Oct 13 Keeping Your Social Media Channels Secure and Maintained
Maintaining the security of your brand’s social media channels is something that isn’t always top of mind, but it should be. There are many examples of mishaps from brands that could have been prevented with more channel security, from accidental personal posts, to hijacked accounts. Yes, those links are all separate examples that keep social media managers up at night. What steps can you take to help make sure your brand isn’t making headlines for the wrong reasons? Here are our top six tips for maintaining secure social media channels.
Choose Complicated Passwords
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we’ve seen many high-profile brands who skipped this step in our agency’s 10 year history. Passwords should contain no reference to your brand or products, should contain uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols and numbers, at a minimum length of 10 characters. Ideally, no real words would be present in the password – gibberish is best. Also, choose separate passwords for all channel logins – no repeats. You may not think people are trying to guess your passwords, but new systems allow hackers to test thousands of combinations. Don’t make it easy on them.
Change Your Passwords Regularly
At Ignite, we recommend that our clients change all passwords every three months, or at the start of every quarter. Setting calendar notifications to change all social-related passwords is the easiest way to make sure this gets done.
Spread the Word – the Right Way
Rarely is operating a brand’s social media presence a one-person show. We recognize that some brands need password access for dozens of people to work on the channels. The use of a social media management system can help protect the channels, but what about the channel passwords themselves? If you are emailing your channel’s passwords to your social media managers and agencies, stop. Ideally, passwords should be shared verbally over the phone. It’s extra work, but the safest way to distribute passwords to a team.
Remind Your Social Media Managers to Log Out
Sometimes, the simplest mistakes have the biggest impact. While hacking happens, much more common is the accidental post, meant for a personal channel. Encourage your social media managers to log out after posting, every time, especially on shared devices or if they manage multiple brands. Discourage the use of saved passwords in browsers; this can make it easier for accidental posting to occur. To be extra, extra cautious, you can also consider purchasing a separate device. A dedicated tablet that is used for all brand social media activity but has no personal accounts tied to it is a good choice.
Choose The Right Team
Most social media sites have implemented ways for brands to assign levels of access to people working on the channel. Don’t give every person on the account admin level access; only grant appropriate permissions. That way, the less social-savvy members of your team don’t accidentally post. Review who has page permissions regularly and remove/downgrade anyone with unnecessary access.
Prepare for the Worst
In the event of an employee leaving the company who had access to the brand pages, it’s time for a full-scale sweep of the passwords and page permissions. All should be changed to prevent any unwanted access. This is true for any “changing of the guard” – bringing on a new agency or team. Change all passwords to ensure a fresh start.
The above tips are a great start to maintaining social media channel security for brands. Looking for someone to take social channel management off your hands? Contact us here.