Whether you’ve tackled the seemingly daunting world of social media yourself or turned to a Generation X employee for an education, one thing is for sure: Social media opens worlds of possibilities – both positive and potentially negative – for your small business.
The social networks we know best – Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest – and even the lesser-knowns have changed the way small business communicates with customers and prospects. The benefits of real-time communication allow you, the small business entrepreneur, to announce a pop-up sale, the daily menu, or a special event happening at your business.
However, whenever you’re on social networks, you need to safeguard yourself and your business. Here are some tips to help you make the most of social media without jeopardizing the security of your small business:
- Understand and regularly update the security and privacy settings on all your social network accounts.
- Create strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts. Many sites will alert you about how secure the new password is that you’ve selected; follow their advice.
- Avoid connecting with unknown businesses that sound too good to be true. While this may be challenging for a company looking to expand its audience, see if the requestor is known to other current connections and also type their name online to see what reputation may already be out there.
- Do not click on suspicious links or open attachments from unknown senders. And never give out your personal information over the Internet, such as your Social Security Number.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may also want to consider other privacy aspects, such as not posting information about or photos of customers under the age of 18. And, as a general rule of common courtesy, do not post photos of anyone without their consent.
Be smart and be secure when interacting in the “social sphere.” It will ensure your business’s virtual marketing remains under lock and key.
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