I initially subscribed as a free member and almost immediately started receiving messages, winks, and a surprising number of views. After spending some time on the site I learned there is no relevance or value as to who viewed you.
The site "serves" profiles to you, so views are going to happen whether someone is interested or not. Once, again I contacted customer service & received no response but continued to be sent profiles of women.
This kind of attack could have happened to any special interest site on the Internet for any reason (and it does, as I’ll discuss shortly). You should think about your email addresses and how you use them like the rings of defense in a fortress.
This time the attack was on (mostly) men that wanted to have an affair, and the attackers’ reported motive was the unscrupulous practices of Ashley Madison’s business policies, especially the company’s offer of “deletion” of account information for a fee, which apparently was a service that didn’t quite deliver on its promises. Let me give you a real-life personal example of a similar kind of attack on a more mainstream site. Castles had different lines of defense that were progressively stronger, and so should you.
The Zoosk experience was less than satisfactory and it is clear they are in it for the money. The matches that were sent were much further than the 20 miles I used as a parameter. They also blocked access to messages I had to pay an upcharge for. Shocking poor customer service, poorly written Android App, Expensive as on top of membership fee they bombard you with adverts to upgrade even further and buy very expensive coins to promote your profile and you even need to pay to see who likes you! I found a friend's profile on there whom left the site 8 years ago, no cleaning of their profiles at all so they can boost their statistics. Tried communicating with many woman who supposedly liked me and wanted to meet me. I was 6 month subscriber and they automatically renewed my account.
This can range from anything as salacious as gambling or adult sites to something as essentially harmless as dating sites, medical information sites and financial advice sites. The first test should use a name or user name within the email, and the other one should use that information in the subject line.
While, in theory, a personalized email will only be seen by the person it was intended for, it can have the unfortunate side effect of creating uncertainty about the safety of their identity with a user. If there's any question, you'll certainly know after that test if your users like personalized email or not.
But that doesn’t mean you’re safe from future attacks of this kind, even if the sites you tend to spend your time on are more reputable. So let’s get to some of the practical lessons from the Ashley Madison attack.
A lot of the snickering schadenfreude out there about Ashley Madison users getting their comeuppance through public shaming misses the point. As an example, the executive director of the Louisiana GOP is trying to explain he was using Ashley Madison for “oppostion research.” So you need to think carefully about what email address to use when you register for a website.