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      Understanding the 202 of Security in Online Communities – Chapter Rewind

      Nov 26, 2021

      5 minute read

      What are the main challenges that community managers face?

      Customer data security and access management should be right up there at the top of the list.

      The nature of the internet is such that it’s impossible to provide a 100% secure digital experience to users. But there are several measures that community managers can take to curb any possibility of data theft, loss, and misuse.

      With the right community safety tech at their disposal, brands and their community managers can comply with the law, safeguard users, and build resilient and supportive online communities.

      Two of the finest minds in the community space discussed all this and more in Grazitti’s exclusive webinar on ‘Understanding the 202 of Security in Communities’. Our speakers for this session were:

      In case you missed the live panel discussion, here’s the recorded event.

      Let’s take a deeper look at some of the key highlights from the session and explore how you can build safer connected experiences for your users.

      The Gap Between Those Building Safety Tech and Those Using it

      Technology is propelling at an amazing speed year after year. And the trend is to automate decision-making processes. Businesses are spending a lot to implement as much technology as possible, as quickly as possible. However, there is a downside to increasing investment in technology because you could witness disparate systems, silos between teams, and a lack of technical knowledge among your teams. This can neutralize the potential benefits of the technology that you use.

      For instance, there are tools such as Besedo and Disciple Moderation Tool used for community moderation. If you only use some of the features of these tools and your teams aren’t trained to use them accurately, it could lead to missed opportunities for winning the trust of the community users and low ROI.
      The key to achieving success via online communities is:

      • Strong leadership and management
      • Hiring, training, developing, and empowering the right people

      That’s why it is of the utmost importance that whatever technology you incorporate in your community, you must understand the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of it. When you know these fundamentals, that’s when you can focus on training your teams so that you leverage their full potential.

      The Challenges of Open Social Spaces and How to Combat Them

      blog image-community security

      Communities provide a space for your audience to openly exchange knowledge and engage in conversations. Sometimes, these conversations can take a different turn, making matters tense. In the session, Darren mentioned that when users join a community, they bring their own perspectives, based on which users contribute to the community. That’s where the need to moderate engagement arises.

      Here are some challenges of open social spaces such as online communities that you might come across:

      1. Increasing Levels of Spam and Abuse: With the growth of your online community, you might start witnessing more episodes of spam and abuse. If your community has a huge customer base, it becomes an easy target for spammers and toxic members. This comes forth as a challenge as it allows members to disagree and attack others during online discussions. Community managers must strategize and use moderation tools to handle such situations effectively.

      2. Declining Quality of Community Discussions: In its early stages, your community may attract avid users and fans of your products and services. These people can even become your community super users by engaging in high-quality discussions. But as the community grows and attracts new users, the quality of discussions might decline. As a result, the topic experts or super users may leave the community. One way to combat this is to create specific groups within the community. Community managers can create private groups for super users. This gives those users a place to discuss topics unique to them.

      3. Scaling With Technology: During the session, Darren mentioned that when a community is small, it is easy to manage the bandwidth of a few members on the server. However, as the community grows, the needs of the members from the community increase. As a result, new features for the community need to be introduced. In this case, hosting can become very expensive. You should choose a flexible enough platform to integrate other tools and legacy systems.

      4. Legal Threats and Privacy Concerns: Given the rise of security threats, it is important for communities, both big and small, to protect their users. As your community grows, the threat of attack, misuse, or loss of customer data increases. In these scenarios, community users may take legal action against your brand. This not only increases the cost of legal fees but can also harm brand reputation. Additionally, you can face fines if you don’t abide by privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA. To scale and secure your community, be sure to take proactive steps for security and safety.

      John stated that it is imperative to face such challenges head-on when growing your community by regularly adding new advancements and features. Community managers should devise comprehensive strategies that cater to their members’ needs and make the community engaging and dynamic.

      The Best Practices for Security and Access Management

      For community managers, some of the biggest challenges in their communities apart from engagement and proving ROI is security and access management. To ensure that your community safeguards your customers’ data and keeps your community secure, no matter what, you need to abide by some best practices.

      Let’s check out some of the best practices for robust security and access management.

      • Using SSO (Single Sign-On)
      • Establishing SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Encryption
      • Cloud Hosting
      • Perform External Penetration Tests

      To guarantee that users’ information is secure and safe from unauthorized access, loss, or misuse, be sure to incorporate these best practices to make security breaches unlikely. Additionally, you must look into your security structure and measures against any hack/misuse.

      The Need to Employ Safety Tech in Communities

      Given the security challenges that your community can face as it grows, it’s not hard to understand the security benefits of investing in online safety.

      That’s why choosing and using the right technology in communities is a key element to ensure a safe collaboration space. The right safety tech can empower your community moderators to protect your online communities from data breaches, toxic community activity, and much more. It can improve the brand value and the productivity of your teams.

      Here’s an example that highlights the impact of safety tech – a popular mobile gaming community added a proactive chat filter and witnessed an 88% decrease in moderation volume and reduction in user-generated reports of abusive behavior from 500 to 50 cases a day!

      The right safety tech can do wonders to reduce a moderator’s workload by identifying known patterns of abuse, eliminating disinformation, and prioritizing the most urgent cases in moderators’ work queues.

      Wrapping up the session, John and Darren discussed the best practices that organizations can leverage to win their customer’s trust and make communities a safe collaboration space. Click here to watch the entire conversation.

      Want to learn more about building secure online communities? Talk to us!

      Team Grazitti has extensive experience in building multidimensional online communities that empower you to take your business to the next level. To know more about our CMaaS expertise, drop us a line at [email protected], and we’d be happy to help.

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