It starts with an inaccurate, possibly fake, online review. Then a post appears on a consumer complaint forum. Suddenly, there is a surge of false postings about your company on social media sites. Invariably, these anonymous postings appear prominently in search engine results, including Google. If you haven’t implemented proactive monitoring for attacks and are not prepared to counter them, otherwise controllable threats could balloon rapidly into full-scale crises.
The internet and related technological developments provide valuable platforms for the open exchange of information and ideas. However, the internet is equally available to unscrupulous individuals and bad actors disguised as bona fide consumers. Although the internet is full of false and misleading information, consumers still rely on internet reviews before making purchasing decisions. A recent survey found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This underscores the importance of identifying and tackling online risks to a company’s brand and reputation.
There are certain steps that should be considered when an online attack occurs:
The nature and prominence of the internet requires companies to monitor their online presence, manage their brands and reputations, and remain vigilant for potential attacks. When these attacks occur—which they do with increasing frequency—the response must be informed, proactive and strategic.