Social Media allows businesses to share their brand with the outside world in entirely new ways. While the benefit of social media is that everyone and their mother is on it, the problem with social media is that everyone and their mother is on it. People put all sorts of information on their accounts, which translates into a major security risk in the form of targeted phishing attacks.

Social media urges people to share information about their lives with others on the Internet. If you think about it, this trend has shown people that, despite the countless threats that can be found on the Internet, it’s “okay” to share information with others who want to contact you. This causes people to put their trust in social media, which can have dangerous side-effects. In particular, it makes them vulnerable to phishing attacks performed by hackers. Plus, you need to take into account that all of your employees likely have social media accounts, and that they share their contact information with anyone who can view their profile.

This becomes another vector that a hacker can use to exploit your business. Even if your business blocks access to these websites, employees will use these sites off of your network, be it through mobile devices or otherwise. Hackers could pose as an employee’s old friend, reaching out for the first time in ages–perhaps asking for a small loan. Or, maybe they’ll ask employees for sensitive credentials or personally identifiable information. Either way, you can bet that any compromised accounts will attempt to spread malware through suspicious links or advanced phishing attacks designed to target the user’s trusting nature.

After all, social media can be trusted, right? Wrong.

Too many businesses think that social media is simply another waste of time, rather than a legitimate threat. It’s a matter of perspective; users aren’t going to suspect that threats could lie on trusted websites like social media accounts; and the more connections someone has, the more potential outlets for hackers. The reality of the matter is that threats come in all shapes and sizes, and will take whatever measures needed to steal sensitive data or infect machines with malware. Plus, the more employees you have, the greater your chances of encountering situations like the aforementioned scenarios.

Is your business nervous about experiencing social media attacks? Your first line of defense is to educate your employees on security best practices. This includes how to identify incoming threats, especially through social media websites, where hackers could pretend to be someone familiar. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your employees understand how to keep themselves safe both in and out of the office.

You should then augment your best practices by implementing a content filtering solution from Iron Edge Group. A content filter can keep your employees from accessing risky or time-wasting websites, which includes social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on. Furthermore, you can block access to social media on a per user level to keep the problem employees in check. To learn more, reach out to us at (832) 910-9222 .

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