Already this year Microsoft, Skype and CNN are among the big business names that have had their social media accounts hacked. Despite such instances apparently becoming increasingly frequent, social media hacking remains one of the less common risks posed to brands online. However, just because the chance of it happening to your brand is relatively small in comparison to things such as spamming and inappropriate content, it doesn’t mean the risks are also low – in fact they’re incredibly high.
'Low chance-high risk' social media threats are often overlooked in favour of 'high chance-low risk' threats that cause less damage but happen more often. Yes, it’s important to be protected from all manner of risks but simply hoping and praying that something major won’t ever affect your brand will not help when something potentially devastating does strike. In the world of social media moderation it’s fine to hope for the best, just as long as you are always prepared for the very worst.
A social media hack can happen at any time of day or night and without 24/7 social media moderation could go undetected for hours, causing immeasurable damage to your brand’s image. Hacking may be carried out by activists or political extremists who want to use your social media account to utilize your fan base by broadcasting their radical views to your vast audience of users - and unfortunately many hackers target brands that they want to harm in the process.
A recent example of this is the CNN hacking by the Syrian Electronic Army. The pro-Syrian regime hackers have been targeting large news corporations, attacking them in objection to what they believe to be bias reporting, whilst also taking advantage of the global audience they can reach through their victims. Whilst broadcasting their own views on a global scale, they have also been doing their utmost to discredit the company and ruin its reputation.
A hacked social media account can lead to various damaging outcomes; from losing sensitive customer data, to someone hijacking the account and falsely making a statement to all of your followers and customers. In the case of CNN the Syrian Electronic Army were at least upfront about who was posting the updates, stating: "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here...Stop lying... All your reports are fake!" via CNN’s Twitter account. But other hackers take over a brand’s social media channels and post inappropriate or controversial things as the brand in a bid to ruin fan sentiment and damage brand reputation. Imagine the scenario of someone posting as your CEO, claiming your competitor’s products are better and your own product quality is poor – the potential ramifications are significant.
You really need to have your eye on the ball to immediately detect when someone has hacked your social media accounts before they have chance to scare away fans, followers and customers. The only way to do this effectively, accurately and reliably is to implement a social media management and moderation company like Crisp. Online moderation provider Crisp provides the fastest, most accurate and most reliable online brand protection, protecting brands from all social media risks - big and small, 24/7.