Losing Your Company's Identity Through Social Media

  • Identity Fraud

Not everyone is having their way after the recent Twitter account hacking of fast food giant, Burger King. On Monday, Burger Kings account was clearly hacked after making a false announcement about being bought by competitor McDonalds Corp. The profile picture and header photo were swapped out for McDonalds branded images and more than 55 tweets and retweets were sent out during the hour that the happy hacker had with the account. After a Twitter representative finally responded to the message left by Burger King staff, the account was suspended and the company later issued a statement apologizing for the ill-humored tweets. Fox News reported that both internal staff and their outside agency had access to the accounts password but do not have any idea who hacked the account. McDonalds also issued a statement confirming they had nothing to do with the hacking. Social media, and Twitter specifically, have been dealing with cyber security issues at an increasing rate. Twitter openly admitted that on February first of this year, cyber attackers may have gotten ahold of over 250,000 usernames and passwords. While this may seem a like fairly innocent prank, brands need to be weary of their identity through their social properties.

Companies live and breathe online. Even companies that have brick and mortar stores and conduct the majority of their business face-to-face, have an online presence in this day of age. Losing an identity online is more than having personal information taken from an individual; its any loss of control over content, properties, or information. Social media allows businesses and consumers to create and maintain their identity online and if login information is compromised so is their identity. Even with the latest efforts from the federal government, cyber security is still an issue. Twitter has considered implementing two-factor authentication for login that would require a second form of confirmation in addition to standard login criteria. Many two-factor authentication models send a code to the users mobile phone to help prove their identity. While this may help in the short term, fraud prevention models like this are flawed due to physical theft of devices. As companies begin to take fraud prevention more seriously, data breaches and hackings will slowly start to decrease. The first steps to preventing fraud online is understanding the risks and having the initiative to be one step ahead of cyber attackers.

[Contributed by EVS Marketing]