It has now been just two months since Facebook revealed that Russian organizations purchased advertising space en masse with the intention to create sensationalized and controversial content that would trigger political in-fighting among American citizens. While many had theorized this possibility, the public reception to evidence of Russian ad manipulation had been controversial in and of itself. With the revelation of a coordinated campaign revealed by Facebook itself, however, surprise and apprehension have spread through everyday users and corporate clients.
Facebook’s response to this controversy, however, is a step in the right direction it seems, especially given their less-than-laudable responses to some previous issues on their site (for example, they did not disclose to their users that their profiles were being utilized for behavioral research.) On this issue, though, Facebook has decided to be open with their findings, thorough with their research, and take some responsibility for the impact the abuse of their platform may have had.
Starting this month, Facebook will be sending teams of advertising experts to various major cities across the country. These experts will undertake an educational campaign which aims to help users (both corporate and every day) understand how their ad platform works, how to view ads with a discerning eye, and how Facebook is changing the way it vets its ads and accounts.
With Facebook being one of the most popular platforms for advertisement by companies of all sizes, the recent revelations have sent ripples through the advertising world. Many companies are wondering how their ads can remain relevant and trusted when they may have been listed alongside fraudulent content intended to sow political discord. For many, though, the answer lies in greater site security and education above and beyond what Facebook itself is launching.
Thankfully, users of the web are becoming more security-conscious each day. This fact is a godsend for companies running a clean ship, though some companies may fear their steps to increase security being overlooked by the many users who are new to internet safety. The answer to this is for companies, especially smaller companies whose brands are still growing, to be proactive in educating their users.
How Companies Can Take Control of the Storm Around Facebook Advertising
For an example of how a company can be proactive in encouraging security consciousness, consider a small-business eCommerce site with a custom website. This business takes out ads on Facebook, which are crisp, professional, and organic, bringing numerous new users to their site. Their site doesn’t have the multi-level security features associated with banks and financial institutions, and understandably so; many customers will not purchase if confronted with lengthy account registration processes.
Instead, the small business has employed a web development firm to ensure they have valid certificates, HTTPS in place, and encrypted account information. In addition, they’ve done due diligence and made partnerships with quality payment processors who can verify their site as a safe business. With many of these changes being behind-the-scenes, the business has decided to proactively connect with Facebook users who might be apprehensive about the advertisements they are seeing.
Upon visiting the page, users are brought to a welcome page which readily displays the logos of the payment processors they are partnered with, a slideshow of products in their inventory, and a clear navigation bar. Also readily visible is a graphic which states, “Learn about how we protect your data and purchases here,” which hyperlinks to a page detailing all of the measures in place with information on how users can verify this for themselves.
With back-end security development and front-end design working together, security can be put front and center, simultaneously helping to educate users while assuaging any potential fears users may have had in visiting the site. The effect this can have on a potential customer or client’s experience on a site shouldn’t be underestimated. In all likelihood, we can all think of a website we closed out of because something just seemed off about it.
Looking Forward, Together
The host of recent security breaches online has given rise to the need for companies and users alike to rethink their previous assumptions about security. When law-abiding companies and consumers work together, it becomes considerably harder for criminals to take advantage of gaps in knowledge and awareness that would have otherwise existed. It has become apparent in recent months just how important a new culture of security is to the future of business on the internet, and that culture needs to extend to advertisements on Facebook, business’ web development and design choices, and even how we all choose to browse, buy, and interact with the web.
Here at www.nixa.ca, we believe strongly in integrating up-to-date, thorough security measures to every webpage we work on. We can help you make security a priority so that you can see the great rewards it brings through customer confidence, peace of mind, and reduced risk of dangerous breaches. Contact us today!