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Recovery still needed after reputations damaged online

Whether through a security breach or unfavorable rumors, companies can have their reputations damaged from online means and will need a recovery plan in order to bounce back.
Whether through a security breach or unfavorable rumors, companies can have their reputations damaged from online means and will need a recovery plan in order to bounce back.

With the digital age upon us, businesses need to learn how to recover from an increasingly growing threat – damaged reputations from online mishaps. Recent LinkedIn and eHarmony security breaches are definitely making customers think twice about how safe their information is with these companies. Consumers can change a password with one easy click but what can a business do to help restore order?

According to Michael Fertik, founder and CEO of Reputation.com, when misinformation and rumors – or just unfortunate truths for that matter – circulate about an enterprise it can dominate the company's search engine results and in turn, potentially damage the business. Not only will customers possibly decide to leave, the aftermath of cleanup costs could be great.

"Hopefully new companies starting out now will take a lesson from LinkedIn, and they'll build their password storage correctly," said Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer at Veracode, a Web security firm in an Entrepreneur article.

Simple things like securing the company website and storing passwords safely, possibly with the use of a two-way authentication system – often a device that provides a difficult-to-steal, one-time code that users enter along with the password – are all good ways of preventing something terrible from happening.

While technological precautions are important in avoiding a security breach, companies would also benefit from working with a business continuity consultant, to help them prepare a business continuity plan in case something did go wrong. Natural disasters are not the only kind of emergencies to prepare for. Keeping a company's reputation intact is just as vital for longevity and continued customer loyalty. In addition, employees need to be versed on company policy, so private information is not revealed.