Why social media is a threat to your business

Social media is a great thing. Services such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube help connect friends, families, and even strangers around the world. But it’s well known that they pose an important threat to business owners.

Let’s start with the basics. It’s true that access to these services can keep an employee stimulated and give them a break from the stresses of their work. However, it’s not uncommon for people to spend endless hours scouring Facebook. Moderation is key. Put policies in place, monitor time spent on these types of sites, and help keep productivity high.

Now come the scary parts.

It’s well known that social media sites are a common vector for malware distribution. Your employees infect themselves at home, nothing stops them from doing it at work. You may think your only line of defense is a hardware or software solution. While that helps mitigate some risk, employee education is your biggest asset. Teach your staff to be wary of clicking on links posted by other users without first verifying their source.

Social engineering is equally dangerous. Facebook accounts are hacked often and messages with potentially malicious links get sent to all friends of the hacked account. Because the links came from a trusted source, an employee may be tempted to click it. Corporate theft is not too far off. If an attacker gains access to one employee’s account, they can then send messages to a another employee asking for sensitive passwords or data. Sharing sensitive information across channels such as Facebook messaging should be prohibited in your organization.

Gartner reports that the number of organizations that block access to social media sites is expected to decrease 10% per year. If your business plans to unblock social media sites, put policies in place, educate your employees, and don’t allow your workplace to become a victim.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to protect businesses from the threats of social media sites?

By Marcin Kleczynski

CEO of Malwarebytes, click About Me at the top of the page to learn more!

4 replies on “Why social media is a threat to your business”

One of the most practical ways to prevent malware is to NEVER. CLICK. ADS. EVER. ESPECIALLY ON FACEBOOK. Facebook is the king of fake, malicious ads. Once I even saw an ad for a cheesy game that announced out loud you had to install the MyWebSearch toolbar. Erm, excuse me, but that’s spyware, and Malwarebytes will remove it (thank you!). If you’re smart and use Firefox or Chrome (the only browsers that are actually acceptable to use on a daily basis), there’s an addon for both known as Adblock Plus. Removes almost every ad that exists, on-page or pop-up completely. Even YouTube ads are gone. You can disable it for certain sites if you want to support them, but it’s very helpful in preventing malware and general annoyances. So, if you see an ad you like, check if there’s a Wikipedia page about whatever it’s advertising before clicking. If there isn’t one (or the Wikipedia page says something about malware), don’t click it.

Another important step to take in preventive securing workstation within a company is local or domain policy settings. Removing local admin rights, installation service stopped. If forced to allow employees on social media sites, putting them in Internet Explorer’s restricted site zone and allowing only a minimum of policies unrestricted.

Yeah, I agree with Cameron. I don’t have to worry about that because I have Adblock. It doesn’t show the ads at all (maybe it doesn’t even load them). I suggest everybody get that. It’s helpful, and it keeps those annoying, flashy ads off your screen.

Marcin, I’m going to have to agree with you on this. Facebook can kill your career. It’s stupid that it will, but I don’t control the way things work.

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