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Why social media education is more important than ever

10 February, 2023

Social media has fundamentally altered the way we interact with one another on the internet. From cat pictures to business listings, there’s virtually no aspect of our public and private lives that social media haven’t touched.

Today. social media like Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram have become omnipresent in our daily lives. From sharing photos of our pets to promoting our businesses, it has changed how we interact and communicate online.

However, while social media has opened up a world of opportunities for organisations, it has also introduced new risks and pitfalls.

Is social media training actually necessary?

Building an online brand creates a level of trust and intimacy that can draw in potential clients and as you are probably aware, social media platforms can greatly improve the success of your company.

However, with the lack of education and ignorance of the power of these tools, social media can and will lead to problems with security if not used properly.

As the use of social media continues to grow, so do the potential risks. In fact, according to a survey by Hootsuite and WeAreSocial, nearly 90% of businesses use social media for marketing purposes, and 81% of those businesses believe that social media is important for their overall business strategy. However, few companies are actually training their team on the subject, instead relying on ‘common sense’ to see them through.

This lack of education can lead to major problems such as hacking, phishing, and identity theft.

In turn, this can lead to huge problems when employees click on malicious links posted by people trying to communicate with your company. Through this, hackers can steal your company's identity and post unwanted content on your account.

Here are just a few of the reasons why social media education is necessary for your organisation:

Cybersecurity threats: Social media use can expose organisations to cybersecurity threats such as hacking, phishing, and identity theft. By educating employees on the dangers of social media, they can become more aware of the risks and take steps to mitigate them.

  • Brand reputation: Social media can greatly impact an organisation's reputation, as it's often one of the first places people go to learn about a company. Employees need to be trained on how to communicate properly with clients and customers and maintain a positive image for the organisation.
  • Effective communication: The fast-paced and informal nature of social media communication can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications. Education can help employees understand the nuances of social media communication and use it more effectively to build and maintain business relationships.
  • Personal privacy: Employees also need to be aware of the dangers of oversharing personal information on social media, as this can lead to identity theft and other privacy issues.
  • Compliance with company policies: Organisations often have social media policies in place to ensure the responsible use of social media. Education can help employees understand these policies and follow them, which can reduce the risk of legal and ethical issues.

What are the individual risks your team face?

If wider organisation implications aren’t enough for your employees to understand the risks of social media, they should also understand the risks that they can individually face.

It's essential for employees to be aware of their responsibilities when using social media and to use it responsibly. This includes being mindful of the information they share, being respectful and professional in their online interactions, and taking steps to protect their personal information and privacy.

As an employee, the use of social media can come with a range of risks that need to be addressed. These include:

  • Loss of privacy: Oversharing personal information on social media can put an employee's privacy at risk. This can lead to identity theft, cyberstalking, or other privacy violations that can have serious consequences.

    A recent example is that of social media app, BeReal. A quick scroll through the BeReal app is enough to see that during the work week, it’s not unusual to see images of people’s computer screens with their email inbox on display or an assignment that person is currently working on, in the background. These sorts of pictures can put an individual's identity at risk of being stolen.
  • Career damage: Improper use of social media can also harm an employee's reputation and career prospects. This can include posting inappropriate content, making negative comments about the company or colleagues, or engaging in online arguments with clients or customers.
  • Legal consequences: The use of social media can also lead to legal consequences if an employee posts defamatory or false information, or violates laws related to intellectual property, discrimination, or workplace privacy.
  • Decreased productivity: The time and attention employees spend on social media can take away from their work, leading to decreased productivity and potentially affecting their performance and job satisfaction.

What Are Bob’s Top Social Media Tips?

Our Social Media course is specifically designed to educate your workforce on the correct procedures and tone to adopt when using social media. But what are some tips you can action today to help improve your social media use? Join us as we share our top tips below.

  • Create strong and unique passwords for each of your online accounts, and avoid using easily guessable information like your name, date of birth, or address.
  • Be cautious of emails from unknown senders or those that contain attachments or links. Phishing scams can often look like legitimate emails from banks, social media platforms, or other organisations, so always be wary of these.
  • Regularly update your software, antivirus, and anti-malware protection to ensure you have the latest security measures in place.
  • Be mindful of the information you share on social media and other online platforms. Avoid sharing sensitive information like your Social Security number, financial details, or personal addresses.
  • Utilise the privacy settings on your social media and other online accounts to control who has access to your personal information and activity.
  • Before clicking on any links in emails, messages, or online posts, hover over the link to see where it leads. This can help you avoid falling prey to malicious websites or phishing scams.
  • Be mindful of your online content and be respectful of others in your online interactions. Avoid posting inflammatory or offensive comments or content, and be aware that your online actions can affect your personal and professional life.

To stay protected from social media risks, share this blog post with your employees, so your organisation can stay protected from the potential risks.

Ready to start training your team on social media alongside over sixty other cybersecurity and compliance topics? We have courses designed and tailored towards your organisation. Check out our award-winning cybersecurity training courses here.

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