Digital marketers are responsible for using digital channels such as company websites, social media, email marketing, etc., for generating leads and building brand awareness. In addition to their brand-building responsibilities, digital marketers are also expected to play a leadership role in various aspects of an organization’s digital strategy. These professionals are also tasked with implementing new marketing technologies.
To do their job, digital marketers — and marketing teams in general — have to collect personally identifiable information (PII) over social media and other digital channels, inadvertently opening the door to cyber risks. Potential exposure of PII and other sensitive data while investing in a new marketing strategy is also a threat. Cyber threats have the potential to compromise a brand’s reputation and growth.
If you are a digital marketer, this article will share security tips to help you avoid and prevent malware, data breaches, and other forms of cyberattacks. Read on to learn more.
Cybersecurity Tips for Digital Marketers
As a digital marketer, you have to consider the security of your entire marketing campaign, from social media to emails and websites. Neglecting cybersecurity puts sensitive client data at risk. Even if you have a dedicated IT security team within your organization, you should still do your best to keep sensitive client data out of harm’s way. Here are a few cybersecurity tips digital marketers can use to protect client data and improve cybersecurity.
Malware is one of the most prominent IT security threats for digital marketers. A portmanteau of the words’ malicious’ and ‘software,’ malware to any program or software designed to be harmful to a computing device, server, or network. Digital marketers are in the business of disseminating information and promoting products and websites.
A single malware-infected file can do a lot of damage. So, how can you defend against malware? Start by acquiring antimalware software. As the name suggests, antimalware is a program created to protect computer systems and PCs from malicious software. A good anti malware solution will feature an antivirus scanner, real-time protection, and a browser extension for additional protection against phishing and malicious websites.
Use a VPN
A VPN, or a Virtual Private Network, provides one of the most effective ways to keep sensitive data secure on the internet. This impressive online tool routes your traffic through a secure tunnel. It will also encrypt your internet traffic and hide your location, further protecting you against hackers and other online adversaries looking to track your web activity.
A VPN simply creates a private network for you to browse as you use the internet. As a digital marketer, using a VPN can help you ensure that client data is safe as you go about your business on the internet. And the benefits of VPN go beyond online security. For instance, you can use a VPN to skirt geo-blocks in your online marketing efforts by simply connecting to a server location in your target region.
Use Strong Passwords
Use strong passwords for all your online accounts. You’ve probably heard this password hygiene advice a million times. Granted, it’s a well-worn point, but it bears repeating because people don’t seem to get the importance of having strong passwords. Some of the most commonly utilized passwords in 2021 include ’iloveyou’, ‘123456’, and ’QWERTY’.
Passwords are important. Don’t log into your clients’ websites with weak passwords; that’s just asking for trouble. Ensure that you have strong passwords with at least 12 characters — a mix of numbers, symbols, and lower and uppercase letters. Use a secure password vault to generate and store complex and unique passwords/usernames for all your online accounts.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is a security method where users provide multiple authentication factors to verify themselves. The most common adaptation of multi-factor authentication is Two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA requires the user to give two different types of information to establish access to an online account or a device.
Today, the most common authentication factor is the username/password pair. When 2FA is enabled, you’ll need to provide any additional information to prove that you are the person you’ve claiming to be. The second security factor can take the form of a one-time password sent to a mobile number registered to you or biometrics — such as face or fingerprint — among others.
Back-Up Your Work Frequently
Regardless of the size of your brand, if you are online, you’re bound to experience a cyber-incident at some point. Digital marketers are no exception. You can lose all your marketing data and materials in a data breach or a cyberattack in the worst-case scenario. Regular backups help you avoid downtime and make sure that data is always available in the event of a security incident like a ransomware attack.
When it comes to frequent and timely backups, automation is the way to go. Instead of doing it manually, automate the backup process to ensure that you have a copy of all your marketing data and materials that are safely stored in the cloud. That way, you can salvage important information and restore operations without any downtime.
Keep Your Software Up To Date
When it comes to safeguarding valuable data, keeping your software up to date is imperative. Cybercriminals often exploit outdated and unpatched elements of a system to gain access. Software vendors always look for vulnerabilities in their code and release updates or patches periodically to fix them.
Since digital marketers often manage client websites and have sole control over changes, it’s vital that they keep their devices up to date. The most effective way to keep your software up to date is by enabling automatic updates and patches. Holes in software updates can make your system vulnerable to hacking and malware attacks. Keep your OS, applications, browsers, and plug-ins up to date for protection.
Cybersecurity is essential for every online business, including digital marketers and agencies. Digital marketers handle a lot of sensitive client data, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and company data in their day-to-day. As a digital marketer, it’s your duty to protect your clients’ privacy and sensitive company data. Implementing the tips discussed in this article can help you protect sensitive data and improve relationships with various stakeholders.
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