In July 2015, a group called “The Impact Team” breached the security of the website Ashley Madison. Ashley Madison is a dating website for married people. Roughly 9.2 gigabytes of data was released. It included personal information of 37 million Ashley Madison users. Following the release, online users found some of these users and threatened to release this information to their friends on Facebook if they did not pay an extortion fee. The hack has reignited the conversation about privacy in the internet age. Privacy is one right that has been threatened around the world in the post-9/11 world and, on the web, it is far from guaranteed. Websites regularly collect, store and sell personal information for advertising purposes. Millions of web users have credit card information saved on popular websites that have been breached many times. For Ashley Madison users and their families, dealing with an affair in public has been shown to be incredibly harmful to spouses and children
If you are interested in protecting your privacy on the internet there are several ways to do it. The people at Status Labs, an online reputation management company, suggest that you begin by setting all of your social media profiles to private including Facebook and Instagram. For many Ashley Madison users, it would have saved them from going through an extortion.
Online reputation management companies such as Status Labs also offer reputation management for anyone who is interested in PR any company that has to deal with the fallout after an event such as the Ashley Madison hack. Today, over half of employers and universities will search for social media profiles of candidates. Often, if they find something they do not like, they will drop candidates from consideration. Companies such as Status Labs are there to help you ensure that your privacy is secure and that you have control over your online presence.