Last summer, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority raised eyebrows when it ruled that anyone with over 30,000 social media followers is now a celebrity under UK advertising regulations.
There’s an inherent cybersecurity lesson here for all social media influencers, regardless of follower count. Once you become an influencer, you are running an online business, one where you are the product. This makes influencers magnets for cybercrime on two fronts. Cybercriminals like targeting businesses and they also like targeting celebrities and other high-profile people.
What’s at risk?
Everyone needs to protect themselves online, but influencers and other high-profile figures have even more to lose. If a cybercriminal steals your password and gets into one of your social media accounts, they can wreak havoc on you and your influencer business by:
- Stealing sensitive personal and financial data, including credit card and bank account information, phone numbers, street addresses, and your full legal name.
- Accessing confidential and proprietary information contained in messages between you and the brands you work with, possibly putting you in violation of your NDAs.
- Hijacking your account and using it to post vulgar or defamatory messages or spam. Mariah Carey learned this message the hard way on New Year’s Eve when cybercriminals hacked her Twitter account and proceeded to post over 50 derogatory messages, racist slurs, and personal attacks on rapper Eminem. A few months prior, Ellen DeGeneres’ Twitter account was hijacked by cybercriminals who advertised phony product giveaways.
Cybercriminals also target PR and marketing firms used by influencers. Last spring, millions of Instagram influencers were compromised when a security researcher discovered that Chtrbox, a social media marketing firm, left one of its cloud servers open and unprotected. The server contained influencers’ sensitive personal and financial data, including the net worth of their social media accounts. In 2018, brand marketing company Octoly exposed personal data belonging to 12,000 influencers, again on an unsecured cloud server.
How influencers can protect themselves
Since most data breaches are traced back to stolen or compromised passwords, the simplest way for influencers to prevent breaches is to exercise good password security practices:
- Secure each of your apps and accounts with a strong, unique password, and never reuse passwords.
- Always enable two-factor authentication (2FA).
- Use a password management solution like Keeper.
- Never share your passwords with anyone, including virtual assistants or other staff hired to post to your accounts. Instead, assign them their own passwords, require them to use 2FA and a password manager, and use role-based access control (RBAC) to manage their posting permissions.
Become a Keeper Influencer
Keeper’s new Influencer program lets influencers build a new revenue stream while simultaneously protecting themselves and their businesses from password-related cyberattacks.
- A free subscription to Keeper Unlimited, the world’s leading cybersecurity platform for preventing password-related data breaches and cyberthreats.
- Keeper’s secure messaging platform, KeeperChat, which enables you to safely share messages and files with your brands, managers, virtual assistants, and other business associates.
- The ability to securely assign and send passwords to staff members who post to your accounts.
- BreachWatch™ dark web scanning tool, which continuously monitors the dark web for credentials stolen in data breaches. If a match is found to one of your accounts, you’ll be notified immediately so that you can change your password.
Keeper Influencers also enjoy:
- Exposure of their content to Keeper’s audience of millions of people and thousands of businesses around the world
- Affiliate commission through Keeper’s partners at Rakuten
- Pay-to-Post opportunities
Don’t wait for a breach to happen! Contact Keeper today to find out more about our Influencer program!