Social media is a great way for organizations to share information about their products and services, but while it’s great for those who want to reach a new audience, it’s also exposing you to another audience that you may not want to be familiar with: hackers. Believe it or not, there are hackers who are trying to take advantage of the personal information you share on your social media accounts.
Social media pushes users to share their information in online profiles that may (or may not) be view-able to the public. If the public includes hackers, they may attempt to use personal information like home addresses and email addresses for phishing scams. What social media sells people is that it’s “okay” to put your information online because it’s good to be social with your friends and others online. People have learned to trust social media, which may not be a good thing. Plus, since most of your employees likely have social media accounts, will they be putting your data at risk?
In other words, social media just becomes another outlet that can be used to stake out your organization’s data. Of course, you could always just block access to social media on your organization’s workstations, but employees can still use these services even while disconnected from your network via their mobile devices.
Hackers might role play as an employee’s long lost friend from the good old days and use the identity to extort money for “financial troubles.” Another option is that the hacker might try to make off with passwords, usernames, or other sensitive information. If accounts are compromised, it’s safe to assume that they are being compromised for a reason, like spreading threats via messages or malicious links.
Simply put: Social media is not to be trusted.
While businesses understand that social media can be a time sink for their employees, they don’t understand that it’s a legitimate threat that can become a major problem. The fact remains that Facebook users won’t suspect that threats are waiting on trusted websites–including social media–to infect their systems. Thus, you can never be too careful with your organization’s assets, and you need to educate your employees on how to identify threats of all kinds; and the more your business grows, the more likely one of your employees will slip up.
If your organization is nervous about network security, our trusted professionals would be happy to assist you. What you can start with is educating your staff on security best practices. Once they know how to identify threats (like those found on social media), you’ll need solutions designed to mitigate them. Exact IT Consulting can equip your small business with enterprise-level solutions designed to optimize security.