TechGuard Blog

Prevent Social Media from a Public Relations Nightmare

Have you thought about the risks of your employees' personal Facebook listing your company as their employer while they have 800+ friends? What kind of image does the employee portray to the world on social media? How often does the average person check social media? According to Social Pilot, the average person spends two hours and 15 minutes per day on social platforms. Think of how often people around you are checking their social media.  You probably will notice at lunch, after work, and before bed. Who do they accept friend requests from? Most people list their job title on their social media profile. Could their social media accounts become a potential public relations nightmare for your company?

Employees' Personal Social Media Accounts

Why do so many people have such a large friend list on social media? Any of these "friends" can share their posts. From a security standpoint, consider cleaning the friend list. More connections equal more possibilities for a compromised account to send you a malicious link. However, on the contrary, the company could use the benefit of employee's contacts with proper security measures in place as a brand awareness opportunity for the company.

Educate your employees about the proper use of social media. Social media should not be a place to vent. Once someone posts something impulsive, sensitive, or controversial, the post is out there and is impossible to remove forever once it's been seen. Someone could screenshot the post or share it.  A good policy for companies to enforce is to require employees to put a disclosure that the company does not share their personal views.

Another recommendation is to use privacy settings to keep  your account from being visible by the public. A good reason to make the one's personal account private is to prevent social engineering. So, do you trust all of your friends on social media from social engineering? Are you confident that none of them would use your personal information to try to scam you? Since social media is often very casual, many are sharing personal information on their posts about their lives and unknowingly giving cybercriminals valuable information that can be used against one.  For example, do your social media friends know your pet's name, when you are away from home, and your hometown from social media? Could they use information about you to guess passwords on various accounts?

Employer's Social Media Accounts

Some good advice in regards to the company's social media accounts are to have more than one with access to the accounts, but to make one person as the main administrator with the permission to post. Be ready to keep work flow if your social platform main administrator were to quit suddenly or have an unexpected leave of absence.

As well, it's best practice for companies to have a policy that keeps personal accounts and professional accounts unattached. Always think about how to protect the company's reputation and the trust of customers. Also, make sure the company has a plan in place for addressing potential negative feedback. Social platforms can be a place for customers to voice their opinions about the company's products and services. Be ready to respond in a timely and professional manner. This quick response is crucial to the company's brand.

Mistakes made on social platforms are hard to rectify. Think about how the effect of Roseanne Barr's tweet on her career. Use security hygiene to prevent a public relations nightmare. Humans are both the weakest link and your best security against attacks. Make sure your employees can spot the sign of a social media attack and are prepared not to click a malicious link.