Don't let hackers scare off your customers

April 16, 2013 | by Brad Cyprus
Don't let hackers scare off your customers

When you think about electronic security, what comes to mind? Do you consider how vulnerable your customer credit cards are, or how easily someone can break into your online bank account? These are the most profitable avenues of attack that thieves usually focus on, but occasionally, cybercriminals are motivated by something besides greed. It could be that a hacker group thinks of itself as some kind of social watch dog, and instead of targeting you financially, they target your image.

With the spread of social media, there are many avenues that a motivated hacker can take to cause your restaurant business harm. For example, if you have a weak password protecting your Facebook account, then it is likely that with minimal effort someone could corrupt your wall and send horrific messages to your customers. Since it is coming from your account, it will look like something you did, when in actuality, it was a criminal who was simply posing as you.

This type of attack is not as uncommon as you might think. Just recently, Burger King's Twitter account was compromised for a short time with outrageous claims that McDonald's took them over. There were more than 80,000 followers of the burger giant who must have been confused when hackers broke into the account. Burger King apologized to its fans after the attack, and this incident was an unfair public relations nightmare because Burger King was the victim here. Yet, it faced ridicule on the Internet because for it looked like they gave up to McDonalds. I wish this were an isolated incident, but it is becoming a more popular trend in the hacking world. Jeepsuffered an attack that mirrors the Burger King incident closely. In that case, the hackers made it appear that Cadillac had bought the car company, but the concept was the same.

How safe do you think your public presence is right now? Do you use good password management or use complicated passwords to manage your social media accounts? Hackers are real, and some of them are out to ruin the reputation of hard working folks, who never meant anyone any harm. It would be in your best interest to manage your online accounts with the same diligence that you show your credit card or bank data. For some tips on good account management, check out the following from Google: Secure your password.

Topics: Insurance / Risk Management, Online / Mobile / Social, Operations Management, Systems / Technology

Brad Cyprus
Bradley K. Cyprus has more than 20 years experience in the security industry. He manages the development of in-house solutions to validate compliance, and he is a resource that Vendor Safe customers can rely upon to help interpret the PCI standard. wwwView Brad Cyprus's profile on LinkedIn

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