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Visual Marketing: Vulnerable to cybercrimes?

  • Evan Morris 
Imaginative visual of business people and financial firms staff
Visual Marketing has become well established in business but may prove vulnerable to a host of digital attacks.

Today online content is all about creating engagement with the users. Videos and reels were once counted as luxuries which are today a lot more competitive. You have to put a lot of effort into creating a post and hoping to get good engagement on it.

Today, entertaining short-form content is imperative for companies and brands to stand out online. However, everything comes with a price so does this. When you put everything out there online, cybersecurity risks are involved. For example, an innocuous video from your office shared on social media might disclose important business information from the background.

Let’s look at how visual marketing can make your business more vulnerable to cybercrime, and some possible steps to avoid it.

The World of Impressive Visuals

Visual marketing is about companies and brands showcasing their products and services through short/long-form videos, images, gifs, etc. They allow companies and brands to communicate complex stories and messages most simply.

Video, without any doubt, is now one of the most important forms of digital marketing today. From advertising on TV to social media, it can make your brand stand out literally. The best part about social media content creation, whether via photography or video, is that it can be accessible to anyone. And if they are so good, their popularity will gain you a lot of great engagement and targeted users.

Do we think twice before posting something?

Cybersecurity is one of the first things any business should consider before posting an image online that was taken from its offices online. It might be harmless to share your location via geotagging but putting that extra information may put people and their properties or premises in danger.

In so many cases, people have unfortunately discovered that deliberately geotagging while on holiday has alerted so many burglars to vacant properties. With businesses, perhaps your team is out and posting about it on your social channels. Now, advertising that your building is unoccupied may just prick up the ears of a criminal.

In some cases, phones and tablets can track their location, and when images are taken, they can tag the device’s location through satellites. This happens when electing to give the device access to your location, which can be switched off easily. Businesses may choose to leave this location service on if they have a physical store and wish to direct people when creating a visual marketing campaign.

However, outside their prime location, some companies may not wish to share the exact operation locations with the world. For protection, it’s simply a case of turning location sharing off in the particular app that uses the camera.

Saving Personal Information when Sharing

People are obsessed with social media because it allows them to see what their friends and families are doing and at the same time, share their life out there. However, there are risks involved with it. For example, people who share pictures of their luxurious homes may accidentally invite thieves to take a closer look. Someone who leads a luxury lifestyle and shares that online without making it private can make themselves a target for criminals.

The same is the case when taking pictures within a business. Any sensitive information should be reviewed carefully before images are posted online by a business. Also, when employees share information about their activities, it can lead to corporate espionage, where your closest competitors can learn more about the intimate things of your company. From the locations you visit and the clients you work with, all the valuable information may get caught in the hands of a criminal, so be careful with the information that’s shared.

However, the good news is that action on data privacy is so fast in the US (with several new state privacy bills) and globally as “Europe continues to advance and discuss proposals that focus on privacy, platform regulation and competition.” Published in Tripwire’s 2022 first quarter Privacy Update, strategies like these and moves will help to solve illegal and harmful content alongside business-friendly initiatives that monitor and make new approaches towards better privacy and data protection.

Online Live Streaming

Companies must change with the times when creating marketing visuals, which is the reason why they may choose to live stream a promotional event. It can be a great way to create content that offers a more personal and engaging way to create something that is overly produced, edited, and corporate.

Live streaming lets the followers of a brand see what those who work in the background are doing or allows them to explain what they do best. This format also helps them generate a buzz for something like a product launch and has become more popular with digital marketing experts.

There are plenty of risks for companies that broadcast live visual content to their social media audiences. When you live stream a video, it requires a connection to the internet, which leaves a company vulnerable to attacks like IP leaks or DDoS attacks. Also, there is also a risk that someone may screengrab your content and reshare it as their own. Overloaded chats open opportunities for scammers and malicious actors to link to malware.

Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect your IP address and strong passwords can help you avoid someone compromising you through brute force. If you wonder what VPN is, it is an arrangement for you to connect securely to another country’s IP for access.

Many companies simply rely on the IT department to take charge of their cybersecurity. Given the importance of data protection, companies need to hire the best cybersecurity. It may mean reaching out to a third party, but when you compare it with the cost of a data breach and any regulatory penalties, it can reach multi-million pounds; it’s a worthwhile investment. Cybercriminals will keep trying unique and novel approaches to infiltrate a company. Also true in the physical realm, where burglars use information from online images to perpetrate crimes against an organization. It is also important to be cautious when using videos and images your organization posts online. It is always like what you see, it may not be the same as what a criminal is looking for.