Social Media Security – Best Practices

social media security

You may ask yourself why you need to worry about Social Media Security

Let me fill you in on the back story.  A former colleague contacted me and asked me if I personally knew a mutual contact on LinkedIn.  Apparently this mutual contact had scammed her out of some money.  I told her I did not, as I am connected to a few thousand contacts and do not know all of them personally.   Since this is an issue so many have to deal with, I thought this post would be appropriate.  Here is a checklist of best practices you can do to make your social media security more secure.

1) Use a separate e-mail address for your social media accounts:  i.e. linkedin@yourdomain.com  or twitter@yourdomain.com  then have each forwarded to your main account.  If you do not have the luxury of multiple e-mail accounts you can do something along the lines of  yourname_socialmedia@yourdomain.com.  This was beneficial for me about a year ago, in that I received an e-mail from my Linkedin e-mail  account from “PayPal”.  Someone on the other end was trying to get money from me.  I immediately knew this was a scam because my PayPal e-mail is not my LinkedIn e-mail address.  Of course I immediately let PayPal know what was going on and forwarded them the e-mail.

2) Use a secure password: You want a MINIMUM of 8 characters, but I like to use 12 or more.  You also want a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.  You want a different password for every account.  I know this seems impossible, but you can use a naming convention.  Here is an example.  Tw1+2013!!  I spelled the first four letters of Twitter using a combination of letters, numbers and special characters, added the year and ended it with exclamation points.   As you can see, this password combination makes the social media security is pretty good.  If you want to see how your password stacks up – go to this password checker and check it out.  You might be surprised.

3) Change your passwords regularly.  I would say at least every 3 months – but if that’s too often for you, at least once a year MINIMUM.  I change mine every 3-6 months because I used to work in network security and I’m a bit more paranoid.

4) Use a social media management application:  I use HootSuite and Sprout Social, but there are others.  You can also use applications like Gremln or Smarsh.  This is beneficial if you have someone managing your social accounts.  This way, they only have limited access.

5) Take advantage additional authentication method:  Several social platforms will send a text to your cell phone and allow you to enter a code for verification.  If you are concerned about social media security, this is an added step worth taking.

6) Recognized Devices:  How many devices do you have?  How many do you use?  Facebook recognizes and remembers your devices, so it’s good to go into your settings and delete your old devices every few months.  I only have 3 devices, but according to Facebook, I have 17 since May of this year.  The thing is, I log into Facebook from a lot of different networks.

7) What is the URL? Sophisticated computer hackers can duplicate your social media accounts (as well as pretty much any other kind of account).   If you want to be on top of social media security, you definitely want to pay attention to the url.

8) This may seem obvious, but do NOT give your username and password to people you don’t know.  Even if they say they need it to get you more followers or to manage your account.  Have them with you when you are signed in, then let them act as you add them as an administrator, or set up a third party social media management tool like Hoot Suite.

9) No matter how much you WANT to, NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER did I say NEVER? But NEVER have your browser remember your passwords.  If your computer gets infected with a worm, or virus, or the latest mutation thereof, it could possibly take the passwords from your browser and save them to a server somewhere for someone to use.  Also – NEVER save your passwords to a file on your computer.

10) Keep your computer up to date with the latest patches, upgrades and antivirus software.  Social media security is just as much about maintenance as much as it is about awareness.

Do you have anything you would like to add to this list?  Have you had anything scary happen to you or a friend?  What do you think could have prevented it?

The Evolution of Follow Friday on Twitter

followfriday

What is Follow Friday?

When I first started using Twitter back in 2007, Follow Friday wasn’t even around.  In fact, it wasn’t until January 2009, a blogger named Michah Baldwin obsessed with the idea that people wouldn’t know who to follow unless he recommended them.

courtesy of #mashable
courtesy of #mashable

The idea of  Follow Friday is genius.  Recommending your followers to follow someone you follow, or are friends with, converse with on Twitter recommending someone else they know and follow.   Back when it was originally started, people would recommend just a few people on that Follow Friday until the next week.  People would actually get followed.

The problem now however, is we have people doing #followfriday recommendations in bulk loading so many names in one tweet there is no room for the actual recommendation.  Sometimes the people being recommended are not actual people at all, but bot accounts!

Twitter bot account

This bot account was relatively easy to spot.  It still had the egg for the avatar, has zero followers and is following zero people and does not have the bio filled out.  Some bot accounts have avatars, followers and bios.  This is why it is so important to tweet back and forth with people BEFORE recommending them on #followfriday or any other day for that matter.

Let’s say you want to would like to participate in Follow Friday, but find individual  recommendations too cumbersome.  You have other options.  Here are a few tips:

  • If you follow people you know and trust who give great Follow Friday shout outs.  You can RT those and favorite to use at a later date.
  • HootSuite has the bulk upload option using Excel.

Hootsuite bulk upload

 

The initial file setup will take some time, but once you have it set up, all you need to do is change the dates.  I recommend spacing your tweets 30 minutes apart.  Each tweet will also need to be unique.  Hootsuite does not allow duplicate posts.  I also like to copy and save several files not just for #followfriday, but also  to use on any day so I can recommend many more people and vary the message.  I always use the #follow hashtag.  Don’t forget to save the file as the .csv file format (comma delimited).

  • Another option is to use a third party application call Bundlepost.  Bundlepost uses this same format, but in a more user-friendly format.  You can check it out with a 30-day free trial.

