Online Reputation Management Blog

iCloud Hackers Regroup After Celebrity Nude Photo Scandal

hacker

Celebrities are not the only ones upset about the recent iCloud hack that resulted in the leak of hundreds of nude celebrity photos. Hackers from the porn forum “AnonIB” that hosted many of the photos are not used to so much publicity, nor did they want it. The creators of the site quickly took the forum down after realizing that the hacker who stole the photos, known as “OrigianlGuy,” had leaked the photos on their site.

Hackers who had shared hacking tips and advertised their skills on AnonIB disbanded after the story began to circulate through the news, and have only recently regrouped. Although the website is back up and running, its layout has changed in the aftermath of the celebrity scandal. The page that contained stolen photos, nicknamed “Stol,” is no longer available. The Stol page had previously been used as a way for hackers to adversities their services and as a common place for hackers to share tips on obtaining nude photographs. The creators of the site didn’t give an explanation for deleting this section of the forum, but fear of legal action against them is a likely cause.

iCloud hackers might not be able to steal information off the web as easily now that Apple has upped its security measures, but that isn’t likely to stop them. Information stored on the cloud is vulnerable to attacks, and nearly 50% of businesses lost data in the cloud in 2013. It might be more difficult, but hackers will find a way.

The war wages on in the celebrity nude photo scandal with the most recent legal actions involving Google. Celebrity lawyer Marty Singer has written to Google, demanding that they remove any nude celebrity photos that continue to circulate on its site and asking them to cut off any sites listed on Google that host the nude photos. He has threatened to sue the company for $100 million if they don’t cooperate.

A request made on behalf of victims of the photo scandal to remove all photos was sent to Google a month before the threat, but many sites that Google owns still displayed the pictures. Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna and Ariana Grande are among the female celebrities targeted by the iCloud attack.

Online Retailers Fight Negative Reviews – What’s the Cost?

Online ReviewsCustomers today have a sense of freedom and power they didn’t have a decade ago when social media was still in its infancy.  But as social media has become a part of people’s daily lives, more people are turning to business review sites like RipoffReport.com and Yelp.com, as well as social sites like Facebook and Twitter, to post comments about a company or product.

Many purchasers will often read customer reviews before purchasing a trip, a toy, a smartphone or even making a reservation at a local restaurant.

There is an ongoing debate about the limits of consumers’ free speech rights and companies’ efforts to quash negative online reviews due to a recent incident over a customer review about KlearGear.com.  KlearGear threatened to fine the customer $3500 if she didn’t take down a negative posting about their company.  She had written the critique on RipoffReport.com.

According to a recent article in TechDirt, “Lots of quasi-legal action has been taken over negative reviews left by customers at sites like Ripoff Report and Yelp. Usually, it takes the form of post-review threats about defamation and libel. Every so often, though, a company will make proactive moves (usually bad ones) to head off negative reviews.”

In the Kleargear imbroglio, a consumer complained that her husband had ordered a number of products from Kleargear.com and 30 days later the products allegedly had not yet arrived.  The consumer tried to call the company to check on the status of her order but was allegedly not able to reach anyone, so she wrote about her experience on RipoffReport.   After the company saw the post, the consumer was threatened to either take the negative review down or be fined. [Read more…]

Google Algorithm Update Busts Mugshot Sites

mugshot removal websiteIt is being widely reported that a recent update to Google’s search algorithm has resulted in a major demotion of ranking for websites that republish arrest and mugshot information online.

According to a recent New York Times article, there are over 80 websites that reproduce mugshots from police and sheriff’s office websites, post them online, then charge up to several hundred dollars to remove the pictures.  There have even been news reports suggesting collusion and shared ownership between the mugshot and removal websites, so if an individual pays to have a mugshot deleted from one site, he or she may find his image appearing on multiple other websites.  And once these sites find someone willing to pay for the privilege of having their mugshot removed, they become a prime target for further exploitation. [Read more…]

Online Reputation Management for Investment Professionals

reputation-management-for-investment-professionalsFrom Bayou to Bernie Madoff, it feels like every day brings a new scandal in the investment world.  From hedge funds to venerable investment banks, after each scandal, new regulations are put into place to protect consumers and civil and criminal enforcement actions follow.  After the Great Recession and the collapse of the some of the biggest names on Wall Street, people are skeptical about trusting anyone with their money and retirement savings. Consumers are checking references and even searching online for disciplinary actions and other evidence of unprofessional behavior or misconduct.

Investment professionals, financial planners and investment advisers need to take a proactive approach to managing their online reputation.  Below are some online reputation management recommendations for investment professionals.

1.  Strength in numbers.  Join a networking group like the National Association of Investment Professionals (NAIP) or the Finanical Planning Association and become an active contributor on LinkedIn, the largest online professional network in the world.  Networking with experienced practitioners and potential referral sources in complementary practice areas, like accounting and estate planning, will provide you with daily advice and additional resources to market and grow your business.   You will also discover opportunities to speak at or attend conferences and other industry events, establishing your expertise on personal finance and wealth management related topics.

2.  Monitor your name.  Setting up a simple Google alert can help you save time when monitoring your name and your firm’s name.  A Google alert will allow you to be contacted immediately when your name is mentioned in the news or online so you can take immediate action.

3.   Give your website a makeover.  If you haven’t changed or updated your Web site in the past few years, maybe it’s time for a renovation?  Google, Bing and other search engines are favoring Web sites that have social sharing features and are updated frequently.  Adding a blog is a great way to educate and inform clients about the latest tax changes, investment news and market research to help your clients achieve their financial goals and will increase traffic to your site.

4.  Leverage social media.  Don’t underestimate the power of social media marketing for an investment professional.  Facebook allows you to target potential clients and referral sources in your local area.  Google+ is an emerging platform which allows you to effectively separate your personal and professional connections.  If your firm policies allow you to post or solicit endorsements and testimonials associated with your LinkedIn profile, you will have a tremendous advantage over your competitors who may not be as socially savvy.  Getting your name out there in a positive, managed way will help you win clients and reduce the visibility of any negative results that may show up on Google.

5.  Get help with reputation management.  A top-rated online reputation management company like Reputation Rhino can help you create a powerful, positive online presence in compliance with applicable state, federal and SRO regulations.  Negative posts about you cannot be removed, but an online reputation management firm can help you respond to online defamation and enhance a positive, authentic image that will promote and protect your business.