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The King Has No Clothes


Social media and security

Everyone and their unpaid intern saw the @BurgerKing fiasco yesterday while gnawing on their roast beef sub and immediately jumped the “let’s all make snide remarks” shark. In fact, Mashable and its journalistic glory published “The 10 McFunniest Reactions to Burger King Twitter Hack” moments after the account was mercifully suspended.

But we all know everyone was just making jokes out of their own insecurities. No, not because their selfies didn’t get 5 likes on Instagram (which, it didn’t, but whatever you guys I’m totally fine just leave me alone), but because they had the sneaking feeling in the back of their mind that this could have happened to them. Well, that is, if they’re good enough to work with a brand as, umm, royal as Burger King.

While we don’t know the full story of how this happened (or any story, for that matter, as Burger King is being as mute as their creepy King mascot is in their commercials), we can all review our own systems to ensure that we can prevent this fiasco. Or at least McBite it in the ass before it blows up like this situation.

1. Make strong passwords. Change them often. Again, we have no idea if the password was ‘whopper123′ or a sophisticated hacker figured it out. But we can all take steps to prevent both from happening, and it begins with a strong password. Does it end there? Nope. Every few months, you better change that password.

2. Got Apps? Check ‘em and disconnect ‘em if they don’t need to be connected any longer. Make sure any app that’s authorized to access your account is trusted and in use. If not, trash it. Every app is a vulnerability, because it’s just another access hatch for a hacker.

3. In fact, everything can be hacked if someone sophisticated enough really wanted to mess with you. Or actually, someone not so sophisticated. Remember Firesheep? I won’t even go into the damage I could’ve caused with that simple plugin while sitting in an Internet cafe in NYC. Do your research and keep your information locked down. Know where it exists, know how to remove it and know how accessible it is for a third party.

4. No rest for the weary at any time. Holidays, 3 a.m., child’s birth, whatever – you have to be on your game at all times. Make sure you and your team, even if it isn’t an official schedule, are all staying vigilant of the accounts you’re responsible for. Have the cell phone numbers of everyone necessary – yes, this might even include the best contact information you can squeeze out of your Facebook or Twitter account representative.

Just be smart out there, kids, and remember to always use protection.

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