Technology Basics: Social Media

Social media is a big part of just about anyone’s online presence nowadays, whether it’s a personal profile or a business page filled with contact information. While the various uses for social media will differ depending on who’s actually using it, it’s not stretching the imagination to think of social media as an extension of either oneself or one’s business. With this, however, comes a need to understand the security ramifications of its reckless use, as well as how it can influence your organization’s reputation.

What is Social Media?
Social media is basically any service or product that allows you to interact with others in a social manner. Some of the most common examples include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. These services are all able to keep people connected to one another, as well as help them communicate their thoughts. While most social networks are used by businesses every day, some are more geared just for businesses and professionals. LinkedIn is meant to help professionals find work and communicate with each other, as well as show a glimpse of someone’s work history and so much more.

However, for all its benefits, your social media still needs to be mindfully approached--especially in regard to security.

Security Issues Relating to Social Media
Social media has provided hackers with a relatively new method of attacking organizations just like yours. They will use the anonymity provided by the Internet to take on the role of someone who your organization might be familiar with, creating an account to steal information from someone on your staff. They then use the information provided to infiltrate your defenses. This makes it extremely important to have this discussion with your team before these kinds of attacks happen, as an after-the-fact slap on the wrist is hardly going to keep hackers from your network. You need to invest time and effort into training your team on how to identify fake accounts and malicious outreach attempts by these scammers.

Social Media as an Outreach Method
Some businesses have had great success using social media as an outreach method. They use it as an extension of themselves, directly interacting with consumers in ways that other methods can’t replicate. A great example of this is Verizon’s Twitter account. They have a special support Twitter that people can tweet at to receive mobile service support. You can use social media in a similar way, providing your customers with a way to receive feedback on your goods and services, as well as sharing with them all of the great initiatives that you’re working on.

How does your business use social media? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog.

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