Recently, we have discussed issues related to payment processing software for both brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce portals. We have also touched upon the relationship between user interface and user experience, and how they affect a customer’s interactions with a company online as well as an employee’s comfort level using a physical POS system.

Yet another area where the Web and real-world locations intersect, social media can play a significant role in the day-to-day operations of any business. Many POS systems these days are connected to the internet and capable of traditional Web browsing and other functions.

It’s not uncommon for small business owners to use their in-store computers for updating social media sites and interacting with existing and prospective customers. After all, building your brand is a critical part of helming a successful enterprise.

However, hackers have also realized how important social media has become to merchants, and as such, they have developed methods of targeting these companies and their employees. Fraudulent messages are often sent containing links to sites loaded with malware, Facebook pages get hijacked and spammed, and nefarious net-surfing ruffians steal passwords in order to see if you use the same login for multiple online accounts.

For merchants, it is now critical that they not only have robust antivirus solutions, but also that they invest in credit card payment software that has its own built-in security measures. And if that provider also offers regular tech support without a myriad of hidden fees, all the better.

Social media is a great tool for businesses, but the benefits can be far outweighed by the weaknesses that can be exposed if merchants don’t arm themselves with the best and most up-to-date software solutions.