Social media isn’t just for big brands anymore — it’s just as important for small business owners – perhaps even more so with its relatively low cost. With the average user spending approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media every day, business owners can expand their exposure and potentially their customer base by building a presence on social media. It is important, however, to do so in a way which keeps your business protected from cybercriminals. In 2019, social media crimes compromised a reported 9.6 billion records.
“Social media can be tremendously beneficial for businesses,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas said. “However, ensuring the business is protected from cybercriminals should also be a priority.”
BBB provides the following recommendations to secure your small business’s social media accounts:
Secure your passwords. While passwords are the most common form of security for social media accounts, using the same password across every social platform is a bad idea. Passwords need to be unique for each account.
It’s also a good idea to avoid using passwords that are easy to guess. For example, using your first name or your mother’s maiden name may make it easier for hackers to gain access to your account.
Instead, use a password that follows these guidelines:
• Minimum 8-10 characters in length
• Must include at least 1 uppercase and 1 lowercase letter
• Must include at least 1 number
• Must include at least 1 special character
Regularly change your passwords. It’s a good idea to change your passwords regularly to help prevent security breaches. This can be a complex process, but it’s essential to protect you from unauthorized activity.
Limit access to your accounts to only necessary staff members. This will help prevent unauthorized parties from accessing your account and potentially locking you out.
Employ two-factor authentication. This security measure that helps prevent unauthorized parties from accessing your social media accounts. When you log in to your account, you will be asked to provide a second authentication factor, such as a numeric code sent to your email or phone, in addition to the usual password.
Use strong encryption tools. Social media platforms such as Facebook use encryption to keep your data safe and secure. These encryption tools are not foolproof, however, so it’s a good idea to use additional encryption tools on top of the ones provided by social media platforms.
Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity. Be on alert for suspicious activity. If you do spot any unauthorized activity, report it before the hackers have a chance to damage your account.
Get more digital marketing tips from BBB. Having a solid online presence is an important strategy for small businesses, but it can easily become a potential risk for your brand without the right precautions in place. Stay up to date on digital marketing and business news by going to bbb.org.
To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, please call BBB at 903-581-5704 or use BBB Scam Tracker.
— BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. There are over 100 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central East Texas, which was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.