Every forward-thinking company and small business owner in this era is engaged in digital marketing. Firms keep doing it for the immense benefits it offers, such as increased brand awareness, patronage, and loyalty.
Digital marketing utilizes the internet and other modern technologies such as phones, desktop computers, digital platforms, and media to promote services and all kinds of products. Without these tools, there’s no digital marketing because every activity surrounding it is based online.
Today, digital marketing boasts lots of challenges because the internet is not as safe as many think. There’re millions of internet users worldwide, and amidst these users are those who target others to fulfill their criminal intents.
That’s why marketers must always be on a high alert to protect their activities, data, and customers from cybercriminals. They must do all they can to safeguard and secure their network by using a robust encryption tool and a good firewall. Also, using a top-notch VPN can help secure customers’ data from hackers in most cases.
This article will explore some of the threats of digital marketing activities and how to mitigate them, in detail.
Top Security Concerns in Digital Marketing and How to Protect Your Business
Before a digital marketing agency can protect their activities on the internet, they must first understand the threats they’re facing regularly and then employ the strategies to stop them.
The following are the threats that digital marketers face online.
1. Social Media Threats
One of the most effective tools for digital marketing activities is social media. Any business that wants to know its position, and marketing success, usually monitors its social media performances.
Social media helps understand what the market is saying about your product or services and use it to balance your outbound marketing activities. This shows that the social media accounts of every business must be protected and secured.
You must perform a social media security check regularly. Below are some top threats to watch out for on social media:
- Hackers activities
Hackers are continually hijacking the social media accounts of companies to disrupt their activities. They can change the business profile, send deceptive spam emails, and write offensive statements against the customers. You must take an action.
- Social media bots
Companies automate their social media accounts to save time and increase productivity. That’s why they usually use social media bots to complete some tasks on their accounts.
Initially, everything was okay as the bots were programmed to do simple things, but as technology improved to AI, these bots’ functionalities increased to complex tasks. So, it’s becoming scarier to use social media bots as they can go to the extent of cloning social media accounts.
Security measures to protect your company accounts
To mitigate against such a digital marketing threat, your company must only use strong and unique passwords across all its accounts.
You should also use social media monitoring tools to know what is happening on the company’s accounts. These monitoring tools will show those mentioning your brand, the frequency of the references, and what they’re saying about the company. Moreover, companies can prevent such attacks from happening on their social media platforms by using these monitoring tools.
Other measures include:
- Enable two-factor authentication.
- Change your social media account password every few months.
- Always check your account settings and profile.
- Remove unknown devices from your settings.
- Don’t share sensitive information on your company profile.
- Unfollow or unfriend shady-looking individuals on your account.
2. Email marketing threats
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools that leads to successful digital marketing campaigns. It helps brands reach millions of people by sending them regular updates about their products, calendars, services, etc. But this marketing tool is also fraught with threats that digital marketers must overcome.
Some of the risks associated with email marketing include:
Sometimes, hackers can hijack a company’s account to send emails embedded with malicious codes to infiltrate their devices. They can attach documents or links which will encrypt the recipient’s data once he/she downloads it. This is a ransomware attack that hackers use to steal money from their targets.
Security measures against email marketing threats:
- Use robust encryption tools to prevent account hijack.
- Add outbound filters to your email accounts.
- Install strong email security software to thwart hacker’s attempts.
3. Cookie Jacking
Cookies are essential in digital marketing. They equip advertisers with the habits of the individuals who visit their sites. This software enters into your hard drive or browser through the websites you visit.
Even when you leave a site, the cookies will remain on the website, and some can stay for 90 days. With the data from website cookies, advertisers can send targeted messages and ads to their customers. But just like other digital marketing tools, cookies have their share of threats too.
- Cookie jacking (also dubbed as session jacking)
This is a situation where a third-party hijacks a user’s browsing data by using a session key. So instead of your website tracking their visitors’ activities on the site, a hacker may use the information instead.
Security measures against cookie jacking
- Use SSL/TLS data encryption to protect your data.
- Always log out of platforms, accounts, websites, etc., when you’re done using them.
4. Customer Data Privacy
Marketers need huge customer data to facilitate their digital marketing efforts. Apart from marketers, cybercriminals also need data to carry out their criminal activities online. That’s why they’re always perpetrating attacks to steal and compromise customer’s data such as credit card details, passwords, personal data, etc.
One of the security concerns around customer data include:
- Data breaches
This is a situation whereby a company ends up exposing sensitive, confidential, and protected information to unauthorized persons. Data breaches can happen to any company, no matter how large or small.
It is one of the threats which digital marketers face while using their customers’ information. Data breaches can lead to the exposure of customers’ accounts to cybercriminals. It also leads to bad publicity, fines, legal sanctions, and loss of patronage.
Security measures against data breaches
- Use of robust anti-virus encryptions tool and firewalls
- Regularly updating operating systems & backups.
- Monitoring of network, hardware and being mobile security conscious
- Using 2-factor authentication and strong passwords
- Preventing unauthorized access through constant monitoring
5. WordPress Website Threats
Many digital marketers prefer to use the WordPress CMS (content management system) than others in the industry. Due to this tool’s popularity, hackers are also attracted to it. They especially target sites that have become very old and don’t have up-to-date plugins. Thanks to the modern hacking techniques, cybercriminals can easily hack these sites and compromise both the company and its customers.
So, businesses using these platforms should always update their sites with the latest WordPress updates and plugins. They shouldn’t ignore the importance of keeping abreast with the development of more robust security measures in the industry.
By so doing, they can successfully prevent hackers from attacking their sites.
6. Non-Human Bots Threats
Bots can disrupt digital marketers’ activities by flooding websites, social media pages, and other platforms through which they communicate with customers. Some bots are scrappers that records links for hackers. Other bots facilitate click frauds, while others are spam bots that send useless emails to people’s accounts.
Some threats which non-human bots pose in digital marketing include:
- Fraudulent traffic counting
- Denial-of-service attacks
- Fake browsers
Security measures against non-human bots include:
- Using false infiltration strategies
- Use of CAPTCHA tests
7. Financial Transactions Threats
Customers perform financial transactions on eCommerce websites. These transactions are usually concluded through third-party payment services such as PayPal.
On these platforms, customers input their credit card information and other banking information, which hackers always desire to steal. As a result, the payment getaways are usually at risk of hackers attacks through malware. As a website owner and marketer, you must the responsibility of keeping your users in your own hands. At least, do what’s in your hands.
Security measures to protect financial transactions
- Digital marketers should be abreast with anti-malware measures to mitigate these attacks.
- They should enable two-factor authentication and use the SSL protocol.
- Digital marketers should use a strong VPN network to ensure data encryption against hackers’ attacks.
All the platforms and tools that facilitate digital marketing can be a target of cybercriminals. From social media accounts to payment gateways, hackers can do everything possible to steal data for their dubious activities.
That’s why marketers should keep abreast with security measures and strategies to mitigate these threats.
Every digital marketer must always be on alert while carrying out their activities online. No matter what you do, customers’ data security should be a priority.