Social media is an integral part of our personal and professional lives. It creates a network to connect in unexpected ways; sharing personal updates or reaching a global audience for your business with the touch of a button. Staying safe online, especially on social media is important now more than ever.
Vacation season is in full swing, and the urge to post pictures is tempting.
However, Kyle C. Knapp, founder and CEO of Viterium LLC advises to proceed with caution. “Don’t post anything on social media when you’re away on vacation,” said Knapp. “Don’t post pictures as they’re happening. Wait until you are home to post.”
It’s even more of a concern when you are a high-level executive or business owner. “The bigger problem is when people attempt to impersonate someone like a CEO or business owner,” Knapp said. “These impersonators will send emails asking for sensitive information.”
“This happened to one of my clients. The office manager was asked to buy two Apple gift cards by the impersonator, claiming their boss lost their phone and needed information,” Knapp added. “Thankfully, the office manager thought that was weird and checked the number.”
Deleting content on social media doesn’t mean it’s gone. “Once you post on social media, there is not really any way to keep it under control,” said Knapp. “You can set privacy settings, but there is still a chance you can be (or already were) compromised.”
Social media for business supports effective digital marketing. However, businesses need to be mindful of what they allow on social media. “Some companies forbid employees from having a personal Facebook account because it can be too risky,” said Knapp. “Companies need to write what they accept or do not accept in their policies. If your company does not have a social media policy, you need to establish one.”
Things that should never be posted or shared in any circumstance include credit card numbers, social security numbers, personal information, or any information someone could use to steal your identity for social engineering.
According to the Proofpoint Q2 report, Social engineering attacks increased 500 percent from the first to second quarter of 2018.
What is social engineering?
Social engineering is using deception (or manipulation) to convince someone to divulge confident or personal information (email, contact information, title of person) for fraudulent purposes. “Have a way to verify the person when being asked about sensitive information,” said Knapp. “Ask a specific question no one else would know before you take action, especially if its monetary.”
Creating (and remembering) strong passwords can be difficult, but it’s important. “Don’t use the same password among multiple services,” said Knapp. “If hackers compromise one, they compromise them all.”
Instead Knapp recommends using a password manager, generating strong passwords that can be filled in on websites. “There is a slight risk storing all of your passwords in one place,” said Knapp. “The password managers are encrypted, so if you’re hacked, they would have to also unlock the encryption.”
You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. “Don’t access sensitive information (like your online banking) on a public network, unless you have a virtual private network (VPN),” said Knapp. “What you might think is a secure network, is not.”
The same is true for websites. “Look for the green lock icon, that means the information is encrypted,” said Knapp. “The secure sockets layer (SSL) is the standard security technology, signifying data is safe. These websites have an SSL certification.”
This is more significant for a business. “The SSL certification boosts search engine optimization (SEO),” said Knapp. “Search engines give your website more preference in search than those without the SSL certificate.”
The first line of defense is an antivirus program (accompanying safe practices). “Windows 10 has a great built in software for the home user,” said Knapp. “No antivirus is perfect, so it’s important to back up onsite and offsite frequently. Whether its daily, weekly, or continuous throughout the workday; whatever makes sense for a business.”
Carbonite is an affordable back up program that sends data off site.
If you’ve been victimized by a cyber security attack, Knapp can help. “I can conduct scans of devices, remove viruses, debris, change passwords, and install anti-virus software,” said Knapp. “If I can find out how the virus happened, I will train a business on how to avoid it in the future.”
Viterium offers full security assessments on network, policies, and training; ongoing monitoring for suspicious activity and potential network breaks. Viterium specializes in medical records and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance.
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