Social media cyber vandalism occurs when someone takes control of your social media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter and uses it to misdirect information. This involves posting erroneous, vulgar, or inappropriate things on a site and making it sound like it's coming from you. It can damage your business reputation and cost you serious dollars.
No one knows the extent of social media cyber vandalism, although it had been estimated that as many as one-third of adults had a social media account hacked. And InfoSecurity Group posted a list of the top 10 worst social media cyber-attacks.
And even worse, this activity can be used as a backdoor into your computer and all of your data. The New York Times last year reported that a Russian hacker used a Twitter post which a defense department employee responded to in order to gain access to the Pentagon computers.
What to do about it
The SBA has created a toolkit that you can use to address social media cyber-vandalism; you’d be remiss if you didn’t read through it! The 3Rs used to be reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. Now the 3Rs are phases in dealing with attacks:
- Readiness. Here you learn how to prevent attacks and quickly respond to any that occur.
- Recovery. Here your response team can alert internal personnel, outside stakeholders (e.g., customers), and regain control. The toolkit has links to the forms you need to submit to various social media sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
- Response. This includes not only changing passwords but also conducting a review of lessons learned so you can adopt best practices for your business going forward.
Also consider a cyber liability insurance policy to cover the economic cost of recovery. The policy covers your business’ liability for a data breach in which the personal information of customers and employees has been compromised. It can also cover business interruption costs, data loss and/or reconstruction costs, cyber extortion, and more. Talk with your insurance agent to determine the extent of coverage you want or need to carry.
I’ve previously posted some information about tax deductions for cybersecurity that you may want to check out.
It may be a matter of when, not if, you’ll be attacked. Be prepared!