As business owners, we know the importance of planning for everything from cash flow, to employee scheduling, to writing strategies. But what happens to your digital presence when there’s a change within your business? Do you know who has all of those passwords?

As social media continues to grow and constantly evolve, as does website design and technology, it’s important to know who has access to these digital assets.

Most likely, if your website was built by a designer or programmer, they will have all of the relevant information, but a good checklist to have on file should include:

  • Domain registration (your website address) – who registered it, and how often it is renewed;
  • Hosting services – these might be a separate service provider from your domain, and you may have one for your website, and another for email, which also need to be regularly renewed;
  • Website content changes – are you, or a staff member, able to login to your website to change the content?
  • If you have a Google Adwords account or other Google services, who has access to these?

When it comes to social media, did you set up the accounts, or did someone else? It’s not uncommon to see multiple accounts floating around, especially if a team member did this a while ago, or you lost access to an account when an employee or volunteer moved on. Those networks may be attached to a personal account or email not associated with your business, making it a challenge to get them under your control.

On your Facebook page for business, regularly check to see who has access under “page roles”. If there’s anyone unfamiliar, or who no longer works for you, remove them. It is a good practice to have two people with administrator access, though, in case one ever has password or technical issues.

On Twitter and Instagram, make sure you know the passwords, keep a list of who has those passwords, AND which email account and phone numbers are attached to the accounts. Both should be tied to your business, and it doesn’t hurt to use a generic gmail account as a backup email address should anything go wrong, or if you can add a “recovery” email for social media and website access.

Finally, when there are staff changes, just as you may get keys back or change the door alarm code, keep a checklist to protect your online presence:

  • Remove the former employee or volunteer’s access to your website, if they have their own account, common platforms such as WordPress;
  • Delete or forward any email addresses that are no longer needed;
  • Remove the person from the admin section of your Facebook page;
  • Change passwords on social media accounts (a good thing to do once or twice a year, as a security check).

It’s your online reputation and your content, make sure it’s protected.

This article first appeared in the Business Examiner, and is provided courtesy of the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.

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