|14 October, 2019

Expert warns over ‘excess use of social media networks’

Social media networks are exposed to the dangers and consequences of data leakage

Image used for illustrative purpose. Man using smartphone in a cafe and drinking coffee.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Man using smartphone in a cafe and drinking coffee.

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A Bahraini social media consultant has heavily warned against the excessive use of social media as a means of communication. She also revealed that the lenient way in which people store and share their personal and professional data can make them easy targets for cybercriminals. During a workshop which addressed the cyber-security risks that are faced by Bahraini companies which utilise social media to promote their businesses, Eman Allawi stated that: “We often find that a single account is accessed through multiple devices and by multiple employees, including the founder himself.

“The passwords and usernames of such accounts are usually handled carelessly.” Ms Allawi explained that “We must emphasise the urgent need to give more focus to cybersecurity in relation to social media”. “It is more important than ever, considering the fact that companies are further utilising social media to promote their services and products. “Market research, maintaining and building relationships with customers, and E-commerce are some of the ways that companies have repurposed social media.”

Social media networks are exposed to the dangers and consequences of data leakage partly due to the prevalence of cyber attacks. Hackers were able to steal millions of users’ information through these attacks, which generally cause $400 billion in annual losses to businesses around the world. However, Ms Allawi stressed that this should not prevent the commercial sector and companies in Bahrain, small and medium-sized companies especially, from investing in the great potential provided by social networks in the development of business.

“These methods remain very effective, low cost and highly feasible, provided that they are used by professionals who can provide the necessary protection required for company accounts on social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and others,” she said. During the workshop, Ms Allawi presented an explanation on how to develop a scientific and practical strategy for the investment and management of social networks by companies and institutions.

This included many effective strategies for content creation, including images, video, text and infographics, along with the ideal times to publish content to get the best reach. She further explained the best methods for getting real interactions, the mechanism to promptly respond to followers and the importance of periodically measuring the return on investment of social networking sites.

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