Everyone who creates a blog or seeks to develop themselves as a brand hopes to one day become an online guru. The type of person who’s every tweet or new post becomes the topic of conversation and considered online gospel. But as either Socrates or Spider Man’s Uncle Ben (depending on your preferred reference point) would say “with great power comes great responsibility”. If you are one of the industrious ones who has built up a following this is your information security wake up call.
Online Gurus YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for the information security health of your communities.
This is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly or be easily dismissed. Allow me to explain. You have obtained a following as a thought leader by standing out and delivering value to your community. Your effective branding has placed you in a position of trust where your audience hangs on your every word and eagerly opens your latest email and any links you may include.
This makes you a perfect target for savvy online social engineers who do their research and are attempting to exploit you and your community for their own financial gain.
Your email, website, auto responder, and social networking sites are your identity in the online world. If any of these accounts become compromised they could serve as an effective springboard to cause devastating harm to your entire online community. This could potential cause a ripple effect destroying the trust you have worked so hard to build up along with a primary source of your income. Social engineers can ruin your relationship with your customers causing both of you financial loss and unneeded anxiety in the process.
Is your information security plan sufficient to protect your business and the community you have worked hard to build?
There is no silver bullet to keep you and your community safe from information security risks. Here are some general information security tips that you should have built into your information security plan:
- Be aware and vigilant that due to your influence you are an attractive target
- Proceed cautiously opening unsolicited links from untrusted sources (or consider having a separate device to perform such activities that is totally separate from the device you use to manage your online presence.
- Educate your employees on the risks of information security and the threats to your business. Awareness is power.
- Use separate passwords for your different accounts to minimize the damage done if any one of your accounts were to become compromised. If you are looking for ways to simplify your password management process look no further.
- Keep your WordPress or other CMS systems current with the latest patches
- If you use a customized CMS consider having a professional application security review conducted
- Ensure your site backups are adequately secured to prevent unintended information leakage or security problems
- Carefully consider what type of system access you give to virtual assistants and ensure you have effective processes for removing account access when the situation calls for it.
This is not meant to be a comprehensive list but only to serve as a reminder of the important role that you play in helping to ensure the security of your online community. Your reputation and business may ultimately be at stake.
Be sure to check out my detailed information on social engineering to get some good tips on how to defend your reputation and business from this important information security risk.