How To: Protect Your Social Media Accounts From Hackers

social media protectSocial media accounts have become as important as email when it comes to communicating. And that has made it a common target in hacking schemes. It’s not just celebrities that have their accounts compromised. Hackers can steal sensitive information and photos from businesses and personal accounts, too. Some just want to take control of your account and use it for their own purposes.

Want an unhackable account? It’s almost impossible. You have to be careful about how you use your passwords, allow outside access, and use third-party apps. It’s a daunting task but its worth it to get as close as possible.

Start With the Right Password

Smart password creation is the easiest way to keep your social media accounts unhackable. Your password is the first line of defense against any security threat. And yet, it’s often the least thought about part of our social media plans.

Start with a unique password for each separate social media account. If you allow all of your accounts to have the same password, it only takes one breach for all of the accounts to be compromised. Spending a little more time creating passwords is worth the extra security.

Use smart password policies. Avoid using recognizable names, words in any language, and anything easily guessable. You need a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Consider using a random password generator to help you create one. LastPass has a free one you can access online whether you have an account or not.

For additional security, set a regular schedule to change your social media account passwords. Every 90 days is pretty standard but you could do it every 30 days if you want to be stricter about it. Also, change your password each time your staff changes to keep the current passwords among current employee only.

Share Account Access Securely

It takes a village to run your social media accounts. It’s quite possible that due to competing time zones, user demand, and other factors, your brand may need to be in more than one place at once on social media. Even if that’s not the case, many business owners outsource their social accounts to their marketing department or to an outside marketing consultant. Either way, someone besides the boss needs to have access the social media accounts.

The wrong way to do this is to give out your password over and over again. Even the most secure password is no good if everyone knows what it is. Also, many social media platforms allow anyone with the password to change the password. If you have a rogue employee with the right password, they can lock you out of your own account!

It’s more secure to add administrative access through the platform you’re using. The most popular platforms are already set up to do this–Facebook has administrative roles, Twitter has tokens, and Google Plus has managers. It’s as simple as adding your marketing team or consultant as an administrator. When you no longer need that person to perform those duties, you can remove them with just a few clicks.

Consider going with a social media account manager that allows you to add administrative roles to several accounts at once. Hootsuite is a popular app that features easy ways to organize your social media teams. You can also assign tasks and track which team member posts what, which is essential when you have multiple users organizing your campaigns.

Additional Security Threats

The most common security threats to your social media accounts come from weak passwords and rogue employees. But third-party threats happen as well. They usually come in the form of malicious add-ons or phishing schemes that capture password information. To avoid them, do not use your social media accounts to log into any third-party app or website. Every authorization you create makes your accounts less secure.

Also, never use a link sent to you in your email to access your accounts. If you receive an email from a platform, open another Internet browser tab and go to the site directly. (The only exceptions are if you just created the account or if you have requested a password reset.)

And finally, keep your devices secure. Many hacks come from low tech ways like simply accessing a computer that wasn’t locked. If your password is saved in your tablet and your tablet isn’t locked, someone can get access to your account by just picking up your device.


Note: This post is a guest post from a member of our DMR Insider Community.

Photo by Live4Soccer(L4S)