Twitter’s verification program has been under fire recently after it was revealed that the social media platform had been verifying multiple fraud accounts.
This led to many celebrities, politicians, and brands being impersonated by these fake accounts. As a result, Twitter is rapidly losing credibility as well as advertisers.
So, what can small businesses learn from this mess? For starters, it’s essential to identify high-risk accounts and put systems in place to prevent fraud.
Why Twitter’s Approach to Verification Failed
Twitter’s approach to verification failed for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, the social media platform did not have adequate systems to prevent fraud when it implemented the new verification policy.
Recently, Twitter has not been properly vetting users applying for verification. After all, $8 per month is all anyone needs to receive verification now.
As a result, numerous fraudsters were able to slip through the cracks and get verified.
This has led to much confusion and backlash from the general public.
Celebrities, politicians, and brands verified by Twitter suddenly found themselves being impersonated by fake accounts. Advertisers began to distance themselves from the social media platform as well.
How Can Small Businesses Avoid a Similar Fate?
Fortunately, there are steps that small businesses can take to avoid a similar fate.
Tips for Preventing Fraudulent Activity
First and foremost, it’s essential to identify high-risk customers/accounts.
There are several ways to prevent fraudulent activity. These include:
- Learn to spot high-risk customers
- Two-step verification
- Require customers to use strong passwords
- Secure your website or platform
These measures will ensure that customers’ data is protected from hackers and fraudsters.
Learn to Spot High-Risk Customers
In order to find high-risk customers, businesses should implement robust identity verification procedures, as well as monitor customer activity on a regular basis.
This will help to identify any suspicious behavior which may indicate fraudulent activity.
This includes verifying customer identities by collecting data such as the following:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Billing address
- Government-issued ID
- Social Security number (if applicable)
Two Step Verification
Once the customer’s identity has been confirmed, businesses should also implement two-factor authentication measures. Two-step verification is a process that adds an extra layer of security to your account.
When you enable two-step verification, you’ll be asked to enter a unique code in addition to your username and password whenever you sign in. This code is generated by an app on your phone or sent to you as a text message.
One of the best cybersecurity solutions to protect your account is to enable two-step verification.
This process adds an extra layer of security to your account and makes it more difficult for someone else to gain access.
Require Customers to Use Strong Passwords
Small businesses can avoid a similar fate by requiring their customers to use strong passwords.
A strong password contains at least eight characters, including the following:
- Uppercase and lowercase letters
It is also important to change passwords often and never use the same password for multiple accounts.
This will help to protect businesses from cyber attacks, which can be costly and damaging.
In addition, small businesses can take other measures to protect themselves from cyber attacks, such as installing security software and creating firewalls using password management systems like Jumpcloud etc. By implementing these security measures, small businesses can help to keep their data and customers safe from harm.
Secure your Website or Platform
There are a few things small businesses can do to secure their website or platform and avoid a similar fate.
First, it is crucial to keep your software and plugins up to date. Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities in outdated software, so make sure you are regularly updating your site.
Secondly, it is important to use strong passwords and to prohibit users from using easily guessed passwords.
It also should be noted that using up-to-date professional photographs on your platform to show you’re legitimate can help attract the right customers on your website and make you look authentic.
You should also be wary of phishing scams, which are emails or websites that appear to be from reputable sources but are designed to steal your information.
By taking these steps, businesses can protect themselves from the damaging effects of verification fraud and ensure that they are providing a safe environment for their customers.
Try a Multi-Layered Approach
Businesses should also consider employing a multi-layered approach to fraud prevention that includes account monitoring and anomaly detection.
This approach utilizes machine learning and AI technology to detect suspicious activity in near real-time.
Account monitoring involves monitoring user accounts for any suspicious activity. This includes tracking things like the IP address associated with the account, credit card numbers used to purchase items, and login attempts from new or unknown locations.
Anomaly detection is a process that uses machine learning algorithms to identify abnormal behavior in user accounts.
These algorithms can detect any irregularities in behavior, such as unusually large transactions or suspicious login attempts from unknown locations.
By using a multi-layered approach to fraud prevention, businesses can better protect themselves and their customers from verification fraud. This will help ensure that legitimate users are able to access their accounts securely and safely.
How Losing Advertisers Could Affect Your Business
Losing advertisers, like what has happened with Twitter, could have a significant impact on a small business.
Without advertising dollars, a small business may find it challenging to reach new customers or keep current customers informed about specials or new products.
In addition, many small businesses rely on third-party platforms, such as social media or review sites, to promote their businesses.
If these platforms lose advertising revenue, they may stop promoting small businesses altogether. This could have a devastating effect on a small business’s bottom line.
The Wrap Up
While Twitter’s recent problems with verification are well-publicized, it’s important to remember that these same problems can affect small businesses as well.
That’s why it’s so important for small businesses to take steps to prevent fraud, such as by identifying high-risk accounts and using our client’s systems.
By taking these precautions, small businesses can reduce the chances of being victimized by fraudsters.