These days, it seems like every major brand is getting hacked by one activist group or another. Recently, satirical news site, The Onion, was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), who took over The Onion’s social media accounts. As The Onion explains in their blog, the compromise was the result of gullible Onion employees who fell for SEA’s phishing scheme. These phishing schemes (and other hacking incidents) are easy to avoid if you can identify them as suspicious. In order to avoid falling victim to a hack attack, there’s a simple Internet etiquette that you can embrace.

  • Don’t click on suspicious links. If it seems odd that the sender sent you a link in the first place, verify with them off email (shock!) if they sent you a link.
  • Change your passwords. When was the last time you changed your password? If you can’t remember, it’s time.
  • Avoid sharing login credentials. Sometimes, a suspicious link will ask you to fill out your login credentials to continue. This can be a red flag for sketchy activity, especially if you’re not sure why you’re logging in.
  • “The email addresses for your Twitter accounts should be on a system that is isolated from your organization’s normal email.” – The Onion
  • Utilize a third-party app, like HootSuite to access your Twitter account. This can prevent a hacker from taking over complete ownership of the Twitter account.
  • Log out of accounts. We’re assuming many of you have been “Facebook hacked” by your friends at least once in your life. It may have been funny then, but you won’t be laughing when a stranger gains access to all the personal information that Facebook has gathered from your account and wreaks havoc on something other than your status update. Remember to log out of your accounts, especially if you’re using a public computer or device.

As a business and an agency of record for a publication client, we understand the importance of keeping your account security in check and your staff informed. Remember these simple words of advice and you’ll minimize the odds of getting hacked! Good luck folks.