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Published On: July 29, 2021 by Blake Schwank

The Dangers Of Posting on Social Media

Social Media is everywhere these days. Chances are you have at least one social media account. Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or something else, there are a few things you want to keep in mind before posting on Social Media.

Keep in mind, when you are running a business, you need to run your Social Media accounts a lot differently than your personal Social Media pages.  As a company, you also want to be on the lookout for what your employees are posting, to make sure they aren’t posting anything that might harm your company. But, as an employee, you also need to stay clear of certain types of Social Media posts, which can make you vulnerable to email phishing campaigns.

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Social Media Dangers

What dangers do you have to be aware of when you are posting on Social Media, especially as a business? One company had an employee who was offered a job and they were excited about hiring him. Before starting the job, the future employee posted a lot of information on Social Media about the company. He posted some information that could be detrimental to the company if it fell into the wrong hands.

After this employee started his new position, he immediately started receiving emails from someone posing as an executive in the company. They were targeting him based on what he posted on Social Media before he even started the role. This “executive” ended up asking the employee to use his own money to purchase gift cards. The employee was under the impression he would be reimbursed. The employee bought a bunch of gift cards and sent them to the user. It was all fake and he got set up. He ended up losing out on hundreds of dollars of his own money.

This is a classic type of scam. Because of what he posted on Social Media, he became vulnerable.

How can a Company Prevent this Type of Scam?

Companies should immediately talk to new hires about Social Media. It’s not that a company needs to prevent or prohibit employees from posting, but they need to help the employees use caution when posting. Since new employees don’t know all the key players yet at a company, it is easy for a scammer to pose as someone within the company and ask them to make fake purchases. Have these conversations with your employees, which can help prevent scams like this from happening.

Be aware of what you post

If you are the new employee, and not the company, make sure you are careful with what you post. Yes, it’s pretty common now to post on LinkedIn and other Social Media sites when we get new jobs. That’s mostly ok. Just don’t give out a lot of information. Leave out start dates, salaries, people you may have met in the hiring process.

Email phishing campaigns, while unusual, do happen. Just be aware that anything you post online can be used against you. Oftentimes, scammers will compile the data you post on your different Social Media pages and target you in an email phishing campaign. You can lose more than just a couple of hundreds of dollars.

When in doubt, ask your boss or HR for guidance

If you’re a new employee and someone is asking you to pay for things out of your own pocket, it’s OK to pause before you do so. You’re not going to get in trouble for taking time to learn the process. At the company you work at, is it normal procedure for employees to buy things with out of pocket money? Most companies don’t ask employees to pay for work expenses out of their own pocket. Chances are there is a corporate credit card available for you to use. You can check with Human Resources or your boss any time you are asked to make purchases with your own money.

At worst, you learn something new and learn a new process. At best, you might help uncover a fraudulent scam and save yourself, and even your company, thousands of dollars. Ask questions! No company is going to think less of you for asking a lot of questions as you get used to the culture of the company and learn how that particular company does business.

Welcoming new employees

Anytime a business is onboarding a new employee, there are procedures in place. Oftentimes, an employee will attend some sort of new employee orientation within their first week on the job. At this point of the onboarding process, companies should take the time to explain to employees procedures within the company. This should include whether or not an employee is expected to ever make any purchases for the company with his own credit card.

There also should be a discussion about Social Media. Some companies will actually ask their employees to be ambassadors for the company on Social Media, and encourage employees to post favorably about the company online. This is OK, as long as there is an understanding and expectation for content that is to be posted. And, the employee needs to be made aware of what to do if he is contacted by an adversary through Social Media.

Need more Insight?

Reach out and contact us today, and our team can help you figure out if what you are thinking of posting on Social Media is appropriate. We can also help you if you have posted on Social Media and are now experiencing some negative blowback. While the right post can help you attract customers and gain business, the wrong post can leave customers with a bad taste in their mouth, which could negatively affect your business.

As an employee, you also want to be careful about how much information you share about yourself. We can help you be mindful of email phishing campaigns. Social Media can be a boost both as an employee and as a company. But, if you post the wrong information, it can also leave you exposed to attacks. Talk to us today about how to best protect yourself online.

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