In the last few weeks – you may have heard – some major brands including Burger King and Jeep have had issues with their Twitter accounts being hacked. Now, in the long run and at least for these brands, their image is – most likely – going to progress unaffected. However, this got me thinking:
Well, I don’t have all the answers to these questions, but I can offer some advice to better protect your Church’s social media accounts.
- Update your passwords every few months: Updating your passwords means changing the characters within the password. We suggest having letters, numbers, and even symbols within the password. The longer and more complex the password, the better protected you will be. Just don’t make it too difficult for you to remember.
- Be mindful of who and how many individuals have access to your accounts: Now, I know that your ministries are full of trustworthy individuals, I’m not advocating that they would damage your accounts. However, the more individuals who have access, the more opportunity there is for a hack or virus to occur. When it comes to having access to your ministries social media accounts, limitations on who has access will benefit you more than it will hurt you.
- Make sure your accounts are connected to an email address that you control: When you control the email connected to the account, you set the guidelines and have the ability to change the password, even in the middle of a crisis. Also, this is helpful if any turnover occurs within your Church. Believe me, it’s happened, an employee leaves and still has control over the email and social media accounts. We suggest creating an email like firstname.lastname@example.org that is associated with your accounts; be sure to limit who has access to that email accordingly.
- Report any compromises on your account to the Social Network immediately: The sooner you report any issues that occur with your account, the sooner the social network will respond and help protect your image. We suggest immediately contacting the social network to inform them of an issue.
Remember, the best way to protect the integrity of your Church's image online is to be proactive about protection. Now, this isn't to say that if you are proactive you won't get hacked; everyone experiences online risks like Burger King and Jeep have recently exampled. However, If you are ahead of the protection curve, you will be better protected than most. Be proactive and be protected. Here's to the online protection and the integrity of your Church, much love!