It’s clear that the Burger King Twitter hack of Monday, and the @Jeep Twitter hack of Tuesday are not crises for the brands; they’re issues. (You can read more about these differences here) However, if these hackings persist it most certainly will become a crisis for the social media brand, Twitter, itself. And with all the different types of social media issues and crises that develop and roll-out on Twitter, I’m curious to know if the social media brand has its own social media crisis management plan. All I can say is that I sincerely hope so.
At the time of this writing (Tuesday, late afternoon), Jeep and Twitter had both to yet release statements. Jeep should have been quicker to release the typical “we’re on it statement” and Twitter should be bracing itself for the high possibility that all of these hacks will end up reflecting poorly on the social media brand in the end. Therefore, Twitter should be preparing and issuing statements regarding the importance of their users’ passwords and account protection, as well as what they’re currently doing to look into these series of hacks and how they will better protect their users in the future.
Advice to all you brands out there – Twitter included
Nothing online is 100% safe from hackers. Not your banking information and certainly not your social media accounts. This is true for every single brand that is online in one shape or form. That said, there are a number of precautionary measures that you should be taking in order to protect and prepare your brand for such threats and risks – a risk assessment being at the top of that list.
Online hackings are a risk that we can all prepare for (and do our best to prevent) before they happen. All these brands who have experienced a Twitter hacking in the last few days – and even Twitter itself – should have been prepared with a plan-of-action and a social media crisis communications plan prior to Monday.
Here are two articles on preventing and preparing your online accounts from being hacked:
It will be interesting to see what Twitter does now. And don’t worry, if it’s interesting, ridiculous or educational in any way, you can rest assured that I’ll be blogging about it!
Have you evaluated the risks that social media and the Internet present to your brand? I sure hope so. However, if you haven’t and don’t know how, here’s a good place to start. Now hop-to!
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.
Twitter is more culpable than it would seem, as it has ignored the cries for two-step authentication and verification. That simple step alone would prevent many of the hacks we've seen, either through malicious link-jacks or compromised password resets.
Melissa Agnes says
Excellent point, Ike. It's surprising that Twitter hasn't already set up two-step authentication… hopefully they will now. But I'm particularly surprised to not have seen a statement or response published by Twitter yet – especially with all the online chatter around the issue.
Dave Zan says
Looks like they have:
They also have a section to check for status updates regarding their site:
Melissa Agnes says
Thanks for the links. The two last ones are the only responses to the issue I discuss within this post, and I was disappointed to see no mention of two-step authentication. We shall see what happens…