Data Breach in Online Reputation Management
Online reputation management is important to you and your company. But your business’ online reputation management also directly affects your consumers and their integrity if they have trusted your company with their personal information. Their personal information should be intended to be kept private as it is part of an agreement between you and your customer. Your online reputation management woes may become your consumers worries too if it is not handled correctly in some cases.
An example of how your consumers care about your online reputation management occurred last week and involved an online business called “adultfriendfinder.com”. As you may have been able to guess form the name, it is a site reserved for consenting adult individuals who are looking to connect with other adults who wish to participate in a physical relationship. The company confirmed last week that their systems had been breached. In essence, this means that their entire server containing their clients information, including names, photos and other personal information about themselves had been leaked and available to the public. Given the nature of the site, and what kind of business they are running, their customers do not want their involvement to be made public. This has horrified their customers and publicly humiliated their own personal reputations. The company’s online reputation management has failed its customers and will see the consequences of that by losing all their business and never being trusted with confidential, personal information ever again.
This scandal has now directly affected the online reputation management of all the customers of the site. Their names, pictures, dates of last visits to the site, emails and passwords are all out in the public for anyone to see. Worst of all, they are vulnerable targets for extortionists and hackers because of the leak of their email and passwords. An estimated 4112 million accounts were exposed as a consequence to this breach. I predict that online reputation management companies may see a rise in a need for their assistance in the coming months.