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Working remotely during the pandemic has led to more time spent online and social media use is skyrocketing. 

In lieu of real-world chats with friends and colleagues, people are connecting more on digital platforms. The research firm eMarketer forecasts that American adults will spend 82 minutes per day on social media this year. That’s a leap from 2018, when a Nielson report found that people were surfing social an average of 45 minutes a day.

Sadly, all of this can translate to increased cyber risks for employees and companies alike. Let’s take a look at the link between social sites and identity theft and how offering Allstate Identity Protection as an employee benefit can add a layer of protection for individuals and organizations as a whole. 

What’s social media account takeover?

Have you ever seen a post from a brand, celebrity, or even a trusted friend that seemed off-key, graphic, or downright suspicious? 

If so, you may have been witnessing account takeover, a type of identity theft that happens when a criminal gains unauthorized access to someone else’s account. 

If a fraudster gets the keys to a financial account, the stakes are obvious. But account takeover on social media should be taken seriously, too. 

When one of your social accounts becomes compromised, your contacts could be targeted with graphic content or malware, causing you reputational harm. What’s more, while an attacker is signed in under your name, they may be able to harvest additional information   like your password, personal account details, and private messages all of which can fuel future attacks. 

Account takeover on social may also be the first sign of a bigger issue with your identity. Think about it: if a fraudster was able to log in as you, there’s a chance that more of your credentials have been exposed. 

Our social media monitoring tool can help members spot issues with their social accounts quickly, minimizing damage. It can also provide a layer of protection for employers.

Social media monitoring is good for employees and employers alike

You may be wondering what a compromised social account has to do with the health of your company. 

Identity theft can take 100 to 200 hours to resolve on one’s own, and much of that happens during business hours. 

It’s common sense that when an employee is distracted on the job, productivity suffers. Errors are more likely, too: a study by Michigan State University found that workers are less accurate after even a brief interruption. 

But did you realize that by offering Allstate Identity Protection as an employee benefit, you can help safeguard your company from a data breach? Sadly, over 40 percent of reported breaches are caused by employee negligence like, say, an employee bypassing password best practices and recycling an old password that’s easier to remember. 

Since up to 73 percent of passwords are duplicated, often across work and personal accounts, it’s possible that some of your employees are using the same credentials for, say, Facebook and work email. 

That’s one of the reasons it can put the whole company at risk when an employee’s social credentials fall into the wrong hands — and why it’s helpful to offer an identity protection benefit that includes social media monitoring.

Our coverage includes the most popular social media platforms

While account takeover is a serious concern, it shouldn’t take all the fun out of going online. 

Our social media monitoring feature keeps an eye out for suspicious behavior that might indicate trouble. We actively track LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and now YouTube for potentially damaging content, including posts that may contain graphic material, geolocation data, and spam. If you’re a member, simply visit the portal and sync your accounts to opt in for alerts.

With our family plan, members can sync their kids’ accounts too, and we’ll alert them if we find cyberbullying, grooming, or other concerning content.

We believe that protecting your company begins with protecting your employees and their loved ones. With our product, it’s our hope that members and their families can enjoy social without stress — and their employers can sleep better at night, too.

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