Ashley Madison was Hacked: Don’t Panic and Read This

Written by Reputation Stars.

Ashley_MadisonAshley Madison bills itself as the discreet place to have an affair online, but hackers have taken any discretion out of the site entirely after releasing 9.7 gigabytes of data on the website’s user base. This data includes everything from addresses to credit card numbers, with some information about personal preferences mixed in. If you are concerned your information was leaked, here are the facts you need to know.

You Can Check if Your Info Was Leaked

Whether you knew you joined Ashley Madison or someone plugged your email address into the field without your knowledge, there is a good chance that your email address was leaked if it was in the Ashley Madison database. There are two methods you can use to check if your address was included:

  1. Google your name and your email address. This will bring up any URLs hosting your information.
  2. Use a website like Trustify to search for your email address. These forms check your email address against the database.

Know the Risks

If your email was included in the list, it’s too late to turn back. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the potential risks you face. If your spouse finds out, your marriage could crumble. If your work found out, you could lose your job. In fact, that may be reality for the 15,000 or so email addresses belonging to .gov or .mil organizations.

There are also problems that can come with your identifiable information becoming public. Most people who signed up for Ashley Madison did so with faked credentials, but those who paid the website to remove their profiles also had their information leaked in this breach.

If this happened to you, don’t waste time. Hire a reputation management company to minimize the damage.

For more coverage on this hack, click here. If you are looking to get your data removed from Ashley Madison click here.

Tips on Dealing With “.Sucks” Domains for your Reputation Management

Article written by Pierre Zarokian of Reputation Stars.

dot sucks 3Today’s business needs to manage both its PR and marketing efforts, and likely has to contract out if the resources aren’t available in house. That’s completely different from the past, when companies learned about their consumer through product testing and market research groups. Today’s type of consumer brings his frustrations to social sites like Facebook or personal blogs. She may tweet about it or join a hash tag conversation. Even that public outlet was mostly harmless. It made consumers feel better, but did little damage to a company’s reputation. Even so, the .sucks URL suffix threatens to completely alter the business of reputation management.

Now that the .sucks domain names are on their way officially, companies and businesses will need to determine if owning potentially harmful Web properties is worth the cost, or if they want to leave their brand to fate. There’s a small time frame approaching wherein well-known brands and a-listers are able to invest in their .sucks Web property, after which availability is going to be available for everyone else. Of course, these businesses posses much more ambitious marketing plans and a lot more data on these problems.

However, the significant cost, in addition to slowed entry into the program for the general public, will mean that smaller sized companies and groups can expect to be out of luck when they cannot cover the harsh expenses in order to keep a website functioning. We are headed for an entirely different kind of trolling. Patent trolls that stifle innovation, comment trolls that derail conversation and soon “domain trolls” will manipulate results and slander the names of businesses and individuals.

Will you shell out money for ICANN protection?

Does your business have a backup plan if consumers open a “.sucks” name about you?

Article was submitted by Pierre Zarokian of Reputation Stars. They provided reputation management services.