Hacking is the new pastime.

On Friday, September 9 a hacker group called “The Script Kiddies” took control of the @NBCNews Twitter handle posting false reports that Ground Zero had been attacked days before the 9/11 ten-year anniversary. Though this was not the first time that a news agency’s Twitter account has been hacked, it is the first time that the hacking was considerably alarming due to the significant terrorist attack 10 years prior.

Recently, hacking groups have targeted organizations and the government to spread false information and/or hacked confidential information.   These hackings underscore the importance of social media security.  A brand’s and/or product’s credibility and reputation can be greatly affected if hackers are able to take control of their social media feeds/accounts and post malicious statements. It is increasingly important to maintain a secure online presence as to not jeopardize brand equity.  Advertisers/marketers must keep in mind that social media is a great way to engage their audiences, but if it falls into the wrong hands it can damage a brand’s entire reputation in a matter of minutes.  The take-away: Brands must be selective when allowing access to their SM feeds and must monitor them regularly to be abreast of any unusual or malicious activity.

Mashable:  Hacked NBC News Twitter Account Issues False Reports of Ground Zero Plane Crash