Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest; the list of “gotta be on” Social Media outlets marches on. The good news; these allow you to project your brand and your message cheaply, efficiently and effectively. The bad news? If you’re not careful, all that work can be quickly undone when a hacker compromises your account and Posts, Tweets or Pins something for their benefit at your expense.
Hyatt Hotels found this out the hard way when their Concierge account Tweeted, ”An amazing new weight loss product! It worked for me and I didn’t even change my diet!” with a link to what appeared to be TV News footage about the product. The bad guys do this because they get paid for driving traffic to the site.
Fortunately, the folks at Hyatt regained control of the account within an hour and Tweeted a response. Lest we think only Hyatt has this kind of problem, it’s happened to the NY Times on Twitter and Pfizer’s Facebook page has been hacked.
What to do about this?
- Often, the bad guys just guess the password or use password cracking tools. Use unique, hard-to-crack passwords.
- Keep those with access to the account to the minimum.
- Keep the computers used to access the account up-to-date with all software patches and security software.
- If you’ve outsourced any of the update activities to an outside organization such as a PR firm, make sure they observe the above rules.