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Securing Your Social Media Sites

  • By Ironstone
  • |
  • January 23, 2014
Photo Credit: © iStock/Getty Images/Thinkstock
Photo Credit: © iStock/Getty Images/Thinkstock

One of the most frequent questions our team gets from financial advisors who want to use social media is, “How can I keep my social media sites secure?”

Our advice – implement a well-defined social media policy addressing:

  • Use of internet sites
  • Social media best practices
  • Employees use of social media

For those looking to prey on others, social networking sites have become prime real estate. Identity thieves will spend a multitude of hours stalking for their next victim, but you can protect yourself by not becoming careless and making it easy for thieves to obtain your information.

Tips For Securing Your Social Media Sites

Review Your Privacy Settings – Review each of your social network privacy settings. Most sites offer a default setting, however you should adjust your privacy settings to your preference.

Create A Strong Password – It’s easy to use simple numbers, children’s names and other common passwords, however, taking extra steps to create a strong password will protect you in the long run. Use combinations of lower and uppercase letters, numbers and characters. It is a best practice to use different passwords for each of your accounts and utilize password applications to manage your array of passwords. Choose password applications that encrypt your login information and other data, like your address or credit card information.  A few applications you should look into include, LastPass, 1Password and KeePass.

Use Caution When Connecting With Others – Connect with people you know. If you are building your social network with strategic alliances and a prospective client base, verify they are reputable and have a solid connection with others in your network.

Use Social Media Management Tools – Social media management tools provide an additional layer of security to your social site and include time management benefits. Utilizing these tools allows access to the social media application only, rather than your social media account.  There are applications tailored to the financial services industry which include a means to stay compliant by providing required record retention features. Check with your compliance department to verify if a specific platform is available to you.

Verify Links Are Secure – By now, most of us have clicked on shortened links that direct us to the content we are researching. Shortened URLs are notably exposed to hackers and can deceive users into visiting harmful sites where personal information can be compromised. Scan links for authenticity by using one of the following methods:

  • Link Scanners – Try URLVoid or MyWOT. These sites allow you to enter the URL of a link you suspect is suspicious.
  • Hover Over The Link – Hover over the link without clicking on it. The full URL will appear in the lower corner of your browser.
  • Scan Shortened Links – Twitter is a popular site for including shortened links due to character limitations. Try a service like Sucuri Site Check to verify if the link is secure.

Network Security Layers – Experts recommend a layered approach to provide multiple lines of security to your social accounts.  Take advantage of sites offering multiple layers of security login options. Facebook and Twitter now offer “Two Factor Authentication.” Each time you attempt to login from an unrecognized device, you are required to enter a code that is texted to your phone.

While there is no sure fire way to be 100% prone free to malicious hackers, you can implement these tips to help secure each of your social sites.

Let us know what questions or comments you have.

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Author Bio

Ironstone is a learning and development consultancy with business acumen that translates across many industries. Our focus is on practice management strategies in order to enhance and improve both business and personal life. We support professionals who want major and comprehensive improvements that look at all aspects not just an isolated area for change. Ironstone has identified 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business.