Should AshleyMadison.com Hacking Deter Online Dating?

Update: Hackers release AshleyMadison.com user information.

AML has failed to meet The Impact Team’s conditions and the hackers have finally followed through with their threat. The AshleyMadison.com user information, 9.7 gigabytes in size, was posted on Tuesday to the dark web using an Onion address accessible only through the Tor browser. The files appear to include account details and log-ins for some 32 million users of the social networking site. Seven years worth of credit card and other payment transaction details are also part of the dump.

Read about the build up to the information release, below…

“AshleyMadison.com Gets Hacked”and KrebsOnSecurity report that adultery website AshleyMadison.com has been hacked by a group that are now threatening to expose the platform’s 37 million cheating users unless the website is taken down.

The website, whose tagline is “Life is Short. Have an Affair”, is founded on confidentiality and privacy. It assists the development of relationships between married people looking to cheat on their spouse.

The hacking group behind the attack refers to itself as “The Impact Team”.

When the group published the data, it also released a statement demanding AshleyMadison.com and Established Men were removed from the internet.

Should ALM fail to do this then the hackers are threatening to reveal the names, addresses and sexual fantasies of the millions of people who have created a profile on the site.

 

Sex dice

Cape Town based, international sexual behaviour expert Dr. Eve has conducted extensive research on why people, women in particular, commit cyber infidelity. She used the AshleyMadison.com database as the foundation of her research and shares the most common reasons women feel sexually inhibited:

  • They feel ignorant about their sexuality
  • They lack the ability to ask their partners for what they want sexually for fear of negative repercussions.
  • They don’t understand the sexual change they have gone through since pregnancy and as they age.
  • They want equality in household tasks.
  • They lack the confidence to request the use of a condom and fear; STD’s or pregnancy.
  • Their relationship is abusive.
  • They are insecure about their body.
  • They often fight with their partners about money, children, parents or friends.

They then turn to cyber infidelity to express themselves sexually due to the seductive allure of what is known as Technology’s ‘Triple A Engine’. Technology is Affordable, Accessible and Anonymous.

Fidelitydating.com Founder Gary Spivak Defends Dating Websites

 

AshleyMadison.com

The AshleyMadison.com hacking has raised several issues around online dating and cyber infidelity, but many experts and users believe online dating plays an important role in connecting people who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet and that it’s important to keep a healthy perspective on dating sites.  Not all online dating revolves around infidelity and online dating platforms can be a fantastic way to meet new people and develop meaningful long term relationships.

We spoke to  FidelityDating.com site’s founder Gary Spivak. By all accounts, this website (and others similar) are on the other end of the dating continuum to a site like AshleyMadison.com. Spivak explains that FidelityDating.com is the first online dating site to be launched for single online daters who want to be faithful.

The site’s tagline states,  “Love is precious. Stay faithful.”

 

Q: Why FidelityDating.com?

A: I have had many friends and family members fall victim to infidelity over the years. When I watched them try to recover and begin dating again I realised that they all had the same problem – they really battled to trust their new partners. I started thinking about this and wondering what a possible solution could be, so I asked them; “Would it make it easier if you were dating someone who had also experienced the same thing as you, would it be easier to trust them and communicate with them?” and they said yes.

This makes sense because if someone hasn’t experienced infidelity. If they don’t know how much it hurts then they aren’t going to understand the insecurity these people feel. They are going to think that their partners are crazy when they want to check their phone or call them at work. However, if both parties have experienced infidelity than neither will mind when these questions are raised, they will be more than happy to disclose because they understand.

Q: How do you ensure all the people on the site are there for the right reasons?

A: Well firstly, we have the statement of promise on the front page of the website that says that signing up to this site declares that you value fidelity. You create a website with certain values and you draw the people who share these values to it. Obviously we are aware that you will get your scammers. With regards to this we put a lot of effort into screening the site daily for these individuals and deleting their accounts, we also act on reports we receive from other users if they suspect someone is on the site for the wrong reasons.

Q: Why do you think people cheat?

A: I would prefer to answer the question “Why don’t people cheat”. I actually dealt with this topic on my blog just recently and I had to interview a fair number of people in order to write it. What the one person said to me, I feel, sums it up. He said: “If I cheated on my partner I wouldn’t be cheating on them I would be cheating on myself.” It’s all about personal values, people won’t cheat if they value being true to themselves.

Q: You hear many stories of infidelity on a daily basis, what would you say the most common sign of cheating is?

A: Usually it starts with a change, one that is not discussed openly with their partner, be it weight loss, a new way of dressing, drinking more, going out more even a change in their taste of music. Most commonly if you suspect something is wrong it probably is, trust your gut.

Q: If you do suspect your partner is cheating, how should you approach it?

A: Be completely honest with them, if you aren’t sure whether or not they have cheated don’t approach them in a blaming way, express how uncomfortable having the conversation makes you feel and perhaps simply ask: “Is there anything that I should be worried about.”

Q: What is your advice for people who have experienced infidelity in the past and are attempting a new relationship?

A: Set rules for open communication with your new partner, tell them about your previous experience and how much it hurt, help them to understand why you might be over cautious or insecure.

Look for the small signs that they might be misleading you, if you find honesty in the way that they transact with you on a day to day basis then trust in that.

Use sites like Cheaterville to screen for people who have committed infidelity in the past.

Remember that others who have experienced infidelity have subsequently found happiness. You can also visit FidelityDating.com to find someone you can be sure has the same values as you.

Q: What is your opinion of the recent hacks on AshleyMadison.com.  Is your site at risk?

A: Personally I think it’s an awful site and if I was being cheated on I know that I would want that information revealed to me. However, that being said, hacking is against the law, AshleyMadison.com is not, and it is never correct to take matters into your own hands and engage in illegal activity. I feel that there are better ways that these people could have gone about getting AshleyMadison.com taken down. They could have spoken about it, raised awareness, promoted fidelity, or even gone the legal route.

I would also like to point out while it is highly unlikely that my own site FidelityDating.com will be hacked and even if it was, our users would not mind if their information was distributed. They have no cause for concern. If you don’t want people to know you are doing something then you shouldn’t be doing it.

Gary Spivak
Gary Spivak