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January 8, 2015

Protect Your Business: Secure the Social Media Accounts You Manage

Image courtesy of (Stuart Miles) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SiteProNews features all kinds of advice on how to grow your social media accounts. That’s great, and you should definitely invest the time in them. Before you get too far into this, however, you need to think about how you can keep them secure. A successful account can look like a big fat target to a hacker.

It has been shown a number of times in the past that hackers will break into a brand’s social media accounts to steal data, or just to have some laughs — laughs that damage your reputation.

Here are some proactive steps you can take to protect your social media accounts.

Choose strong passwords

It has been shown many times that people and businesses fail to create strong passwords and they wind up getting hacked. These are called brute force hacks, and it is suspected that numerous victims of The Fappening, actors who are a business unto themselves, were victimized due to poor passwords choices.

Slate magazine has identified 15 popular passwords that are commonly used. If you use them for your business, change them NOW:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. qwerty
  4. abc123
  5. iloveyou
  6. adobe123
  7. admin
  8. letmein
  9. photoshop
  10. monkey
  11. shadow
  12. sunshine
  13. password1
  14. princess
  15. azerty

Try using phrases or whole sentences if you’ve just discovered that you’re incredibly predictable. Read the next point for even better advice.

How do you create great passwords?

You will only have to remember one password if you use a password manager. These tools will create strong passwords for you using random numbers, letters, and symbols, and remember them for you. Try looking at:

  • LastPass: Creates strong passwords, stores them, and then enters them into the login page for all of your social media accounts.
  • Password Genie: This is even more useful for a business because it will store various types of data. All that, and it still works just like LastPass.
  • SplashID: If your business has mobile sign in needs, SplashID has apps for Blackberry, Palm OS, iOS, Windows Phone, and WebOS. It supplies a USB key for desktop applications.
  • PassPack: This works best in team situations. You log in to a table of passwords, copy and paste the one you want and everyone on the team can have access.

Whichever you choose, be sure to create unique passwords for each social media account. This will make it so if one of your passwords is compromised your other accounts will not be hacked as well.

Passwords being stolen in this way are commonly done when you’re the victim of a Fake WAP attack, or Man in the Middle attack. You’ll never know you were hit with one of these until your accounts start acting funny.

How can I remotely protect my social media accounts?

Business takes place everywhere. You can set up at a coffee shop, a hotel lobby, or a Wi-Fi signal you pick up while walking on the street. It’s an easy way to tweet or update Facebook when something cool comes along.

Businesses have long been securing their communications by using VPNs. These tools can encrypt your connection, offering you snooper-free connections to your social media accounts wherever you are.

You can read VPN reviews online, but the basics are that you’ll want to find a VPN with:

  • A reliable connection;
  • Easy to use software;
  • A VPN kill switch;
  • Software for both Smartphones and tablets, as well as laptops;

A shared social media dashboard condenses many accounts down to one password

For those who work in teams, and have a number of people who need the passwords to numerous accounts, you can minimize risk by putting all of your social media accounts into one dashboard.

This way, instead of giving out passwords for Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and Instagram, you can give out one password to one account that houses all of these accounts. Look into:

Hootsuite is the most trusted of the ones listed. Insider risks are a bigger problem than you may think. That’s not to mention password leaks that happen when you email a password to your co-workers.


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Marcus Habert is the resident security writer over on the Best VPN Provider blog. He writes about Internet security and privacy issues with a passion that occasionally borders on the paranoid. Don't worry, tinfoil hats are never advised.

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