SMBs Should Consider Social Media Policies to Reduce Risks

Kim Mays

Even though a recent report shows that 77 percent of SMBs are using social media, and many businesses feel it provides good exposure at minimum risk, security issues must still be considered.

The fact is that all social media still shares company information, which hackers would love to get their hands on. The very platforms upon which the social media works are part of someone else’s design, so users are basically “at the mercy of these providers’ information security practices,” says Brian Barnier at InformationWeek. To keep your business profile safer, ensure that the employees who manage the company social media accounts follow stringent policies:

  • Use complicated passwords.
  • Control access to such passwords.
  • Educate the users about phishing scams and hacks.
  • Make sure users access social media sites only from behind company firewalls—not on public Wi-Fi.
  • Use secure connections.
  • Keep IT in contact with businesses users and share information on the latest worms, viruses and scams.

Also be sure business users know what types of information are safe to share. Meet periodically and discuss updates to security policies for such sites and ensure that all equipment used to access the sites is up-to-date with patches and antivirus software. It may even be a good idea to create a written policy for social media usage for the business so that all expectations are spelled out and cannot be misunderstood. You can try using our IT Download, “Social Media Business Plan Template,” to guide and protect your company’s image.

Though social media is on everyone’s radar (and mobile device), it’s not a totally secure environment. Even business users may forget the importance of being on guard against potential vulnerabilities and attacks. It’s critical that both IT and business users stay on the same page with all social media accounts to keep the company’s data safe.

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