How to Protect yourself and your Business' Social Media
When so many nowadays make a living from their public profile [influencers and the like] and a company’s reputation may hang on their public persona - how best can we safeguard it? Here, we explore simple ways you can protect yourself and your business (regardless of what Elon does next).
With the long-awaited takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk taking place just weeks ago, we have been witness to a number of major shifts in the company. A sink found its home in the headquarters, senior executive staff were changed, half of the staff were let go and the contentious verification subscription product was announced.
We all may have heard about the huge payout arriving in Twitter’s direction due to the acquisition by Elon Musk with many happy that it was a sign of change - encouraging “free speech” and new thinking to the platform. However, the reality has not been much like first anticipated. Some of the actions taken by the new owner have raised questions about what it means for the current state of tech and its main players. But in particular, the new ability to subscribe for a ‘blue tick’ had everyone witnessing a social media circus.
It started with an announcement that Twitter was planning to allow all users to have the opportunity to obtain a verified badge by subscribing for a small fee. What would this mean? Could it have spelt the end of spam on Twitter? Was its only objective to generate income? I guess it could have been both - however its launch was marred by the rise of the impersonator.
Many legitimate profiles saw their names misused by the Twitter community to disseminate messages that they would not have otherwise shared using fake accounts, many with unofficial handles. Some may have seen this coming. Impersonation was not new to the platform, anyone could pretend to be someone else. But now they had the added benefit of a badge that was initially used to help prevent this very scenario by differentiating real-life public figures/businesses on the platform.
To hilarious and sometimes political effect, we saw tweets in the public sphere that turned the initiative upside-down. And it begs the question - *how do you protect your digital self?* When so many nowadays make a living from their public profile [influencers and the like] and a company’s reputation may hang on their public persona - how best can we safeguard it? While we may never be able to stop those intending to create spoof or fake accounts completely, there may be steps we can take to stay vigilant. Here at OneTech, we gathered a few ideas that could help. Feel free to share this with both new and more established businesses:
Trademarking your brand
Taking the action to trademark your brand by visiting the Intellectual Property Office means that you have the ability to take legal action against those using it without your permission. Your brand can range from the logo, words, sounds and colours, or a combination of these. Trademarking also allows you the opportunity to use the ® symbol and gives you copyright over the elements trademarked.
Regularly reviewing your online activity and web content using your name
Setting up a system for regularly checking how your name is being used online is a great way to keep an eye out for anything that might be suspicious. Maybe setting up Google Alert for your business or product name could be a method for doing this. Google Alerts also allow you to use any email address to set this up. Other companies offer services and AI to identify potential cases of copyright infringement, which could also be a go-to.
Be mindful of security
Setting strong passwords which are not replicated elsewhere is something we have always been told, but not always practised. In teams, it is possible that default passwords are often used to make it easy for colleagues to access systems/profiles. To get around something like this, investing in a password manager may be helpful to avoid reusing and simplifying passwords currently in use. TechRadar shares a list of password managers to help start your search for the one that works for you.
Check twice with two-factor authentication
A related point, using a phone number, recovery email address and/or a 3rd party app with a code can help to reduce and limit the risk of unauthorised access. This link includes reviews of authenticators from the team at Cloudwards.
Having a plan in place for when suspicious activity is identified
Deciding what course to take when you have been made aware of suspicious activity is incredibly important. Writing guidance documents for your organisation and noting down official contact details for help centres and customer services for platforms you use could be a good step towards protecting your brand and profile online. Becoming familiar with some of the platform policies could also be helpful here. Twitter has a number of policies published in their Help Centre.
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