Overcoming Cyber Security Challenges in Digital Marketing
A digital marketing campaign typically requires a lot of planning, time, and effort to produce results. It begins with market research, but a comprehensive strategy will include content marketing, social media, email marketing campaigns, building customer relationships, and more.
Any online marketing efforts should also include measures for cyber security. Failing to implement digital security could mean damage to your customers and your brand.
Here are some areas that require proper safeguards.
Many businesses use a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress to support content marketing. This allows you to easily upload, edit, and feature new content like blog posts. However, as the most popular CMS, hackers are very familiar with how WordPress functions. If they hack your site they can use it to distribute malware to your users. Needless to say, this can severely damage your reputation.
If you’re using WordPress or any other popular CMS platform, it’s important to integrate security features. Installing security plug-ins and regularly updating will also help to close off many vulnerabilities.
Use a strong password for logging into WordPress and make sure you change the default login URL ending in /wp-admin. Moreover, avoid accessing your CMS from public Wi-Fi networks which are unsecure as the data you send or receive is not encrypted. This means that any cyber criminals can easily acquire your password and compromise your website.
A common hacker tactic is to hijack one of your email accounts and use it to send spam, including fraudulent or virus-infected emails. Most ISPs and many servers have set up spam filters to identify and block spammers based on the originating IP address. Hackers want to take over your site’s email to do their dirty work while protecting themselves.
If this happens, your site could be black-listed and blocked by hundreds of servers as a result. This can handicap your own email campaigns. Even if the problem is corrected, consumers are very concerned with email fraud and will abandon your business once you’ve been identified as a risk.
Look for software that will provide monitoring and security for all your email messaging through encryption. You can also set up out-bound filters that help to prevent emails containing certain phrases and even hidden malware. It’s prudent that employees be trained on spotting email issues and observing safe practices in their own communications. Any network security audit should include your email system.
Customer Relationship Management
Forming strong relationships with your customers is about building trust. Start by installing SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocols on your website.This will ensure that sensitive information is not stored or transferred in plain text format; instead, it will be encrypted.
By employing the latest encryption standards, even experienced hackers that can intercept your communications won’t be able to read them.
You should also never save customer data that you don’t need, and delete it as soon as it’s no longer useful. Define and enforce strict data security policies for your staff.
Social Media Marketing
While it’s important to keep all your security software up to date, most data breaches occur because of human mistakes. Unauthorized downloads, shared copies, and poor passwords can introduce threats to your network. One channel that requires special vigilance is social media.
Information carelessly shared over social media can be an open invitation to hackers. Social media accounts can also be hijacked to spread malicious posts or fraudulent and embarrassing information that spoil your online reputation.
Establish a policy for your social media activity that includes using strong passwords, preventing spams, blocking phishing scams, and avoiding suspicious add-ons or apps that may conceal malware. Allow only selected employees to access your company’s social profiles, and instruct them on how to minimize these risks and act appropriately.
In summary, your security measures should encompass all your internet activity, not just data protection. Hackers know how to exploit human error and familiar digital platforms. To stay safe, be sure to implement the latest software updates and train your team to recognize and avoid online threats.