So now that you are fully engaged in social media and LOVING everything about it. It’s important to consider any risks that you can encounter with social media. The big one SOCIAL MEDIA HIJACKERS. Yes this is a real thing…GET NERVOUS. But don’t worry I’m also here to suggest how to AVOID being one of those brands. Yes, you can now begin calling me the GREAT MASTER ALLYSON.
Social media sites have minimal security which leaves brands like yours and mine subject to hacking. Facebook alone has about 600,000 compromised logins per day, for super math addicts that’s one hijacked login every 140 milliseconds (Perez, 28Oc). CRAZY. 55,000 Twitter accounts were hijacked on May 8th, 2012, on June 6th(Laird, May), 2012 200,000 accounts were hacked on LinkedIn (Paul, 2012).
“Why is trying to scare us away from Social Media after spending all this time convincing us to use it? Is this girl even sane?”
Just one more story and then the good news!
This one is about a company we all know, and probably hate for the sole reason of their prices. But we use them anyway because…well we HAVE TO… Shell Gasoline.
When Shell gasoline entered the social media frenzy they did a great job engaging fans. Shell has built their Facebook likes to 1,560,393, but more importantly their users are engaged because 15,833 people are talking about the company (Shell Facebook, 2012). On top of this they have 66,680 twitter followers (@Shell, 2012), 172,334 LinkedIn followers (Shell LinkedIn, 2012). So this is great right? YES! Who knew so many people liked oil and gas! WOW!
But what are all these followers talking about?
Well for the past few months is been about “Shell’s Social Media Oil Spill”. In May a website called “Artic Ready” was launched. It appeared with Shell’s logo, and even had the same characteristics of Shell’s website. Mimicking the brand’s attributes almost perfectly and even using their slogan “Let’s Go” in a number of places. One catch… guess who didn’t put up this website. Yep… you figured it out. Now guess who did produce this Shell Oil website? Greenpeace and the Yes Men (Forbes, 2012). You can tell this is going to be a good story already…
The website has been set up to notify the general public of Shells drilling in the Artic. It poses as Shell’s point of view and their enthusiasm for harming the environment to make money (“Artic ready,” ). GREAT for Shell’s PR! Imagine being on that public relations team… no sleep for weeks. They even went as allowing the general public to create ads. These ads were shared on all forms of social media.
Don’t worry it gets worse. Greenpeace and the Yes Men then made fake social media accounts with fake attempts to control the spread of the ads. From there followers began retweeting with statements about how this was an example of corporate social media gone terribly wrong (Forbes, 2012).
So all though social media accounts weren’t hacked, the accounts were hijacked and used as their own. It could have been 100times
worse if the accounts themselves were hacked. Now Greenpeace and the Yes Men have released an official statement taking responsibility for the spoof. All though the damage is done and shell is still working to regain their brand image, they have still chosen not to sue Greenpeace for their spoof (Vinh Tien Trinh, 2012). Otherwise the Shell Company has been posting numerous stories on how Shell is actually helping the environment and its global community.
Now for the Risks… and Some Avoidance Help
So now you probably are dying for some good news? Are you going to have social media PR nightmares tonight?
Statistically good news
750,000,000 plus users login to Facebook every day (Perez, 28Oc). Meaning that of that 600,000 users hacked a day is only 8% of Facebook users (Feel free to check my math). 50 million twitter accounts are logged in each day, meaning only 0.1% of twitter accounts are hacked (Parr, 2011). So really it’s not too many people, but either way … WOULD YOU WANT TO BE SHELL RIGHT NOW?
So How to Avoid “Being Shell”?
- Don’t Drill in the Artic and Ban Greenpeace from Coming Near Your Ships
- Don’t Piss off Greenpeace
Here’s how you can avoid being hacked or hijacked.
- Use a secure email address when setting up any social media accounts. Hackers hack into your email and then click “I forgot my password”, and boom an email appears with a way to change your password. By using a secure email you can avoid, your email being hacked while at the same time avoiding your social media accounts from being hacked (2 for one special I just gave away!)
- Hackers research you… yes in a stalker kind of way via internet. They discover everything they can about you, and then they use this to guess your password. Don’t use your birthday which is posted all over Facebook, your dog’s name which can be found through scrolling your 1000 pictures of it, or any other personal information.
- Check all strange emails or files with spyware. If not these geniuses can send you a file that records everything you type. BINGO PASSWORD HANDED TO THEM.
- Double check emails you receive from your social media pages. Avoid going to them directly from the email. Hackers can create an email that looks exactly like your Facebook page, have you click on it which takes you directly to your social media login (but it’s a fake website), and not knowingly you have typed your login into the hackers own page. Check the website address to ensure it’s where you want to be!
- For your security settings always use https instead of http. It ensures you are at secure websites.
- Don’t have social media accounts automatically save your password
- Verify all social media accounts. To do this you will need a company email verification in order to successfully validate your account. This helps users differentiate which accounts are the actual company representatives, and which one are impersonators.
So now that I’ve scared you.. I hope I’ve also helped you! Good Luck… and until next week!
The Real Brains… My References:
Perez, S. (28Oc). Tech crunch. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/28/facebook-sees-600000-comprised-logins-per-day/
Paul, I. (2012, June 06). Pcworld. Retrieved from http://www.pcworld.com/article/257045/update_linkedin_confirms_account_passwords_hacked.html
Laird, S. (May, 8 2012). Twitter debunks reports of 55,000 hacked accounts. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/05/08/twitter-hacked-accounts/
Shell Facebook. (2012, August 07). Shell facebook page. Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/Shell
Shell LinkedIn. (2012, August 07). Shell linkedin. Retrieved from http://www.linkedin.com/company/1271?goback=.fcs_GLHD_shell_false_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2&trk=ncsrch_hits
@Shell. (2012, August 07). Shell twitter. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/Shell
Forbes. (2012, July 18). Shell oil’s social media nightmare continues, thanks to skilled pranksters behind @shellisprepared. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/07/18/shell-oils-social-media-nightmare-continues-thanks-to-skilled-pranksters/
Artic ready. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://arcticready.com/social
Vinh Tien Trinh, B. (2012, July 16). Shell arctic ready: Company won’t sue greenpeace over spoof campaign. Retrieved from
Parr, B. (2011, Oct 17). Twitter has 100 million monthly active users; 50% log in every day [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2011/10/17/twitter-costolo-stats/
Social media hijacking: Don’t be a victim!. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://socialmediamagic.com/blog/social-media-hijacking-dont-victim/