Social media is everywhere. It’s unavoidable, it’s powerful, and it’s here to stay.
That being said, social media does come with a set of risks. According to the latest EY Global Information Security Survey, 59% of organisations had a “material or significant incident” in the past 12 months. In fact, social media risk management is a completely different domain of expertise.
It is also crucial to recognise that with social media, messages can spread far and wide very quickly! While it is one of the reasons why social media marketing is so praised, when defamation, slander, and negative publicity are involved, it can cause serious damage to the reputation of a business. A negative brand image will have a lasting impact on your business until resolved effectively with social media risk management techniques.
Basic security practices and mitigation strategies can be adopted in order to manage those risks:
1.0 Social media policies and guidelines
Have a clear process as to who is responsible for posting on social media. Have guidelines as to what messages are appropriate to feature on social media and tone/voice to be used. This process should also provide guidance on how often social media is monitored and responded to and especially how to respond to negative comments.
2.0 Employee training
Human error accounts for 20% of cyber-attacks according to EY Global Information Security. In today’s busy world, it is all too easy for an employee to accidentally expose the company to threats online. Ensuring that your employees are involved in relevant training involving social media is key. Have training sessions around how to identify and avoid scams, attacks, and other security threats; who to notify, and how to respond if a social media security concern arises.
3.0 Professional use and personal use of social media
Always be wary of the language you use on social media. When deciding on what social channels to use for your business take into account the needs of the organisation, not the owner’s/manager’s personal views of social media. Also, remember that nothing on social media is really private. It is important to take the time to think through a message before sharing it on social media.
Regardless of all precautionary measures, insurance is always recommended as an extra layer of protection. Insurance has a role to play, but it is important to understand how cover works in relation to social media risks because the protection insurance provides has limitations.
So, what can insurance cover?
If you have been accused of defamation as a result of comments you have made on social media in your capacity working for a business, cover may be available within public and product liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, as well as certain other policies.
Public and product liability, as well as professional indemnity insurance, may also help cover legal costs required in defending yourself in court; in the instance where you’ve been a victim of keyboard warriors on social media. That being said, policies are unlikely to cover for threats such as someone “simply” trolling your business, but rather provide cover for the loss of a major customer contract. For this to happen, the trolling or event would likely need to be defined as a crisis event.
The digital world isn’t 100% secure and even with the best antivirus software and firewalls, cyber threat is real. With the numerous social media accounts available and the use of 3rd party apps for creating content and scheduling posts, hackers have more avenues to crack through to a business; increasing risks of breaches in data records, intellectual property, and ransomware. In this case, having cyber insurance could be invaluable.
Social media offers a world of opportunities but just like any other channel, social media is not risk-free. The risks can be mitigated with effective policies and practices. Of course, as much as precautionary measures can be taken, you should consider insurance to cover your business if all fails. Social media marketing and risk management should be taken seriously and it is essential for growing businesses to ensure they are both given equal attention.
Contact us today to receive assistance on how insurance can protect you against social media risks.
Disclaimer – the information provided here is general advice only and has been prepared without taking in account your objectives, financial situation or needs.