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Basic Network Security Tips to Prevent a Social Media Meltdown

Everyone’s so caught up in the analytics of social media today that it’s easy to forget about the little things like passwords – at least it is until one of your clients has their social pages hacked. As the recent break-ins to the MTV and Jeep twitter accounts have shown, social profiles are easier to break into than many people thought.

As a marketer, it might not be your job to manage a client’s network security, but it is your job to manage their social networks – and part of that job includes taking basic steps to ensure that they don’t end up with pie on their faces after a hacker starts spewing obscenities from an official Twitter account. Luckily, keeping your client data secure is easier to do than you think. For example, here are four tips you can use to keep the amateur hackers away.

1)      Change passwords on a regular basis. The more complex an account password is, the harder it will be to crack. Ideally, all of your client’s social page passwords should feature upper case and lower case letters as well as punctuation and other special characters.  Use a generator to create lengthy, randomized passwords for all accounts that you have access to and change them every three months or so to minimize your chances of being hacked through a dictionary attack or something similar.

2)      Secure your own networks. Though uncommon, it’s possible for hackers to obtain client data by breaking into your own security network. Avoid this by keeping your operating systems updated on all of your office computers, installing a good firewall like Symantec or Kaspersky on each machine and locking down your wireless network by encrypting your router and using a WPA2 security key.  

3)      Limit access to sensitive information. The only people who should have access to client social passwords are your CEO and your social media manager.  If your entire agency can access a client’s Twitter or Facebook accounts, then you’re taking on unnecessary risk. Do the smart thing and limit access to your sensitive info.

4)      Backup your data regularly. If your security is somehow breached, the last thing you want is a hacker running wild on your only data archive. Backup your files regularly on a secure data storage system that isn’t connected to your normal network. That way if something goes wrong, the damage will be easier to control.

The last thing you need as a growing agency is an embarrassing breach of security to handle. Use these tips to ensure that your network and client data stays safe from attacks. That way you can focus on what really matters – creating and executing great social media campaigns.