Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

There have been recent reports of how a Twitter scam has affected some well known UK politicians, issuing embarrassing Tweets from their personal accounts. Whilst these headlines may seem amusing, Lloyd Borrett, the Marketing Manager at AVG (AU/NZ), says it is worth considering the potential impact of this type of scam on your business reputation.

Reputation is everything in the world of a small business, often taking years to establish. Being targeted by a similar scam can have a detrimental effect on the reputation of your company. In a recent NCSA (National Cyber Security Alliance) study on small business security, 69% of small business owners said they would let their customers know if they suffered a security breach, whilst almost half agreed that their customers are concerned about the IT security of their business.

Knowing that a supplier’s IT infrastructure is not as secure as it should be would worry most people, particularly if they share critical business data with that supplier/company. Yet with so many more businesses using cost-effective social media tools to market their company, the threat of customers being sent inappropriate messages from your company’s social media account, or the social media account of one of your employees, is real. The potential impact on your reputation, by undermining your customer’s trust in your ability to safeguard their data, is great.

So to help safeguard your business reputation, AVG (AU/NZ) has put together a few tips to ensure you get the most out of your security software, allowing you to focus on building your reputation, not repairing it:

1. Make sure your security software is robust and up to the job. AVG Internet Security Business Edition software is certified by the major independent security certification bodies to be effective against a comprehensive range of threats.

2. Secure your network against insecure behaviour by employees. You can’t always control where your staff go online at work. (If you try, you’ll probably have a rebellion on your hands!) AVG Internet Security Business Edition includes LinkScanner® which stops users visiting poisoned web pages that can let hackers into your network. So make sure it’s installed on every PC.

3. Set your security software to update itself at least once a day. Protect against new and unknown viruses that appear between updates by ensuring AVG Data Protection is active on all workstations. AVG Internet Security Business Edition contains the Data Protection module.

4. Make sure you set the highest level of security on laptops employees take home or on the road. The AVG Administration feature included with AVG’s business edition products will help you to set and monitor the security settings on all of your protected PCs. However, once those PCs are disconnected from the business network, they’re out of your control. So leverage the power of AVG’s LinkScanner, Anti-Malware, Enhanced Firewall and Data Protection layers to keep their protection solid when your staff are away from the office using home, WiFi or other non-secure Internet connections.

5. Deal with computer security problems as soon as they arise. AVG optionally alerts you whenever it finds a problem – day or night – and takes the necessary action to protect your network automatically – you don’t have to do a thing. If you have the time, review the log – it can give you valuable information about employee training or other preventive measures that will help improve security.

Following the above tips should ensure your business reputation doesn’t suffer from an online scam. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is much better than a pound of cure.”

For more information, see

Online References:
Ed Miliband, British MP, becomes target of hackers bent on embarrassing politicians:
National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) study:

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Twitter, business reputation, scam, social media, cyber security



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