Protect Your Brand from a Twitter Hack with Quick Response, Enhanced Security

twitterTwitter’s vast popularity makes it a huge target for hackers and trolls. While the rewards of your company having a presence on the social network probably far outweigh the risks, there are still plenty of ways for your engaging, thoughtful and carefully curated Twitter page to be used against you.

To mitigate Twitter hacking, there are several strategies designed to enhance security and increase preparedness. With potential upticks in both the frequency and severity of future hacks on the horizon, every brand needs to operate as if it's next on hackers’ hit lists.

The plan should emphasize the following strategic imperatives, courtesy of Peter LaMotte, senior VP at Levick and chair of the company’s digital practice:

  1. Contact Twitter to pull the page down. The moment a hack is detected, suspend the account until passwords can be reset and security can be reestablished.
  2. Ensure no other social media properties have been compromised. As alluded to above, a hack in one social media property increases the probability that another will be compromised. In the hours following a hack, monitoring efforts need to be intensified to ensure that organization understands the full scope of the problem.
  3. Change all passwords. Don’t assume your YouTube channel or Facebook profile is safe because the hack was limited to Twitter. Change your passwords on every social property.
  4. Address and the hacking and correct misinformation. As soon as possible, your organization should mention that it suffered a social media hack and correct any misinformation that has permeated the social media space.
  5. Don’t let the hacking be the story. Once the account is secure and the record is corrected, don’t hesitate to get back to branding again. Here, the Jeep and Burger King examples provide ideal response templates. Their playful tweets following the hacks effectively communicated that the ordeal was over, even as they reminded followers of what their brands are all about. Remember, the sooner an organization moves on from the hacking, the sooner its followers will as well.

Follow Brian Greene: @bwilliamgreene