So, when you see all those #followfriday posts in your stream, don’t go running to Facebook… at least not until you post your own #followfriday tweets for your tweetfriends.

What do you think about #followfriday? Do you follow people when you see someone recommended?

Twitter Shortcuts You Won’t Want to Live Without.

twitter shortcuts by Knikkolette

Do you use Twitter shortcuts?

If you use Twitter’s interface, there are several shortcuts (pressing 2 keys to give the the same action as a series of mouse-clicks) you will wonder why you haven’t been using them before now.  These are especially beneficial if you do some actions more than others, for instance; if you use your “Favorites” (tweets marked as Favorites to be used or referred to at later dates)  a LOT, G + F will take you straight to your Favorites page.  They are also good to know if you can’t remember where some of these menu items are.  For instance, if you can’t remember where Twitter keeps their “lists” feature, all you need to do is type G + L.

Viewing the Twitter shortcut cheat-sheets below, you can see some of them are pretty intuitive while others may take using a few times to get them memorized.  You can refer back to this cheat sheet any time; just favorite this page or download the images.

Twitter shortcuts by your social media mogul

In addition to the twitter shortcuts shown above, you can see a few more available with the image displayed below.

twitter shortcuts  keyboard

There’s one more quick trick I’d like to add that isn’t really a shortcut – but may save you some time.  If you ever share your tweets, and want a Twitter link for a specific post, here’s a very short video to show you exactly how to do that.

Did you find these shortcuts useful?  Do you have any favorite Twitter shortcuts or tips you would like to share? I’d like to know!

 

 

A FEW DO’s and DONT’s of Twitter

do's and dont's of Twitter

 

What are MY Do’s and Dont’s of Twitter?

If you’ve been dabbling in social media for any period of time, I’m sure you’ve read numerous posts with tips about Twitter.  Some may include links to 3rd party applications that work with Twitter, some may be tips how to get more followers or market yourself online using Twitter.  There are many sites out there such as JeffBullas.com,  Social Media Examiner, and Michael Q Todd just to name a few that offer great tips on Twitter and other social platforms.  In fact, I would recommend you subscribe to each of these blogs because they have valuable content you can use.

Below are my recommendations, that have worked for me to not only gain followers, but cultivate relationships through Twitter that ultimately allowed me to makes sales.

DO: If you notice someone has posted “Good Morning” or “Hello”, respond with a warm greeting! A long conversation is not necessary…  people just want to know there’s someone out there.

DON’T: Post and run!  I’ve seen so many people who are new to Twitter post links to their websites, “promotions”, etc… thinking this is the way to use Twitter to get new business, then they hop offline with no intention of getting to know their target audience.  Think about it this way… Would you turn on your television or radio just to watch or listen to commercials or infomercials?  Didn’t THINK so!

DO: Pay it forward.  Whether you are promoting another person’s blog, business, charity, contest or whatever, the general rule of thumb is to follow the 90/10 or 80/20 rule.  Promote others the MAJORITY of the time and yourself the minority of the time.    It was Zig Ziglar that said “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” and that’s true for Twitter as well.  As you promote others… you are building your own cheer leading team.

DON’T: Auto DM (direct message) a generic message asking your new follower to like your fan page, read your blog,  or buy your product!  This is just down right RUDE!  There are many many people (myself included) who will unfollow you just as quickly as they followed you if they see this type of message in their DM box.

These are just a FEW of my Twitter a Do’s and Don’ts… heaven knows there are SOOOOO many more!  Is there something people do on Twitter that really gets under your skin you would like to share?  How about something people SHOULD do?  I’d love to read what you’ve got to say!

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The 3 S’s of Social Media

What are the 3 S’s of Social Media?

social media

I watched a movie this weekend called My Best Friend, and while I won’t go into all the details, the short of it is about a guy who doesn’t have any friends (but claims he does) and makes a bet with his business partner he can prove it in 10 days.  During his “search” for his “best friend” someone taught him the 3 S’s of being friendly and making friends.  While watching this I realized, the 3 S’s apply to social media too!

1) SMILE! So you may be asking yourself how do you exactly SMILE on social media?  EASY!  Post positive comments, funny posts, make sure your avatar shows your bright smiling face! Of course you can also add the smiley faces i.e. 🙂 or :0) or even the big smile :D.  Then there are hugs and and other variations of affection.  If you have a blog like this, write posts that make people smile. (I think I need to work on that one!)  As adults, we have a tendency to be so serious, so business-minded.  It’s good to be professional, but let’s remember to have fun too and get your friends on social media smiling.

2) BE SOCIAL! You might say “Well DUH!” You’d be surprised how many people go online, open accounts, tweet about specials, or announcements, but never interact.  They spend money having Facebook fan pages created, and even make posts for a month or two, but when they don’t get the results they want, they decide it’s not worth the effort.  Social media is easy, but it’s work.  It’s simple, but it takes time to cultivate relationships.  Treat social media, social networking, social platforms in general like any other “real life” relationship and you’ll be much more successful.

3) SINCERITY! Even though almost everything is in print, people can tell a fake a mile away and they won’t hesitate to bury you in their stream or unfollow your account.  Sometimes being overly positive, or overly optimistic can come off as insincere (Yes – I have that problem – I have happy days and I really DO think people ROCK!, but I suppose I can see where that might come across as insincere if you don’t know me.)

Do YOU have an “S” you’d like to add to the ones I’ve listed above?  What’s the best advice you would give to someone in social media?