Nothing feels more invasive than when your online account gets hijacked by an unknown hacker, just like nothing probably feels more painful than getting eaten by a dinosaur. Let me explain.
We’ve all seen Jurassic Park, but more importantly, we all know how it ends. The park’s devious lead computer programmer, Dennis Nedry, shuts off the park’s power to steal valuable dinosaur embryos, and all of the dinosaurs escape their secure enclosures to celebrate. The massive security system of the entire park is compromised because one person shuts it all down.
But can you blame Dennis for what he did any more than you can blame the dinosaurs for leaving their enclosures and eating people? Well, maybe, but the more significant issue in the park was that the staff members took the park’s security for granted, and because of this, the park’s security was not secure.
Whether it’s an advertising account or a dinosaur-filled amusement park, security is not something that patiently hangs around forever. Security needs to be addressed, nurtured, and in some cases overhauled to remain effective. Before assuming that an account is secure, ask these questions first.
- Is your password the cute, secret nickname that you gave your dog?
This may be a good idea in theory, but how many people have heard you call your dog your “Marshmallow?” Did you post the nickname on social media as the caption to that adorable photo? It is never a secure idea to use a pet’s name or even a nickname in a password. If words or names are preferable because they are easier to remember, consider using a long string of different words with no correlation to each other.
- Is your password a long, obscure combination of numbers, letters, and symbols that no one could ever guess?
That’s great! You use it for everything, right? Don’t use it for everything. If one website becomes compromised, hackers may also try to use the same compromised log-in information on other sites. While it can be tedious, make sure to use unique passwords on all accounts that are important to keep safe.
- Do you take security seriously, so you use a password manager to handle your log-in information?
Good idea! The password manager still requires a password to sign in, though. So make sure to use a strong password here, as well as two-factor authentication on it and your other accounts.
- What’s two-factor authentication?
Now we’re talking! Two-factor authentication requires a user to access their phone as an extra step in security when signing in. Specifically, when users sign in with their password, they will be brought to a second screen that requests a code. This randomly generated and frequently changing code is sent to the user’s phone in that instant through a two-factor authentication app, email, or text message. The user is only able to sign in after inputting this new code. With two-factor authentication, the account cannot be accessed without access to the user’s second factor, even if the password is compromised. The irritating extra time required to input a second password every time does stack up, but so does the peace of mind.
When it comes to your digital account security, the repercussions of a compromised account become quite severe, and the opportunities for a security breach increase with every lazy password choice you make. When you have advertising accounts like Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok, plus all the Google properties like Google Ads, Analytics, Merchant Center, Tag Manager, and more, proper account safety precautions and cooperation of all involved are necessary to keep security strong and consistent.
Aside from creating secure login processes, make sure to routinely audit the people, permissions, accounts, pages, partners, and other assets connected to your ad accounts. Removing any relationship that no longer exists should help to keep account vulnerabilities low. We can’t tell you how often we ask about a user in a Google Ads account, only to be told, “We haven’t worked with them for years.”
On top of this, monitor ads and spending, opt-in to receive alerts about account changes, and be sure to log out when you are done.
At the end of the day, no one wants to think about security. Not everyone has time to worry about worst-case scenarios when there is so much to do already. Jurassic Park’s living, breathing dinosaurs are just up ahead, after all! However, to ensure a pleasant experience, the electrified fences are just as crucial as the dinosaurs themselves.