Posted on

Facebook Data Breach

It makes sense to check if your Facebook data was exposed.  This site seems like a good place for that according to various news sites –

This article from Forbes mentions that some users’ dates of birth were exposed by the Facebook breach.  “As well as phone numbers and email addresses, the data exposed in the Facebook breach includes dates of birth, relationship statuses and locations.” –

A little more information can be found in this Wired article “What Really Caused Facebook’s 500M-User Data Leak?” including this about the data not coming from the 2018 Facebook data breach “the recently public trove of 533 million records is an entirely different data set that attackers created by abusing a flaw in a Facebook address book contacts import feature.” –

Posted on

3 Important Ways to Secure your Business’ Social Media Accounts

There is no doubt that social media has emerged as an important corporate branding tool. This ubiquitous, cost-effective tool for marketing, promotion, and communicating with customers is both advantageous and precarious. The cleverest campaigns can go viral, gaining the attention of broadcast media and drawing widespread attention to your brand. However, equal levels of negative attention, and potentially legal action, is directed at a brand when social media goes wrong.

McDonalds was caught in a precarious situation recently when its Twitter account was hacked and they were left apologizing and cleaning up the mess. The tweet read “@realDonaldTrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.” McDonalds responded by posting a statement “Based on our investigation, we have determined that our Twitter account was hacked by an external source. We took swift action to secure it, and we apologize this tweet was sent through our corporate McDonald’s account.”

Compromised social media accounts are not the only risks to consider. Posts created by authorized account users can also pose a threat to a company’s brand. So, what are some steps you can take to mitigate risk? MessageWatcher suggests three important measures.

  1. Monitor your Social Media Accounts

The MessageWatcher solution allows you to define key words to search in your company’s social media accounts. You will be alerted immediately when an account is compromised or an inappropriate post is made in any of your social media platforms. You can expand the search to include your employees’ personal accounts, as well. You will be able to respond quickly to any content that does not comply with your marketing strategy.

  1. Implement Social Media Guidelines and Provide Training

Don’t assume that your employees know what is or is not appropriate content. When you establish clear rules about social media, you will mitigate future misunderstandings and missteps. Creating social media guidelines and imparting those to employees will reduce the risk of an employee mistake.

  1. Prevent External Sources from Gaining Access

There are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of your accounts being hacked.

Review your privacy settings on all of your accounts when you set them up, and review them on a regular basis. Select a strong password and change it frequently.   Use different passwords for different accounts. Always log out of accounts on shared computers, and be cautious while using public Wi-Fi, as sensitive data can be easily exposed on a public Wi-Fi network.

While these steps may not be foolproof, they will lessen the risks.   Reviewing your social media strategy and policies on a regular basis is likely to keep your company safeguarded.

Posted on

Can a Tweet Attract a Lawsuit?

It has been clear since 2010 that social media use in business is both a critical communications tool – and one that needs governed as email is. Otherwise you may answer the question, “Can a tweet attract a lawsuit?” as yes.

The opportunities to reach across the demographics of the markets you serve and to your customers are extraordinary with social media. This is why insuring your social marketing initiatives are shored up with a proper supervisory framework and records retention is essential. What triggered the latest concern over the legal impact of tweets? Kanye West.

Can a Tweet Attract a Lawsuit? How to Avoid it

Before you grin and think “we are not in the entertainment business”, what he did was issue a tweet that is interpreted as legally binding with the use of a single word! You can read the article here at Corporate Counsel. Mr. West tweeted about his forthcoming album release earlier this year that it would “never” be on iTunes or Spotify, but only on Tidal (an artist-owned streaming service). The wrinkle? His album was in fact released on both iTunes and Spotify a couple months later after several million folks registered their name, email and credit card on Tidal’s service. There is now a class action suit gaining momentum.

Likewise, before you dismiss his tweet as that of a celebrity – Mr. West is absolutely also a business person who has a very lucrative brand with the same liability issues as any company as it relates to public communications.

Three Steps to Governing Your Social Media Initiatives

There are three central components to think about when considering the impact of a tweet.

This issue can be largely avoided through having a clear policy and training in place for how social media will be used and by whom Technology makes it possible to supervise, archive and review social media communications – both pre-publication and post-publication. This same archiving with policy and reporting means you’d find a tweet like this in near real time and could address concerns rather than missing it or ignoring it. Like any electronic communication, social media requires governance in business, some of it mandatory due to laws and regulations. Equally as valuable is making certain you govern it even when rules do not apply – to defend for possible litigation.

If you would like to learn more about how to solve the social media challenge in your business, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Posted on

Modern Messaging Series – Social Media Archiving

What has been classified as a commodity, message archiving, should be viewed as a key component of your overall business and technology strategy. This is not just wishful thinking on our part, or salesmanship. Messaging has forever changed in the past decade as traditional communications via email has transcended to numerous channels – social media, instant messaging and blogging.

