Social media cyberthreats and how to protect your business from them

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Social media is a powerful tool for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) like yours. It allows you to promote your products or services, engage with your audience, and reach new customers. But what many SMBs may not realize is that social media can also be a breeding ground for cyberthreats.

What are social media cyberthreats?

Social media cyberthreats are malicious activities aimed at harming individuals and businesses through social media platforms. Some of the most common ones include:

Phishing attacks

In a social media phishing scam, cybercriminals typically create fake profiles or pages that look legitimate. Using these profiles or pages, they may trick users into clicking on a malicious link and divulging sensitive data such as login credentials, credit card numbers, or other personal details. 

Malware distribution

Social media can be used to spread malware, which is malicious software designed to infiltrate and damage your computer systems. These threats often spread through suspicious links or attachments hidden within messages or posts. Clicking on them can compromise your device, potentially allowing cybercriminals to steal sensitive information, hijack your system’s resources, or perform other harmful actions. 

Account hijacking

Cybercriminals can steal your login credentials, giving them full access to your business’s social media accounts. This can be disastrous, as they can post misleading or malicious content, spam your followers and contacts, or commit financial fraud while they are impersonating your company. 

Fake reviews and reputation attacks

Cybercriminals or competitors may resort to posting deceptive online reviews or launching coordinated reputation attacks to damage your business’s credibility and mislead potential customers.

How can you safeguard your business from social media cyberthreats?

Here are some key steps you can take to improve your company’s security posture on social media platforms: 

Get verified

Verification badges on social media platforms serve as a digital seal of approval, confirming your legitimacy as a business. This makes it harder for impersonators to deceive customers and helps build trust with your audience. Each social media platform has its own verification criteria, so check their guidelines for details.

Proactively manage your company’s online reputation

Regularly check what people are saying about your business on social media and address any negative feedback or misinformation quickly. You should also stay vigilant for any suspicious activity, such as the creation of fake social media accounts or pages. Report these accounts and pages to the social media platform to prevent them from causing further damage. 

Conduct employee security awareness training 

Teach your employees how to navigate social media safely through engaging employee awareness training. This will protect their personal as well as your company’s social media presence and valuable data.

Train them how to identify and avoid common social media threats as well as implement key cybersecurity best practices, including: 

  • Using strong passwords – Create long, unique passwords for each social media account. Avoid including birthdays, pet names, or other easily guessable information in your passwords. 
  • Enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) – With 2FA enabled, logging in requires not only your password but also another proof of your identity, such as a one-time PIN sent to your mobile device. 
  • Being cautious about what you share online – Avoid publicly posting sensitive personal or company information such as addresses and business plans, as these details can be used for identity theft or even physical harm.
  • Using privacy settings – Most platforms offer privacy settings that allow you to control who sees your posts and information. Restrict access and share sensitive data with only trusted connections. 
  • Being careful of friend requests or messages from unknown senders – Before accepting friend requests, verify the person’s identity. Don’t blindly add strangers who could be cybercriminals trying to gain access to your network. Be selective, especially on business accounts, and consider filtering out bots and fake profiles.
  • Treating every message, post, or link with caution Verify information before clicking links or responding to messages, especially those requesting personal details. Look for verified accounts and official website links for authenticity. When unsure, contact the brand directly through official channels.
  • Reporting suspicious activity to your IT department immediately – Regularly check your social media accounts for any suspicious activity, including unauthorized posts, messages, or login attempts. If you spot such activities, report it to your IT department right away to prevent further damage. 

Work with a managed IT services provider

Managing social media security can be complex and time-consuming. Consider partnering with a managed IT services provider to streamline the process and enhance your overall security posture.
At SpectrumWise, we can conduct security awareness training for your team and ensure your computers and devices are protected with the latest security software and updates. In the event of a cyberattack, we can help you to recover quickly and minimize the damage. We can also investigate the attack and implement strategies to prevent similar incidents in the future. To learn more about how we can bolster your cybersecurity, schedule a FREE consultation with us today.


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