June 8, 2020

Social media hacks: how to protect your company’s reputation

Social media

Social media accounts act as the public persona for many organisations. People, including customers and stakeholders, believe what they read on social media. And if someone has taken over your account, they can post all kinds of incorrect or even offensive information. The damage to your brand could be significant.

So it’s vital to protect your social media accounts from being hacked. And, if you are the unfortunate victim of an attack, you need to respond immediately.

Here are some tips on how to protect your company’s reputation:

1. Don’t have an easy password

If your password is easy to remember, there’s a good chance it’s going to be easy for others to figure out too. This includes using the same password for multiple accounts. If one account becomes compromised, hackers can use that password to access every account.

2. Don’t share your social media passwords with every employee

Not everyone in your organisation needs or should have access to your social media passwords. Choose two or three people who will access the account regularly, and trust them with the password and the responsibility of posting on behalf of your organisation.

3. Put a plan in place

If hackers got hold of your passwords and account information to post mocking messages, do you have an immediate plan/communications strategy in place to alert your customers? Quick action may save you endless trouble.

4. Develop a policy

If you haven’t already, develop a social media policy and review with your employees what is and is not appropriate to post online to ensure that you safeguard confidential information. Not every social media problem starts with a hacker; sometimes it’s just a simple employee blunder.

5. Consider risky scenarios

Have a clear idea of how you want to use social media and identify what kind of business information should be shared. Understand where you could expose your organisation to risks and steer well clear of any grey areas.

6. Don’t automatically click on links

Use caution when clicking a link to another page. Just like email, if an offer in a social media post sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

7. Sometimes mistakes are unavoidable

Think how quickly news travels online, especially when it comes to social media. No matter how careful or cautious you are, there are always mistakes. It is important to be careful and considered when you post. And if someone makes a mistake, do whatever you need to in order to rectify it immediately. Don’t simply delete posts, especially if customers have already responded. Instead, acknowledge the mistake and outline what steps your organisation will take to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

8. If you are hacked, take back control immediately

If your social media account is hacked, ask your IT department to regain control of the breached account. In the meantime, post a notification to your brand’s blog, website, and other social platforms. The notification should state that:

  1. your social media account has been compromised;
  2. you are working to fix the situation as fast as possible;
  3. your followers should not click on any posted links until otherwise notified.
    This lets your followers know you are aware of the situation and are taking steps to remedy it.

It’s imperative that everyone on your team who manages or evaluates your brand’s social media accounts knows what to do if your account is hijacked. The plan should be in writing and reviewed with the staff frequently.

Bottom line

Take precautions, be prepared and put a plan in place for how you’ll respond. What’s your communication plan? Who in the organisation will be the spokesperson? Answer these questions now and you can save your brand a whole lot of trouble down the line.

If you would like to learn more about Recognition’s social media training or issues management, contact us at info@recognition.com.au or on 02 9252 2266.



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