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Social media prompts crime

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Employees who post details about your organization on social media make it vulnerable to criminals. For example, an employee who confesses, “I have to close the store by myself tonight” is practically asking to be robbed. And an employee who complains, “This is the third computer virus I have had this week” tells hackers that your organization’s IT security is lacking.

Even seemingly harmless comments on your business accounts, such as, “We had our most profitable weekend at the restaurant in five years tonight” could entice a burglar.

You can mitigate the risk of criminal activity by following these tips:

•  Establish guidelines. Tell employees what they can and can’t write on the business social media accounts. Be very specific to ensure compliance.

•  Ask employees not to post details about work on personal accounts. Of course, you have no way of controlling their activity. However, if you explain, using real-life stories, how criminals have used social media to attack people and organizations, many employees will comply with your request.

•  Train employees to use privacy settings. Default privacy settings offer employees little protection against cyber-attacks. Hold a training session and teach employees how to maximize their protection on all their social media accounts.

•  Arm your IT people. Provide your IT staff with the training and resources necessary to monitor employees’ social media activity, recognize risks and take steps to reduce those risks.

— Adapted from “Protect Your Business with 5 Social Media Security Tips,” Robert Siciliano, Entrepreneur, www.entrepreneur.com.

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