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By Fred Thiergartner

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for small businesses, allowing you to share updates and engage with customers easily. However, what you share on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram could put your company at risk of a cyberattack.

As a business owner, you want to inform your audience about new products, services, employees, and events. The problem is some details shared on social media can give cybercriminals insights into your operations and expose vulnerabilities to exploit. A few thoughtless posts could cost you much more down the line.

Be Careful What You Share About Your Systems

If you experience an outage of critical systems such as point-of-sale or online payment processing, it's best not to disclose this publicly. While you want to keep customers informed, such announcements could unintentionally invite fraudulent activity during the downtime.

For example, when credit card processing goes offline, many small businesses take payments manually and submit the transactions later once the issue is resolved. However, opportunistic criminals may see this as a chance to take advantage.

They could attempt to make purchases with stolen or cancelled cards, knowing the funds won't be verified until after they've walked away with unpaid-for merchandise. The fraudster is long gone when a business owner discovers the faulty payment.

Similarly, sharing specifics about your software and technologies reveals valuable information to potential attackers. They can start researching known issues, exploit vulnerabilities, and craft customized attacks against your exposed systems. Play it safe by avoiding disclosing sensitive system details on public channels.

New Hires May Be Targets for Social Engineering

Introducing a new team member on social media could unwittingly paint a target on their back. New employees have yet to build up experience dealing with cyberthreats, and social engineering ploys may trick them more easily.

Criminals could try grooming the new hire through fake support calls or impersonating colleagues they don't know well to gain a foothold in your network. Consider holding off publicly announcing personnel changes until staff have undergone security awareness training.

Background Details Can Leak Valuable Information

Casual photos shared to promote your business may contain unintended clues in the background. Passwords jotted on post-it notes or prototypes of upcoming products are all things better kept private. Cybercriminals are highly skilled at extracting information from visual clues, so inspect photos closely before posting, and be mindful of what incidental details may be revealed.

Stay Engaged but Remain Cyber-Aware

Used strategically, social media is a powerful marketing tool for small businesses. But oversharing sensitive information could open doors for cybercriminals down the line.

Maintain an active online presence while exercising caution about what you publish. With extra thought about potential risks, you can continue leveraging social platforms safely to engage customers and drive your business forward.

Reach out today to find out how we can evaluate your digital footprint and identify any overexposed information or unintended security weaknesses. Call us now at

513-275-9712 or EMAIL:Fred or Chris