It has been reported today that Adele is the latest victim of an online hack, with private images being accessed through her partner’s email and posted online. Commenting on the news, Hugo Plowman, Partner and Digital Security expert at law firm Mishcon de Reya, said: "This incident shows that a high profile person's cyber footprint is wider than you think. Very private and valuable information can be held by others – friends and family, for example - and they are the ones who are often targeted by hackers. Problems arise when trusted individuals share content more widely, fall victim to a hack or otherwise don't put in place sufficient security measures to protect the data that they hold. A data leak of this nature can give rise to obvious financial and reputation risk not to mention emotional distress for those involved.
"Whether we are talking about the partner of a highly acclaimed singer and songwriter or a supplier in the corporate food chain, your systems and network are only as secure as the weakest link. Here, the hacker didn't target Adele directly - the fan found a way to Adele's personal photo album through her partner's email account.
"Businesses and individuals need to understand where their private and confidential information is stored and who has access to it so that they can take steps to protect it. For individual users, be cautious about sharing sensitive data online and know who else might be targeted to gain access to your personal and confidential information.
"The greatest threat to cyber security are the people who use the hardware and software. Hackers know this and deliberately target people to gain access to the information that they hold, often enabling them to bypass security. Raising awareness and training people can help mitigate against this risk. Make sure your software systems are updated regularly and never respond to a message from an unknown source."
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