Social Media Security for Businesses

Instructor: David Gloag
In this lesson, we'll take a look at social media, a social media presence for a business, and how social media security is important for businesses. We'll discuss what businesses can do to minimize social media security risks.


If you are in business, you generally have something to say. Whether it be a new product that you have, new pricing, or maybe the grand opening of a new location, you have a message you want to be distributed as far and wide as possible. But you'll also recognize that this isn't easy. Today, many products have global markets, and reaching those potential buyers is a monumental task. Conventional forms of advertising like newspapers, radio, and television simply aren't enough. Consequently, many businesses are turning to the one avenue that can reach even further using word-of-mouth, and the framework that supports it, social media.

What is Social Media?

Social media is the phrase used to describe the various websites around the world that focus on person to person, person to business, and business to business interaction. Their purpose is to share information and to spread that information to as many people as possible. Content on these sites takes many forms. The most common ones include messages, documents, and videos. There are many social media websites available on the Internet. Some of the prominent ones include:

  • Facebook is a website centered on the interests, activities, and personal details of people and businesses.
  • YouTube is a website focused on videos and video content. Topics cover virtually anything you can imagine, from funny animal videos to movie trailers.
  • Twitter is a website that packetizes information into small chunks. In other words, it distributes information in small pieces or 'tweets', almost like a news ticker.
  • LinkedIn is a website focused on businesses and business professionals. Posts focus on business activities, job postings, and profiles of many types of business professionals.

Social Media Security Risks

The very nature of social media introduces a number of risks. As such, businesses that make use of social media need to be aware of these risks and take precautions. The risks include:

  • Negligence - One of the worst things a business can do is neglect their social media presence. The idea that you can set-it-and-forget-it simply doesn't work in an online environment. For example, if you advertise a sale don't forget to change the message when it is over.
  • Human Error - Social media reaches far and wide at the speed of light. Incorrectly advertised information can have significant consequences. For example, an incorrect price that is higher than it should be can keep customers away, or one that is lower than it should be can cost you money.
  • Malicious Apps - This is a problem even in the personal world. It includes unauthorized or unwanted software creating various forms of havoc on a system. Examples include spyware and viruses.
  • Scams and Phishing - Various ploys exist to try to obtain personal information with the idea of turning that information into money through theft or blackmail. For example, fake messages asking you to login to your account to fix an issue can lead to data theft.
  • Hacks - External attacks trying to gain access to a system or to overwhelm login facilities can lock everyone else out. An example of this is the 'denial of service' attacks you read about in the news or the system attacks portrayed in movies like Hackers or Black Hat.

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