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Security Risks on Social Media

A look into how some of the most severe hacks can occur on social media and how to prevent them.
Austin Winder
While social media is often an ideal platform for businesses that are seeking to promote themselves or to improve their customer relations, there are many security threats associated with social media sites and services which could pose a significant risk.
Failing to properly manage the company's social-media account could lead to no end of problems. Learning to identify and address the most pressing digital security concerns can go a long way towards helping businesses to protect themselves from a breach.

Common Risks Associated With Social Media

From losing or misplacing a device that remains logged into an account to security vulnerabilities that may be found within third-party social media applications, there are many potential security risks that could result in a data breach, if exploited.

Using social media to attack a business may be done through a variety of methods.

Social Engineering

This form of cyber-attack involves contacting and manipulating employee or associate of the business to obtain the password or account information.

Social media offers the ideal environment for social engineering and employees who use same password for multiple accounts or often download unsafe files may constitute a liability.


Malicious software like computer viruses, worms and even ransomware can be spread through social media quickly and easily. A system or mobile which may be infected with malware can put entire business at risk in case it is connected to the network.
Malware that targets personal social media accounts of employees and staff can allow hackers to bypass security efforts that might have otherwise been sufficient to protect against a breach.

Unsecured Accounts

A stolen device, logged into a social media account is an immediate security threat. Gaining full access to an account means, even those who lack the skills and technical understanding to mount an effective cyber-attack may discover password information, account details or data that could put business at risk.
Requiring multi-factor identification or adopting strict guidelines for employee use of social media can be important aspects of a business's security strategy.

Taking Steps to Improve Security

Threat of malware, password phishing and the other ways in which social media may be used to facilitate an attack on a business are concerns that companies should think of. Resources like multi-factor identification can help to keep accounts secure even if a password goes in wrong hands.
Firewalls and security applications can be effective at minimizing or eliminating many risks by malware and unsecured downloads. Taking steps to train employees and associates can be important, especially for businesses whose social-media presence might make them an inviting target for a cyber-attack.