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5 Common Social Media Security Threats for Agents

November 4, 2020

In our increasingly digital-focused world, it’s essential for brands to be on social media. Current and prospective customers expect you to have a social media presence that they can use to learn about your agency and as a trusted resource on their protection needs. As social media becomes more of a first point of contact between your business and customers, it’s more important than ever to approach your social strategy with a security mindset.

You want your agency’s brand to stand out to customers in a positive way—not because of an embarrassing blunder caused by lack of proper processes. Luckily, a fairly small investment of time and planning will help minimize your risk to these five common social media threats.

1. Account neglect

Social conversations about your business that you’re unaware of are a vulnerability. When you don’t regularly check your agency’s social accounts, you run the risk of missing complaints and questions that require your response. This can also open the door to spam and, worse, make you more vulnerable to hackers that prey on inactive accounts. Prevention is as simple as making sure someone within your agency is regularly logging in and monitoring all accounts your business uses (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). If you decide a particular social platform is no longer a worthwhile part of your strategy, take the required steps to properly deactivate the account after making a final post so your followers understand why you’ve no longer active and directing them to your active social networks. You can deactivate a social account through the platform settings. Learn tips on developing your social media content strategy.

2. Human error

Of all social threats, human error has the potential to cause the greatest negative economic impact. It happens when someone accidentally uploads the wrong image for a social post, shares information from the wrong account, or unknowingly shares sensitive data. Always be sure to check all links before publishing posts, have a social review process in place, and double check which account you’re logged into before posting. It’s also important to research hashtags before using them, be mindful of the environment to make sure a post is appropriate and have a plan to respond to comments when a post goes live. Using a social publishing site like Hearsay to manage posts is a great way to ensure that all aspects of a post are properly reviewed before they are posted. You can easily request Nationwide Hearsay access by sending an email with your agency number to

3. Phishing

Phishing scams use social media to trick people into giving out personal information like banking details and passwords. To combat these scams, always be sure to think before you click, and never click on links that request personal information. Using unique login details for each platform and ensuring you only log in when connected to a secure network can help prevent phishers from attempting to access your personal information. Being diligent with monitoring suspicious comments on your social media posts can prevent phishing attempts on your account, as well as the accounts of customers who are viewing your posts.

4. Account hacks

This happens when a cybercriminal takes over your social media account and sends out messages that are inappropriate or off-brand. You can prevent account hacks by updating account passwords quarterly with creative passwords that do not contain common words or phrases. It’s always important to appoint multiple account admins in case an employee suddenly leaves, set up an exit strategy for social media admin employees, and regularly monitor all the accounts associated with your business. It is much easier to do damage control for an account that’s been hacked if it’s regularly monitored.

5. Compliance violations

Social media compliance is not as intimidating as it sounds. Yes, various rules and regulations are set by several regulatory bodies, such as FINRA, the FTC, FDA, and SEC. Companies in regulated industries need to understand their compliance obligations in order to use social media as an effective and appropriate marketing tool. Creating a clear social media policy with compliance oversight on what can and can’t be said through social will help your company successfully comply with regulations. Learn how to stay social media compliant.

While these risks may seem intimidating, social media can be an extremely effective marketing tool for your business. Awareness of these threats is half the battle. With the right processes in place, social media marketing can become an intuitive and valuable piece of your agency operation that strengthens your online reputation and drives new leads and revenue for your agency. To further amplify your agency’s brand, access Nationwide’s marketing support.