As a business owner, you put your heart into ensuring every aspect of your business runs smoothly and effectively, including the social side of it.
Every business is considered a living organism, and social needs are part of the main aspects you must consider from the start. But how safe is social media for your business?
What is a social networking site?
A social networking site is an e-platform of virtual communities whose users, individual or business, create public profiles to interact with friends, family, and businesses they share common interests with.
Some key social networking sites you should focus on to grow your business include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Why should you be careful with social media?
There's every need to be careful with social media.
Despite its far-reaching positive effects in connecting people and businesses, it still poses a threat to users across the board.
Some serious threats that compromise your social media security and business success include hacking, identity theft, and the selling of personal data.
Social media hacking
The world over is teeming with crafty hackers looking for opportunities to hack the social media accounts of businesses and individuals.
Most of the time, hackers are motivated by financial gain through calls for ransom to reinstate your account or using your sensitive information to siphon money to their accounts from yours.
However, a hacker may also just want to paint you dark by posting things on your account that does not align with your business goals, manner of operation, and core values.
Such posts of misaligned information ruin your reputation and may push away your trusted business partners, such as suppliers and customers, leading to major setbacks or total downfalls.
When someone breaches your social media safety measures, they may steal your personal information and identity to pretend they are you.
An identity thief then proceeds to conduct normal business as if it were you doing so, and this rubs you the wrong way when they prey on the trust your business partners have in you and rob their money.
Selling of personal data
Social media today is a goldmine for unscrupulous businesses to buy your personal data in order to sell you their products and services.
For example, when you interact with a particular business and give them your data, such as business names, location, and financial information, they could sell these to a third-party company.
The third party later reaches out to you through your otherwise private emails, phone numbers, or even your location that you thought were safe and unknown to strangers.
You must always ensure that social media security breaches do not occur within your business.
What are 3 safety tips for social media?
There's no limit to the number of social media security tip best practices you should follow.
Here are three handy social media safety tips to consider:
Use strong passwords
The worst passwords to use on social media are the easily guessed aspects of your life or business that hackers may have access to just by checking your account details and pages.
For example, using your birthday, national identity card number, or names of your children and pets is a major risk. These can be guessed easily based on your profile and posted content.
To reinforce your social accounts, you'll want to use stronger passwords that include special characters, numbers, and letters in both upper and lower case within the same password.
Post content that directly pertains to your business
No. We don't mean that you should plaster all your social media accounts with no-nonsense, business-only posts. You should strike a good balance between being too formal and too casual.
While the bulk of your posted content should relate directly to the business, very little or none of it should be about your personal life or that of any of your employees.
Similarly, you can infuse serious business posts with some humour, such as memes and GIFs related to your business or some needs you solve for your clients.
Remember, everything you post, including the humour content, should align with the core values of your esteemed business.
Optimal use of privacy settings
When it comes to privacy settings, most people think only of such settings on the social media accounts of individuals.
However, there are various privacy settings available for business accounts, which you should take advantage of to ensure optimal social media safety.
How can social media security be improved?
Social media security should be at the epicentre of your business if you want it to remain relevant amid the ease of communication in the world today.
You want your business to be fully safe at present and also future-proof, with minimal-to-zero security disruptions to ensure you are well, always in business!
You can use various measures to proof your business against social media security breaches. Some of these methods are discussed below.
Access your accounts through company-owned devices only
We all have this weakness - failing to separate our personal lives from our business. The desire to mix personal matters and daily life with your business is overwhelming.
To get the best of social media safety, you should separate certain aspects of your personal life from your business.
For example, you could start by using dedicated devices for your business's social media accounts. And this doesn't only apply to you. Your employees should also stick to company-owned devices.
Using only company-owned gadgets to access your social accounts means you are better placed on the security chain. If you observe social media security best practices, you are safer.
Using a personal device to access your business' social accounts means you are at risk of security breaches because you do not have all the required safety measures observed on personal gadgets.
You may not be an IT professional, but you can always enhance social media security for your business by remaining proactive and spotting troubles soon or before they happen.
If you aren't tech-savvy, an internal IT professional would be a great addition. You could ask them to be on the lookout for any unexpected breaches and neutralize them before significant damages.
Hire a reliable and loyal IT partner
If you can't find a good IT professional to handle your computer systems, you can always hire an external IT partner to help you out. Most of the time, it's a great move to have both internal and external IT professionals to help you with ensuring your systems are proofed against potential breaches.
The external partner works hand in hand with your internal IT department to oversee the handling of your systems in real-time. Your choice of the external IT company to work with should be based on your specific needs, the company's ability to solve your IT challenges, and its proactiveness.
The reliability and loyalty of the partner are also crucial aspects to consider, and you can tell right away from the start whether your chosen IT firm knows what it's doing. Most IT firms are unreliable, and they rarely walk the walk. One way for IT firms to do that is to remain proactive throughout the contract, noticing threats and rectifying them before they occur.
You'll also want a firm that communicates timely to make it easier for you to know what is happening all the time, and whether or not there are any developments like new threats to your security.
What can be done to address social media concerns in the workplace?
You can take the following measures to address social media concerns in your workplace.
Separating professional and personal use
You and your employees should separate your personal lives from your professional lives by avoiding posting personal matters on your social accounts.
There should be systems to ensure that the thin boundary between what is personal or professional is always observed. You should not post personal matters on your socials.
It's essential to develop a fair and working social media policy for your business, considering your goals, core values, and the diversity of your employees, current clients, and potential customers.
Put company interests first, personal preferences
You should put the interests of your company first before personal or employees' preferences.
For example, if they were asked, some employees would want systems they don't have to log in to access, but such systems with no passwords pose great risks to your social media security.
How to control your privacy settings
Check out the links below for guidance on how to control your privacy settings on various social media accounts:
- How to Change Security Settings on a Facebook Business Page
- Instagram - Managing Your Privacy Settings
- Managing your privacy on Twitter