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Posted on 02.26.2013

Have it YOUR way: Take a lesson from Burger King to avoid being hacked

Last week, Burger King was no king in the social media realm. Burger King's Twitter account was hacked which led to an avatar change featuring McDonalds as well as posts with racial slurs and other obscenities.

Social media is fast-paced and doesn't provide much time to react before news like this goes viral. To protect your brand reputation, it's important to plan ahead.

Here are five tips for social media managers to avoid being put in a scenario like Burger King:

  1. Change your passwords regularly. You can have the same key phrase but change the numbers or symbols every month. The strongest passwords contain letters (both capital and lowercase), numbers and symbols.
  2. Minimize the number of people who have access to your social media accounts. The more people you let control your accounts the more accessible your account is to being hacked.  Cell phones are easily lost or stolen, which could grant access to your social media accounts to perfect strangers. That being said, also make sure the people who have control of your accounts have passlocks on their phones.
  3. Pay attention to announcements about password breaches. On February 1, 2013, Twitter announced that cyber attackers may have stolen user names and passwords of 250,000 users. They weren't sure what accounts had information leaked; therefore everyone should change their password as a precaution.
  4. Change your passwords every time someone leaves the company. Whether it's amicable or not, you don't know a person's intentions or the grudges they hold when they leave. They can easily write down passwords or make a copy of a password sheet and take it with them as they leave the office.
  5. Monitor your accounts. Have your retweets, favorites and replies emailed to someone who currently works at the company. This way, if you are hacked, you can catch the attacker within the first few minutes, rather than find out after it goes viral.

If there is anything positive to pull from this situation it's that all the publicity that Burger King received did grow their followers by about 30,000. What are some tips you use to protect your accounts from being hacked?


Katelyn Fish is an Account Executive at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Katelyn’s blogs here. Connect with Katelyn at Katelyn@lovell.com, or @katelynfish.

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