It won’t surprise any of you to learn that I don’t follow Fox News on Twitter. I know, I can see the shock in your eyes, but I’m not the biggest fan of our friends on the right. Actually, I hate all 24 hour news stations – Fox biased to the right, MSNBC to the left, and CNN to the stupid.

So I missed their announcement of to the demise of our commander in chief. It seems one of their Twitter accounts was hacked, and the attackers had a little fun with some bogus tweets.

If you read this blog you probably know everything I’m about to write, but it’s probably a good time to review it anyway. If you use these services for business purposes, there are a few precautions to put in place:

  1. If you use social media in your business, make sure you set up accounts (or use your personal accounts) to monitor your official account.
  2. Be very cautious in how you handle your account credentials (who you give them to, how they are secured, etc.). The list of people with access should definitely be very short. Use an OAuth-based service or application to allow employees to tweet to your account without having to give them your account password. This is how most Twitter clients work today, for example.
  3. If you are large enough, talk to your provider ahead of time to understand how to report problems, and who to report them to. The last thing you want to be doing is hanging out waiting for a help desk person to see your request in the queue. Make contact, get a name, and establish a validation process to prove you are the owner of the account in an incident. You’ll also use this process if an employee goes rogue.

Simple stuff, but I suspect very few businesses follow these basics.