read on.
5 Precautions To Increase Cyber Safety:
- Unique Passwords: I use 1Password to generate and store all my (very long and complex) passwords. In addition, this month, I am going to update at least one password a day. 1Password let’s me run a “Security Audit” that tells me how old my passwords are, so I can change the oldest ones first. Never use dictionary words, names or variations of passwords.
- Two-Factor-Authentication: Turn it on! If you run multiple social media accounts and don’t have an extra cell number (Example: Twitter only lets you use a unique cell number on each account you own), try Google Voice. 2FA is worth the extra time it takes.
- Team Password Access: Never share a password. If you have a team where multiple people manage one account, e.g. a Twitter handle, use a team management tool so that everybody gets their own login and password. TweetDeck is free and makes it easy to add and remove administrators. Don’t under estimate the damage a disgruntled employee could cause. If you are able to pay for a tool, consider picking one that also provides statistics, suggests the best posting times, etc.
- Social Media Security: Even though you have virus software installed, it does not mean you can’t catch a virus or get hacked. The same is true for your clients. Do you want to send them a virus? INDIVIDUAL: Don’t click on URLs from unknown and untrusted sourced. Instead (if you feel you need to click) ask the sender for the information you need to Google the page yourself. I do it all the time. COMPANY: Protect your brand and assets: get a solution like LookingGlass Cyveillance or ZeroFox that provides continuous and customized threat monitoring, alerts, blocking of malicious content, as well as emergency response paths. Hackers have upped their game, and cyber security is now part of brand reputation management.
If you are still doubtful that you need to take action, consider this:
PR firm Burson-Marsteller recently announced a new partnership with a “focus on enhancing board-level and senior management awareness of the critical need for comprehensive cybersecurity preparation to address any type of cyber risk, offering companies planning strategies and tools to address any cyber incident response.”
- Keep your eyes open for the next security threat, which could not only tarnish your brand but also cost you real dollars. A good example of such a modern digital threat is malvertising, “which was responsible for more than $200 million in lost ad revenue in 2015.” (source: MarketingDive.)
According to MarketingDive, “even though ad fraud and blocking are concerns for digital marketers, malvertising is potentially more damaging for publishers serving ads that expose website visitors to cybercriminals. This year cybersecurity researchers found malvertising on the Huffington Post, Forbes, Yahoo and the Daily Mail.”
You know that when eMarketer celebrates that “humans surpass bots in website traffic,” things have gotten pretty bad. eMarketer writes, “Bad bots, attack tools that increase activity on popular websites, accounted for 29.0% of total traffic” in 2015.
The smaller the site, the more bots. That does not sound positive to me.
I will leave you on this pleasant note, which will hopefully motivate you to take your cyber security up a notch.
Further Reading: What you need to know about fake followers.
Connect with me at @NaThomson.