What comes to mind first when you hear that your social media accounts have been hacked? Do you fear hackers will post illicit or spammy messages from your account? What if your account gets deleted? Perhaps you fret dealing with the seemingly “non-existent” customer support efforts that come with the major social networks. While these issues are legitimate concerns, you may not be aware of the added financial fallout or ‘Economic Aftermath’ that comes with having your social media accounts hacked. 

Nowadays, and increasingly so due to the pandemic, small and large businesses have made major shifts toward digital marketing. To operate a business ad account, most social media platforms require a personal account be linked with the business account. So what happens when that personal account gets infiltrated by hackers? You guessed it – so does your business account. 

The Impact of a Hacked Business Ads Account

Having your personal social media account hacked is only one level of frustration. Typically, customer support can assist with recovering your account that has been flagged with suspicious activity. However, having your company’s business ads account hacked can be much more detrimental. 

Ad & Credit Card Fraud

Hackers have a common objective when making their way into a business ads account. Once inside, hackers can set up and run ads for their own economic or personal gain. This can include sending users to a landing page to capture their credit card info or something more simple as spamming their message to the masses. Either way, the hackers won’t be the ones to pay for those ads. They will use whatever credit card is on file for as long as possible. Fortunately, most credit card companies won’t make you pay for the charge, so long as you are diligent about disputing them. Even still, there’s no guarantee. What’s worse is allowing the hackers to use your credit card as a line of credit to run their fake ads. Side note – as if this doesn’t sound bad enough, having to cancel a credit card, reorder one, and then enter that new card info across all your automatic payments can be a royal pain in the butt!

Brand Reputation

Imagine: Hackers have gained access to your business account. YOUR BUSINESS ACCOUNT! Your business was built on relationships, early mornings, and hard work. Hackers do not care about the reputation of your business the same way that you do, let alone at all. When they have control of your business account, they have control of your brand messaging and can easily craft ads that can damage your reputation.

Opportunity Costs For Missed Advertising

When you lose control of your business ads account, you lose the ability to run ads to existing and new customers. The time frame for recovering an account can range from a few days to a few months. That’s a long time not to have ads running for your business. Think of all the potential sales or leads you could have captured during that time. 

Steps You Can Take Today To Protect Your Accounts

No social media platform wishes its users to be hacked. You can implement some methods to protect yourself against the ever-growing threat to user privacy. Here are some simple ways you can keep your accounts protected from hackers. 

Two-Step Verification

Also known as two-factor verification, this extra layer of security can help keep your account protected. After signing in with your username and password, you’ll be prompted to approve the login attempt on a third-party device, such as your phone. This means that even if a hacker has your username and password, they won’t be able to log in unless they also have your phone (and can unlock it). 

Use Different Passwords 

It sounds like a no-brainer, right? If you were to look at a list of all your login credentials, how many of them would have the same password? What about username and password? Using different passwords (we suggest a mix of random letters and numbers) for each account will help limit the number of accounts hackers can get into with one given set of login credentials. 

Set Advertising Account Limits 

Consider setting spend limits for any advertising campaigns you may be running. This makes it so that even if hackers get into your account, they can’t spend over the daily limit. While you may not think this as necessary, we’ve seen some accounts not utilize this feature and rack up ad spends as large as $5,000 a day.

Contact CyberGate IT For Your Cyber Security Needs

We offer a wide range of cyber security services, from information that employees can use to protect better their accounts, complete cloud coverage for your business, and more. Contact us to learn more, or click here to learn more about our cyber threat detection bundle.