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Anthem, The World of Online Security Breaches, and How We Must Change Our Mindset

Big news—Anthem, America’s second-largest health insurer, suffered a massive data breach mid-last week, exposing the sensitive information of tens of millions of their customers, including names, social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses.

The breach is considered by their PR team to be a “sophisticated cyber attack” from the outside. Most of the time, cyber attacks are not necessarily “sophisticated” in nature; most other big-ticket hacks have been caused by oversight (let’s just be honest—carelessness and an attitude that it couldn’t possibly happen).

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Your Digital Reputation — What You Don’t Consider on Social Media But Should

Not so long ago, our personal reputations were one-dimensional; with it, a low-hanging-fruit message that our behavior has a direct external consequence. And only 10 years ago, social media was an ecosystem exclusively for teens and early 20-somethings; a place where no one even considered reputation management.

Within a few years, technology evolved beyond previous recognition, and social media communities became global. Today, there are over a billion Facebook accounts worldwide. Most if not all members of our offline communities are online, too.

It’s commonplace to hear stories about a less-than-stellar employee being fired about lying about a sick day or contradicting company policy by posting scathing opinions on a personal account. We all know by now that our Instagrams may be examined before we are hired or admitted into an academic institution. Put simply, in this day and age, social profiles are an automatic extension of who we are outside the digital environment and must be considered just as carefully, using a mental checklist similar to one we’d complete before an interview or meeting someone for the first time.

The lines have been completely blurred, smudged, and stamped out.

Continue reading “Your Digital Reputation — What You Don’t Consider on Social Media But Should”