What began as very manageable communications methods in the 1990s via email and the web (and to some extent, instant messaging in the old form) has been disrupted and put many business managers and owners at great unease as to how to properly govern them. The challenge is they’re now essential business tools versus luxury – and this is also the opportunity.

In our modern messaging series, we explore three elements in brief segments:

  1. Business Continuity
  2. Social Media Archiving
  3. Productivity and Efficiency
Posted on

5 Steps to incorporate Social Media into Your Messaging Policy

Designing the Modern Messaging Policy

How we view and define messaging has been altered forever with the emergence and mainstreaming of social media during the past five years. Unlike early technologies for digital messaging, including email and websites, the new model of messaging, factoring in the wide array of social networks, is multi-faceted and requires the overhaul of the policies, procedures and technology for their management.

Editor’s Note: To download a fuller version of this article as a guide to modern messaging policy, click here.

The New Messaging Policy

Designing a modern policy includes rethinking five key areas. A policy should incorporate your governance and rules, but also serve as a model through which your messaging strategy can be executed efficiently and effectively.

1 – Who

Take the time to re-assess the team that builds and manages your messaging policy. In many cases this now spans compliance, legal, marketing (and sales) and operations. It includes corporate stakeholders who know every employee is exposed to email, and are aiding in the emerging groups of employees who are approved for use of social messaging. Representatives from those departments or divisions should contribute. This team will explore:

Core regulatory requirements around messaging retention and surveillance obligations
Corporate ethics and governance that expands or matches those regulatory specifications
How email campaigns (for marketing and other purposes) are coordinated and fit into overall compliance workflow. Also identifying how these campaigns can be linked to corporate social network accounts.
New, approved platforms for expanded social messaging (Facebook, LinkedIn et al) and how they fit into your messaging spectrum (archiving, surveillance and other reporting)
This review and resulting content forms the framework of your messaging policies and procedures. By finishing the remaining four w’s you will have comprehensive policy that can then drive your overall digital strategy.

2 – What

Here the team needs to define what your organization is trying to achieve within the parameters of a new messaging policy. We’re not trying to redefine how email for everyday use. However, we are drawing a new picture so everyone in your organization realizes the scope of modern messaging. Depending upon your needs, this section can be broader, thematic in scope (which can be more defined and detailed in your new digital strategy).

For example, by outlining the pillars of messaging for your organization:

At [company name], we define messaging as many components, including business email, email marketing, social media content and blogging.
Our responsibilities as ambassadors of the brand for [company name] are to remember the brand guidelines in our messaging. For example, using uniform titles, appropriate contact information (including social accounts, web sites, phone numbers, etc.) and insuring this is consistent across all of those messaging mediums.
Our goals is to insure we maintain the highest standards in communicating regardless of the medium we use (email, tweet, status update) – so following the guidelines in the [company name] messaging policy will help you support and preserve those goals.
3 – When

The team has now defined a clearer framework by being formed as the stakeholders for messaging and having outlined some broad scope for the new policy. Shifting a bit more into details, declaring when you will communicate also helps everyone involved understand how messaging is changing at your organization.

By laying out some guidelines, which of course can’t be as rigid in the digital world, will again serve as lanes on the road for employees. These include:

Email is the same as it always was – and continues in the everyday workflows within our organization.
We use mass email communications (email marketing) in many segments of our business, and often integrate those to our web sites and organizational social networks. These activities will also fall under the guise of this messaging policy.
The use of social networks has been in demand for some time across our organization. At the time of the release of this policy – we are defining what platforms and which groups within our organization will be approved to use social networks, including how to request access. This may include attesting to this messaging policy as well as  completing a social networks awareness survey and educational requirements.
Unauthorized use of email, social networks or other online tools not identified in this messaging policy may result in organizational disciplinary actions.
4 – Where

One of the challenges (and frequently a complaint from opponents to the use of social media) of approving social networks for use in digital communications is their propensity to change without notice. This makes defining “Where” so important to your overall messaging policy and strategy.

“Where” is where you confirm:

The public networks your organization approves as places for public, group and private messaging may occur as messaging.
The technology tool(s) you will use to meet the compliance requirements of your organization.
5 – Why

By choosing to leverage social media in your organization, parameters are going to be central to helping your employees, influencers and partners understand your objectives. Remember, everyone included and approved to participate in your new messaging policy becomes a brand representative, able to further your goals.  Consider these choices:

Are we launching a pure brand initiative, or also adding capabilities for customer service, education and/or training or even individuals within our brand to become visible (i.e. CEO or COO launches Twitter account)
Who do we intend to reach out to and connect with? Are we looking to communicate with customers or prospective customers or both? Some other audience important to our organization?
Are we measuring for certain outcomes? Social return on investment (ROI) like number of followers, engagement or are we looking to connect social messaging to organizational analytics like sales numbers or leads in our CRM system?
How will we review and fine-tune these parameters ongoing? Quarterly, annually? Who will participate?
To download an expanded version of this guide to the modern messaging policy click here.