Digital marketing is difficult enough as it is without throwing in the ever-increasing threat of cybercrime. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the damage caused by cybercrime almost doubled between 2017 and 2018. It is a cyberwar and digital marketers are not on the winning side.
Quite a lot, actually. In this section, we’ll go through how our digital marketing efforts could potentially endanger our clients.
As digital marketers, we have a duty to protect our clients and prospects. Think, for a second, on how much information you’ve gathered about each prospect.
You’ve tracked their activity on your site and beyond. You know something about their purchase history. You’ve done your research on their social media profiles. At the very least, you have their names and email addresses.
Did they have to register an account on your site? Then you have their email addresses and passwords too.
If a hacker breaches your system, they have access to information that they can:
Seven out of ten marketers actively invest in content marketing. For those marketers, blog content ranks as the second most-used form of content. Considering that 73% of WordPress installations are vulnerable to cyberattacks, it’s time to up the security here as well.
Hackers will attack vulnerable sites to steal the details of registered users. They’ll also often implant malicious code that infects any visitors to the site. Since the boom of the cryptocurrency industry, hackers have become particularly inventive.
They might load malware that allows them to use the compromised computer’s processing power mine cryptocurrencies. Or they might simply implant ransomware that shuts off the user’s access to their system completely.
The downside is that these attacks can often be traced back to the source. The source, in this case, being your blog.
Keeping your blog safe from hackers is essential.
How do you do that?
Email marketing is the digital marketer’s standby. Unfortunately, hackers have made this more difficult for us as well.
For starters, consumers are more wary about the emails that they open and the ones that they ignore. They use sophisticated anti-spam programs that use artificial intelligence to fish out any emails that seem suspicious or spammy.
For the digital marketer, though, the threat is more insidious. Hackers might hack a legitimate email address and use it to spew out spam. They might launch phishing attacks against your clients and prospects.
Even if they don’t actually gain access to your account, they could still use you as a patsy. If we were to ask you which applications are most often exploited, what would you answer? If you’re like most of us, you’d probably say browsers.
Think again and think closer to home. 72.85% of exploits are conducted through Microsoft Office programs. This could be a result of malware embedded into an Excel spreadsheet or Word report. It’s time to think carefully about the interesting reports, and so on that you disseminate.
Social Media Marketing
What’s the harm with social media? There’s the potential for your social media site to be hacked. Hackers may do this to spam your followers. They may also adopt a more surreptitious approach and merely spy on your followers instead.
Brandjacking is also on the rise. This is where a hacker or spammer will post as if they are your company. This could be in an effort to bring your company into disrepute, or it could be a way to try and con your clients into buying knock offs of your products. Either way, your company’s reputation is toast.
Bear in mind that your social media account gives access to the information of all of your followers. That means using secure passwords and also vetting new members carefully.
What can you do about it?
Check your page’s privacy settings. Are people allowed to post without approval? That might be something that you might want to change.
Another thing to consider is the pages that you link to and the apps that you use for social media. Sure, that app might seem like a fun way to engage with your audience. The “This Is Your Digital Life” app was fun and seemingly harmless to share.
It was only later when the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke that we realized just how dangerous it was.
The online world is starting to feel more and more like the wild west. It’s a free-for-all where only the strongest survive. As a business, you must protect yourself and your clients. A breach will damage your company’s reputation, potentially beyond repair.
Improving online security is the top marketing tip that we can give digital marketers for 2020. Without adequate security, all your reputation building exercises could be for nothing.