What is the Fappening and Why Should You Care?

It happened over the Labor Day weekend, but the ramifications of the nude photo leak (also known as the Fappening) will be felt for weeks (or months) to come.

It all started on the online imageboard 4chan, where an anonymous user claimed to have nude photos of hundreds of different female celebrities…for a price. Members of the imageboard sent the hacker over $50,000 dollars worth of Bitcoin and soon enough, illegal photos of nude celebrities were soon flooding the website. Targeted celebrities include Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), Kaley Cucco (The Big Bang Theory), Victoria Justice (Zoey 101, iCarly), and so many others.

The photos soon appeared on other major sites like Reddit, and have now been picked up by most major news networks as well as the FBI.

These so called nudes of me are FAKE people. Let me nip this in the bud right now. *pun intended*

— Victoria Justice (@VictoriaJustice) August 31, 2014

Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked.

— Mary E. Winstead (@M_E_Winstead) August 31, 2014

Although there is still new information constantly coming in, the photos originated from Apple’s iCloud service. On Tuesday, Apple confirmed that there have been a few individual accounts that been compromised.

Why should you care?

As expected, the Internet has been buzzing with activity since this incident happened. Threats of legal action have been flying back and forth and fans of those celebrities in question have raised their support in decrying the attack.

Many people claim that it’s the celebrities’ fault for taking nude photos in the first place. We don’t believe that’s true. You’re free (as a person) to do whatever you want, but the biggest clincher is to never upload particularly sensitive documents to the cloud.

Keep your most sensitive files and photos stored locally on your hard drives and only email them to people you trust. If your cloud service automatically uploads certain files (such as camera photos), make sure to periodically go through and delete anything that might be too personal or sensitive.

If you’re in the public eye, an errant photo or an incriminating document that is either stolen or accidentally sent out can become a PR nightmare. Even if you aren’t a celebrity, keeping a close eye on your security should be a high priority. Make sure to have strong passwords that are different for every single site you use. If you have to enter a security question, make sure the answer is something other people can’t easily find out.

Former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin found this out the hard way. A hacker managed to get access into her personal Yahoo account by guessing her security questions. How did he know the answers? They were all publicly available on her Wikipedia page.

Looking for a solid PR agency to keep you safe from negative press? Give us a shout here and let us know how we can help you!