How Social Media Misuse Can Harm Your Business

How Social Media Misuse Can Harm Your Business

With the prominence of social media, many companies have significantly changed the way they do business. Since social media can aid in communication and other business functions, it has many great benefits. While that may be the case, there are unfortunately some other challenges that also exist with a business’s use of social media. This blog will address how social media misuse can harm your business, the types of risks they pose for your company, and will also walk through some actions you can take to help mitigate those risks while using social media.

Addressing the Risks

With any social media use, and especially related to business, there are some risks involved. Here is a list of a few of those risks.

Fake LinkedIn Jobs

There have been instances of cybercriminals using LinkedIn to steal your data for nefarious purposes, like identity theft for example. To do this, the cybercriminals will pose as recruiters and post job openings. When a candidate applies, they will dig for additional information to steal.

Phishing Threats

Cybercriminals will use social media platforms to infect your device with ransomware or malware by creating fake accounts of other trusted sources. This type of phishing is often referred to as angler phishing.

Legal Accountability

An area of increasing complexity is the boundary between personal and professional lives when it comes to social media. Should an employee use their social media to make comments about a competitor or client then they could potentially come after your organization.

Employee Misconduct

Similar to the boundary mentioned above, an employee’s general behavior online can impact your organization. Should an employee share confidential information, accidentally or intentionally, or just have poor behavior online it can bring a host of challenges to deal with.

Reputation Damage

While you can work to post content to help foster a positive brand image, a negative side of that is you cannot control how people will respond. Your posts and social media page can receive the negative attention and interaction of competitors, disgruntled employees, unhappy customers, or other social media users just looking to cause a problem. This can tarnish your brand image and undo a lot of hard work done by your organization to project a positive brand image.

Security Breaches

Cybercriminals will often try to exploit the first layer of security in any technological system as it can potentially be the easiest way in, and that layer is the human user. These criminals will create fake accounts in an effort to trick people into sharing confidential information like login credentials and financial account information. When that doesn’t work, they can turn to another method that social media is susceptible to which is hacking. Cybercriminals may at times get into a social media system by more traditional hacking methods by exploiting code and other similar means.

Securing Your Organization

While there are risks, as explored above, there are also several ways to mitigate those risks. There is no such thing as a totally secure system for technology, however there are many steps you can take to reduce risk including the following action items.


It is important to educate your team on all online risks, including social media use. Scammers will often target the first variable in a system, the human, to see if they can get them to slip up. By educating your team you can help to increase your organization’s cyber security.

Creating Guidelines

In addition to the education of your team, you also need to have created clear guidelines that help your team know what is expected of them online. Doing something like this will vary from industry to industry and it is a good idea to consult your legal counsel to make sure you are not infringing upon anyone’s rights.

Tightening Security

One way to strengthen your security is to have robust passwords and also to use multifactor authentication, or MFA, to secure your accounts. In addition to passwords, it is a good idea to review your privacy settings on your accounts and set them to the highest level.


Your organization should set up systems to detect fake accounts and have policies that deal with them quickly.

Safeguard Your Organization

No matter the size of your organization, it is important to know how social media misuse can harm your business, the risks associated with social media, and follow current cyber security best practices. By doing this you and your organization will be able to utilize the benefits of social media while hopefully avoiding some of its shortcomings.

Struggling to mitigate social media misuse in your organization? As always, we are here to help.