In light of the recent Jeep and Burger King Twitter hacks, my attention has turned to brushing up strategies to keep my accounts safer. Granted, the biggest targets for hacking are large corporations, political figures and celebrities- it's still common for personal and smaller accounts to fall prey.
So what does the average person do to protect themselves? Do we panic and obsessively check our feeds for potential issues? Do we ignore it completely and catch up on recent YouTube sensations (example one, example two, example three) instead? I'm not a technical expert so I propose a middle ground approach- and then catch up on those videos, because life is all about balance.
First, let's talk about passwords. Keeping your password quiet is a good start but there's more you can do here. Consider misspelling words, excluding letters or using a phrase with numbers and spaces to switch it up. It might be harder to remember but it'll also be harder to crack.
Another thing to keep in mind is the frequency you update your password. Experts suggest doing this once a quarter but I've been fine with less than that. You should decide what works best for you and follow that as a guide.
Limiting the number of people who are listed as an Admin on your Facebook Pages or Pinning to your Pinterest account is important. Also, if these tasks are being done by interns be sure to oversee the process, guide them with their content choices and remove them from the accounts after they've finished their internship. You'd be surprised how many businesses forget to update access privileges information after employees or interns leave.
The more involved you are with your social media presence the easier it'll be to catch something strange. I'm not saying sit by your phone watching as comments and likes come through when you're sitting at dinner with your family. I am saying, check in with your accounts at least once a day.
Not every account is regularly posting and it's ok if you fall into this category but you should know what's happening in your online community. Are you following people who have been sending spam messages this week? Alert them if appropriate and keep a closer eye on things. Chances are you'll be fine but these are things that are good to know.
My account spammed a bunch of people. Now what?
First, take a deep breath while you read through the damage. Was your account sending direct messages or was it through your feed? Get the full picture before you react.
Next, change your password and any other passwords attached to that account. This includes email addresses that are used to make the social media account- bonus points if you make sure these two aren't the same password.
Finish it off with an apology explaining what happened to your followers. There's no need to hide or pretend it didn't happen. If your feed was compromised with unrelated content, delete those messages and move on; it happens to the best of us.
Do you have security tips to share? Include them in the comments below!
Digital Content Editor