It’s every social media manager’s worse nightmare, an unknown user is posting damaging content from a brand account and this weekend it happened to our very own government. Although there is a sense of relief knowing it truly can happen to anyone, safeguarding access to social media accounts should be a number 1 priority. We’ve pulled together 5 top tips which anyone managing their brand communications can follow to avoid a PR disaster…. #truthtwisters

1. Account admin

Admittedly a boring but essential task! Before being able to manage and safeguard your brand channels you need to have the credentials and information correctly logged. Email addresses, phone numbers and those with access to each account will be your saving grace if things happen to go off track…

2. The password doc

This maybe obvious but it’s the simple duties that can be overlooked. Any document containing passwords for accounts should be (ironically) password protected, a combination of numbers and letters that when attempting to pronounce make no sense, and only shared on a need to know basis.

3. Changing passwords

Have reoccurring reminders in your diary to change all passwords, ideally monthly or bi-monthly. Although your internal team changes will probably not be that frequent, it reduces the risk of those who may have access to your accounts that you’re unaware of. And of course, when a team member does leave, change all passwords and update the password doc asap!

4. Check your user’s locations

This feels very much like a James Bond mission, but sadly I am no Daniel Craig and thankfully this is possible within the space of a few clicks. Instagram and Twitter have this built into their settings, allowing you to throw out users you deem to have a suspicious location and report their activity for investigation by the platform

5. Two-Factor authentication

Simply, this is when a user attempts to gain access to an account but then requires additional credentials to be granted access. There are numerous formats, but most commonly is when a unique code is messaged to an account holder’s phone when an attempt is made to log-in. The person logging in needs this code (as well as the correct password) otherwise they will face “please try again”. This is an effective way to prevent the unfortunate event if passwords were to fall into the wrong hands.

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