Reaching out to your existing audience while simultaneously marketing to a new one can be a challenging job. You have to manage multiple online accounts and keep up with as many conversations as possible in order to ensure maximum exposure. Even if you don’t suspect it, you’re knee deep in data. It is for this reason why your organization is such a valuable target to cyber criminals who hope to sell that very data to the highest bidder. They won’t even take into account the good nature of the people you work for and market to.
This is why you need protection, and fortunately there are plenty of ways to get that protection so long as you commit. Half-measures don’t work in cyber security, but the dedicated practitioners will find that they can move on quickly from concerns of lost work and tattered reputations and focus on the task of spreading positive messages and good words.
Here are some of the main things you should know in order to be safe while helping your brothers and sisters connect to what they need to:
Use the Latest and Greatest Applications and Software
You can’t mess around with applications that don’t guarantee you the very best security and the finest features available on the market. Building on top of that, they make sure that they take advantage of security features available in those apps. Convenience in the short term often turns into problems down the line.
In regard to the use of your applications, you should note the following recommendations:
- Whatever products and services you use need to be updated frequently. If you ever feel as though your app of choice is slacking off in its security updates, it might be time to update to a different app entirely.
- If there are additional verification options, even if you need to enter multiple forms every time you use the app, use them. A stolen laptop or phone could spell disaster otherwise.
- Also think about how easily the security features integrate with your usage of the software. If it is discouraging you via inconvenience to the point where you turn said features off, it might not be the most secure piece of software.
Have a General Security Procedure
Many of the rules for cyber security for marketing professionals are no different than what you hear recommended in general for consumers. It is important that you have general security rules in place for yourself and your business so that you don’t fall victim to a basic slip-up. Here are some of the things you will want to consider:
- Passwords are still extremely important. Combined with other verification measures, they are the first line of defense against hackers. They need to be more than 10 characters, contain no words found in the dictionary and not be anything that could be easily guessable. Different accounts should use different passwords, and you may want to consider a password manager such as LastPass.
- Whatever devices you use for your endeavor should have a security suite installed. It should be a quality service, and it should be updated frequently.
- Social media should be used of carefully. It is often the public face of your organization and you don’t want to have people get the wrong impression.
Keep Your Email Safe Under Lock and Key
The email address of an internet marketer is the gateway to everything else. Take a moment to think about what your email address is connected to. How many days do you think it would take to recover everything, if it were even recoverable? Above all else, you need to keep this account safe.
Here are a few tips to keep your email address safe:
- Never share your passwords or other verification measures with anyone.
- Internet marketers should get in the habit early of keeping their personal and business accounts separate.
- Take every opportunity to better secure your account. Link it to a phone number and second email account. Lock it down to only a few devices if those are the only devices that are going to use the account on a regular basis.
Use a Virtual Private Network When Outside the Office
The outreach specialist doesn’t always work from home or the office. Hackers know this, and they’ll be happy to intercept your personal and account information over a public network. All they need is a simple program, a laptop and some time on their hands.
This is why you need to have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) equipped whenever you’re taking work devices outside the office. A VPN is a service that will connect the user to an offsite secure server via an encrypted connection, hiding their IP address and keeping their data safe regardless of the network they use.
They are easy to install and are compatible with most devices. The main thing that you need to worry about is picking the right one for your security needs, for which it is recommended that you read some reviews on the subject.
Be Suspicious of Scams
Last but not least, when improving your internet marketing security, you need to be aware of social engineering and other scams. Most hackers would prefer to simply send a few scam emails and get a response rather than look through code all day. It makes sense too given that the vast majority of all cyber security breaches result from human error instead of hacker know-how.
You need to look out for the following and follow these tips in particular:
- If something sounds too good to be true, it positively is.
- Avoid sending any personal or account information over email or another messaging service. Most attempts will likely be scams or phishing, and even the legitimate needs can be worked around. If someone legitimately needs information, find a more personal way, such as the phone call, to give it to them.
- New types of scams pop up every day, so always follow your instincts. If something seems suspicious, investigate further. Don’t forget you can look up people and “companies” online if you’re curious.
The more that people do to stay safe online and the more people who are safe online, the better the internet as a whole will be for community leaders and marketers. No matter how much you might want to work on making contacts, you need to create a safe environment for the people you represent and hope to help.
Do you have any recommendations of your own concerning this important topic? Have you ever run into security issues or found your organization a victim? This is not the time to sit tight and keep information to yourself. Please share your thoughts and experiences with your fellow readers by leaving a comment below.