shutterstock_124409341You may not think you share anything in common with a towering movie star like Jennifer Lawrence, the talented face of the Hunger Games franchise and possessor of a certain highly sought-after golden statue. But while Lawrence may punch into work alongside Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper, there's at least one thing that makes her just as normal as the rest of us: she apparently has a case of bad passworditis. 

To be fair to Lawrence, she's far from alone in that. Over the past few days, a whole bevy of celebrities have fallen victim to a widespread hacking scandal that saw the release of highly private photos that certainly have no place in the public sphere. Yet despite the privileged nature of the photos - the authenticity of which have also been called into question - many people have already viewed them, which, as a Washington Post article points out, is arguably tantamount to being complicit in a sex crime. As comedian and occasional vocal social commentator Lena Dunham wrote on Twitter, "Remember, when you look at these pictures you are violating these women again and again. It's not okay."

Incident could have been caused by weak passwords
Beyond the moral implications of viewing the photos, though, another discussion has grown out of the hack: that of password security. According to Vox, a likely explanation for the hack is that Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst and the other affected celebrities were using iCloud to store the photos that were eventually leaked. Because iCloud had, up until news of the hack, a shockingly lax policy when it came to password guessing for its "Find My Phone" app, that would have made it quite easy for a malicious actor to acquire access to a celebrity's cloud platform. But of course, it's not just celebrities that have to worry about this vulnerability - it's the rest of us as well.

For all of us out there who use the same password across different platforms - and, let's face it, that's probably most of us - the news of this celebrity hack should be a wakeup call to make a greater effort to generate secure passwords. If it is true that a hacker was able to exploit a password loophole in order to gain access to the celebrities' iClouds, that also means the criminal must have been able to eventually guess the passwords. To prevent this kind of thing from happening to you, ensure not only that you use different passwords for different services, but that each specific password is so unbreachable that you'll never have to worry. Think something with 25 randomly assigned characters, with punctuation marks like "^" and "%" peppered throughout. That's how secure we're talking. Cumbersome to type in? Maybe. But secure? Absolutely. 

As for the current celeb photo hacking scandal, it's unclear when - if ever- the person or persons responsible will be brought to justice. Unfortunately, though, such a brazen act of privacy breaching may set a precedent for future incidents, so it's imperative that people look into securing their online platforms immediately.

For all businesses out there, maintaining robust security is absolutely paramount, since any security failings can result in the exposure of patron data - and therefore the loss of customer trust. Fortunately, here at Fonality we provide businesses with the unified communications solutions companies need to ensure everyone is on the same page. With a UC solution, you can rest assured knowing your business is run with a cohesion that reduces the possibility of a major data loss incident.