Cyber security for influencers: How social media personalities can protect themselves online

July 20, 2020

Social media influencers are everywhere these days, and they cover any topic.

But as the number of influencers increases, so has the need for them to stay cyber secure.

Social media influencers rely on their reputation for their income – any damage to their personal brand can have severe consequences on future contracts with brands.

If you’re an influencer, cyber security should be a top priority. Here’s how influencers like you can stay cyber safe and protect your personal brand.

Why cyber security is so essential for influencers

Social media influencers build their lives online. Your reputation and income rely, almost entirely, on social media and other online accounts.

That makes protecting those accounts essential for your ability to maintain relationships with your audiences – as well as any brands you may want to work with.

All it takes is one misguided tweet or Instagram Story to compromise your reputation.

The world is littered with examples of cyber criminals hacking into influencers’ accounts and causing them damage.

What’s the best way to stay safe? Adopt a deliberate approach to protecting yourself online.

How social media influencers can stay cyber safe

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for influencers like you to protect yourselves online. One of the best means for influencers to stay cyber safe is to adopt some best practices everyone should be following related to their social media accounts.

By following the steps below, you will be well on your way to protecting your brand from cyber threats.

Secure your accounts

The first step is to protect your accounts with passphrases or complex passwords. The ideal way to do this is to adopt a passphrase – a combination of words that only you know. We recommend using a passphrase that uses 4 or more words and is 15 characters long.

The second step is to enable multi-factor authentication to add another layer of protection for your accounts.

If a cyber criminal attempts to hack into your account, they not only need to guess your password, but they also need to provide a second authentication factor (e.g. a fingerprint or face scan) that matches yours.

Be careful about who has access

When cultivating a personal brand, many social media influencers work with a team to help create and post content.

For some influencers, this means using team members who write and create content they can post themselves. In these cases, only one person – the influencer – still has access to the account.

For others, though, they work with a team to actually log in and post the content on the influencer’s behalf. That means sharing passwords and access with others who may not be as strict about cyber security as an influencer.

While this may help simplify efforts to create posts that connect with your audience, it also leaves you more vulnerable to potential cyber threats than if you were the only one with  access to your accounts.

More people with access means more potential weak points. It also means more potential ways of a password or account access getting into the hands of a cyber criminal. Not everyone on your team will be as careful about protecting a password as you might be.

That makes the whole account vulnerable because of the actions of one person.

One way to combat this is to limit the number of people who have access to your accounts.

Adopting a policy related to cyber security for everyone who has access can also go a long way. A policy like this – which outlines how passwords should be kept secure and the importance of logging out of accounts when not in use – sets the expectations for what rules your team will follow as they postcontent.

Stay up-to-date on the threats (and the protection measures)

The best defence against cyber security threats? Information.

The tactics cyber criminals use are always changing. Staying up to date on what those threats are ­– and how they can be used against you – is essential.

It’s not just threats, though. Social media platforms and other service providers are also updating their services and features to stay ahead of those threats.

Protect yourself by staying informed.  By constantly educating yourself (and your team if you have one), you can stay one step ahead of the threats cyber criminals pose.

Conclusion

As social media influencers have grown in popularity, so have the stakes for staying cyber safe.

By following some simple steps, you can be well on your way to influencing whether or not you become a victim of a cyber attack.


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