Advisor Today - May/June 2015 - (Page 25)
By Ryan Holmes
Hack-Proof Your Social Media Site
Common sense, a little training and the right technology can go a long way in protecting your
social media site.
y now we're all familiar
with the phenomenon of
hacking a large corporate
social media site. Remember the
Burger King "hack" from a couple
of years ago? On the company's
Twitter account, its name had been
changed to McDonalds and its
background replaced with an image
of its competitor's fish sandwich.
In the hour it took for officials to
regain control, hackers proceeded
to send 53 tweets to the burger
chain's more than 80,000 followers,
ranging from the mildly funny ("if
I catch you at a Wendy's, we're
fightin!") to the patently offensive.
The important takeaway from
this account is that it can happen to
you too. Given that reality, what's
a socially engaged insurance agent
to do? Banning social media is no
longer a realistic option. The simple
fact that Burger King has hundreds
of thousands of followers on Twitter
and Facebook speaks to the power
of the medium. Retreating from
social media can mean ceding a
significant competitive advantage.
But there are ways to reduce
risks. At the helm of Hootsuite, I've
learned that common sense, a little
training and the right technology
can go a long way. While it may
be too late for Burger King, these
steps should keep your social
media account from being similarly
Get serious about passwords.
Believe it or not, the most common
password in 2014 was "123456."
Few people realize that an effective
password is often the only thing
standing between them and a
cyber-attack. Instead of choosing
your cat's name or your personal
details, consider strategies like
using the first letter of each word
of a common phrase or song lyric.
Believe it or not, the most common password in 2014
("I can't get no satisfaction"
becomes ICGNS.) Or save yourself
the trouble and use password
generating and management tools,
such as LastPass.
Centralize social media
channels. Large firms are
sometimes surprised to discover
that their employees have
started dozens of "corporate"
social media accounts, often
without permission. A first step
in getting social media security
under control is to consolidate
all of these accounts within a
single social media management
system, which allows users to
publish to multiple profiles on
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and
other networks from one secure
interface. This kind of system also
acts like an extra firewall.
Control who can post messages.
Social media accounts at consumer
brands can have millions of
followers. Entrusting the keys
to these accounts to entry-level
employees or interns carries
significant risk. A better approach
is to use a social media management
system that restricts who can
Offer basic social media
education. Just a few years ago,
social media was a toy. Today it's a
cornerstone of marketing and sales
strategy at many companies. Giving
employees access to this kind of
power without any basic education
is tantamount to handing over
keys to the car without a driver's
education course. Structured
training on security and compliance
issues is critical. Fortunately, some
of the best social media tools
now come equipped with online
courseware and webinars for users.
The combination of social media
education with technology can
dramatically reduce the possibility of
a security breach-either from outside
the company or from within.
Ryan Holmes is the CEO of
Hootsuite, a dashboard that
manages social networks, schedules
messages, engages your audiences
and measures ROI.
May/June 2015 | ADVISOR TODAY 25
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - May/June 2015
From the Editor
Investing with Purpose
Ascending to Greatness
DI Insurance Saves a Family—Twice
Hack-Proof Your Social Media Site
A Unique Asset That Is Often Overlooked
How I Sell Whole Life
When Being Wrong Is Right
Selling Life Insurance Today
Retirement Planning for Today’s Boomers
Repotting Your Career
NAIFA Government Relations
After the Sale
Marketing to Millennials
How to Win the Hispanic Market
In Step with a Winner
Work for Free—and Make Lots of Money Doing It!
Creating a Center of Influence
Advisor Today - May/June 2015