We’ve seen the powerful Twitter PR tool turned on its head by hackers over the last few months, but Monday’s attack on Fox News’ account sets the bar for low blows. On Monday morning, @foxnewspolitics was tweeting reports that president Barack Obama had been assassinated. Six tweets recounted the phony news story, Fox’s Twitter followers retweeted the accounts and before you knew it, a huge nightmare for Fox had developed. Fox naturally refuted the tweets and said they were working with the FBI to find out how the account was compromised. We’re sure somehow they’ll get to the bottom of it… but what if you don’t have network security dollars to spend on anti-hacking measures? Are there measures that any size business can take to protect their social media accounts?
Of course there are. The easiest one to start with is monitoring who has access to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Look, there’s no need to be overly paranoid, but changing the password each time you change or add social media administrators is one great way to keep ex-employees off your social media accounts.
Also, by limiting the number of folks who have access to the accounts, you keep the messages sent out on social media consistent. This being said, if you’re the boss, don’t hand off your social media accounts and never bothering to check them. Business owners need to stay current on their social media messages for both security and branding reasons. Staying informed will help you know what your company is saying on social media and who is saying it.
The last bit of advice is so simple it does sound stupid: logoff, logoff, logoff. A surefire way for hackers to get to your accounts, social media or otherwise, is by staying logged in. On publicly-used computers, this is vital. We’d recommend taking the time to set laptops and desktops to require passwords for each social media login. The temptation for regular folks to play around on other people’s social media accounts is too tempting — and for hackers it’s just too easy if you never bother to log out.
So let’s turn it over to you, readers. Do you have any tips on avoiding social media hacking hell or any personal hacking stories you’d like to share? Sound off in the comments section below!