The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had. — Eric Schmidt, Google
As any new start-up company will attest, maintaining a presence across numerous social media sites is time-consuming unless a plan is put in place to combat one’s assault across all mediums from the get-go.
When you’re a micro company with few employees, chances are one person in the team services all those sites. Supposedly Facebook and Google make it easier by allowing access to all accounts using their sign-ins but what if you’re the recipient of a hacker attack? That simple one-sign-in-fits-all approach that saves time now won’t allow access to any account, potentially bringing your business to its knees.
Seriously, it’s that easy: shut out of one social media site such as Facebook and you’re shut down from all others. Therefore, in hindsight, it makes sense to have individual logins for all sites so that if one is targeted the rest won’t be.
As a new start-up this threat needs to cross minds. Each time a social media outlet asks for access to Facebook most of us blithely press OK. Talk among colleagues and friends only spurs the action on given how efficient it is to be able to bundle all mediums. What is posted on your website or Facebook appears on Twitter, Flickr, tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest to name but a few of the more popular social mediums business and consumers are addicted to.
It’s exciting, like one giant press release going out as often as an individual or business feels the inspiration to post an update to fans, followers and friends. Until the day you’re the target of a hacker.
Where do you go then? The faceless men of Facebook only allow users to email problems. There’s no one to call to vent the frustration of being shut down. Navigating Facebook’s “support” pages is equally disheartening as losing control of all accounts.
What if your business is seasonal and you have only a small window of opportunity to communicate with the masses, your potential clients? The frustration level rises to fever pitch and all a user or business can do is kick themselves for bundling all social media under one login. Delve more into this issue and it becomes apparent how dangerous an action it really can be.
And yet it is the norm. Every time you open a new social media account you’re asked whether you’d like to use Facebook to sign in. Usually it’s the same username and same password.
Maybe that’s the motivation behind why hackers go after large corporations, like Apple and Facebook. Such domination over our lives in their minds is too influential.
So while it does make one rethink reasons behind social media tie-ins based on a one-sign-in-that-fits-all approach, there’s no denying that hackers appear to be changing tack and going after small operators, perhaps bored with taking down all the big guns who can rectify the problem in no time.
Since immersing myself in the new media age, my tiny operation has been hit three times directly or indirectly by random acts of what I’m coining “cyber-cessation” — an attempt by someone I don’t know to stop me doing the things I want online.
It’s not a sensation that feels good for the recipient. To hack someone’s account isn’t clever. Those behind it must be small-minded to believe their actions really make a difference. Sure it stops someone in their tracks intermittently but people are resourceful, they’ll regroup to find a new way to get their message out.
Judy Wilkinson is a freelance writer whose small start-up business survives and thrives on communicating across mass social media sites.