Feds Get a How-To Guide for Responding to Social Media Hacks


If you’re a fed whose job involves dealing with your department’s social media accounts, this resource is worth a look.

Remember two weeks ago when the Twitter and YouTube accounts of U.S. Central Command were compromised in a very public, embarrassing fashion that had some question the need for certain agencies' social media use? 

The news sparked a rapid response from the SocialGov Community – hundreds of digital engagement managers across government – which created a working group to compile best practices and guidance in social media for federal agencies.

Launched today, the Social Media Cyber-Vandalism Toolkit is the result of the working group’s collaboration, and “the new resource is now available as a ‘living document’ for continuous enhancement and expansion to match evolving technologies.”

“We hope experts both within and outside government will continue to improve and expand upon with more training and resources as they develop,” Justin Herman, one of the working group’s members, wrote in a blog post announcing the launch. Herman noted reps from all major social media platforms were invited to participate as well.   

If you’re a fed whose job in any way involves dealing with your department’s social media accounts, the toolkit is worth a look. It provides an exhaustive look at the three phases of handling social media security issues: readiness, recovery and response.

Within it, you’ll find how to best secure social media accounts – there’s a helpful section on two-step verification, for example – along with contact information for proper government and platform support in the event of a hacked account. There’s a wealth of information compiled here that when used properly both reduces the risk of a CENTCOM-like hack from taking place and – should a breach occur – makes responding a whole lot more simple.

The toolkit doubles as an example of how effective the government’s best digital-savvy personnel can be. A traditional government move might have been to release a request for information to industry on how to enhance social media security in government, come back in 90 days to discuss, and perhaps make recommendations sometime after that.

Instead, a team of 15 people spent one week working their tails off and came up with something any fed can use. Now, that’s public service.

(Image via Quka/Shutterstock.com)