Ashley Madison, the dating site for adulterers, was recently hacked by an anonymous group, The Impact Team. The personal information for roughly 37 million users was stolen and is currently being held ransom. This information contains not only their AM profile, but also the credit card numbers being used for billing, real names and real addresses.
Ashley Madison is built entirely on the concept that your information is secure, and you are totally anonymous. This data breach represents just how vital digital encryption and security is in our modern world. In fact, there are several key areas where AM and its Parent company Avid Life Media really dropped the ball here.
Whether or not you agree with the principle, 37 million users means that AM uncovered a huge market, with the potential to make an entrepreneur tons and tons of cash. There is no reason that AM users ever needed to be so connected and exposed. Let’s be clear – those 37 million users aren’t going to stop having affairs. The only thing that has changed is that now they need a new digital meeting place.
There were many more steps that AM could have been taken to protect their users – steps with which the app makers at Software Developers India is intimately familiar. At SDI we only use the best cryptographic protocols out there – and we don’t stop there!
Secure, Safe, and Anonymous
One of the biggest issues with security and social media sites is that deleting your profile does not usually remove your information from the site’s database. For instance, if you delete your Facebook profile, your information is saved and sometimes sold to other companies.
So even if you decide you don’t want to be associated with a site any longer, it’s really up to the site if they want to be associated with you. At SDI, our apps and websites are designed so that when you want your information deleted, it is. We recognize this is a novel approach in a world where information is sold at a premium, but we stand by it all the same.
Our development experts utilize HTTPS web architecture as opposed to HTTP, because HTTPS is specifically designed to keep confidential information private and secure. HTTPS secures data through a few ways:
- Information that users input into a website is encrypted before it is sent to the website’s server;
- It requires website authentication to prevent phishing and other malware attacks; and
- it prevents data from being manipulated while in transit.
To protect our clients and their users even more, we only use web servers that support HTTP Strict Transport Security, or HSTS. Web servers that utilize HSTS automatically direct users to HTTPS sites, even if the user enters the more traditional “HTTP.”
We also use the best possible tools when we develop applications for Android, we automatically encrypt all data; when we develop for iOS, we only store data in the secure built-in Keychain class, isolating data from potential threats. And we are well versed in all manners of proper app development – an expertise we gladly pass on to our clients.
Additionally, our apps are designed to sort inputs at the device level, not the website level. This prevents hackers from adding malicious SQL injections which can severely compromise personal data being sent over the web.
Where SDI really goes above and beyond the call of duty is in our quest to protect user information. We don’t just use secure web architecture – we take every step to make information better protected than the gold at Fort Knox.
Anonymity Beyond Coding
In 2012, we created the critically acclaimed dating service app “Video Date,” which allowed users to conduct an entire date online via a video. This app was a huge success and just like Ashley Madison, it received sensationalist coverage from magazines like Time and USA Today Since the video is run through the app itself, there is no need to exchange personal information, or even meet in person if both parties do not agree.
Video dating is an excellent way to remain discreet and anonymous. Users never have to exchange personal information – or even names. Users can meet online, have a digital date, and decide from there whether or not they want to meet in person. At SDI, we understand that people want their personal lives secure and protected from everyone – not just malicious hackers.
In fact, there is no reason why a user’s actual name ever needs to be released to the public. Why not design the app to only ever use pseudonyms? There’s no way to release personal information that was never uploaded!
So, to reiterate: Ashley Madison had 37 million users. That’s a huge market – a market that no longer has anyone catering to it. Those millions of users need to go somewhere; why not a dating service that you created, with help from SDI’s expert development team. We have built hundreds of websites, many that hosted thousands of people’s personal information.
Not one has ever been hacked or cracked. To this day, our clients sit safe knowing that their personal information is a safe as possible. Contact us today or give us a call at 408.802.2885 and receive a free consultation from our market experts!