Facebook details of more than 500 million users – including 11 million from the UK – on the website for hackers | Science & Tech News
Details of more than 500 million Facebook users – 11 million from the UK – were found on a hacking website.
Although the information appears to be several years old, it includes data from 106 countries such as phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, dates of birth, and email addresses. This is evident from reports first published by Business Insider.
And while Facebook has confirmed that the data it has exposed is related to a historical breach, this is yet another example of the enormous amount of information the social media giant – and other platforms – has been collecting and the limits of the security of this Information.
In a statement, Facebook said: “This is old data that was reported back in 2019.
“We found and fixed this problem in August 2019.”
Facebook has been grappling with data security issues for years.
In 2018, the social media giant turned off a feature that users were allowed to use after revealing that the The political company Cambridge Analytica had accessed information from up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent.
In December 2019, a Ukrainian security researcher reported finding a database of names, phone numbers, and unique user IDs of more than 267 million Facebook users – almost all of them in the United States – on the Internet.
So how can you make sure your Facebook account is as secure as possible?
Here are some easy steps:
• The first and fastest way is to go to Facebook. Under “Account” there is a link to the “Security Check”. The fast, easy-to-click integrity check ensures that your password and two-factor authentication are robust.
• Customize your Facebook privacy settings: the options are Public / Everyone, Friends (plus friends of people who are tagged), Just Me, or Custom, whichever you choose . Check and correct them regularly.
• Don’t click on suspicious links. Be wary of posts or messages that ask you to click a link, even if it is from someone you know. These links are almost always created to steal sensitive information or deliver malware.
• Do not accept friend requests from strangers. If you accept a request from someone you are not familiar with, they can access any personal information on your profile, your contact lists if they are not private, and create a detailed picture of your online social activity.
• Enable security alerts – this will help you determine if any unauthorized login attempts have been made to your account. This can be done via the Facebook help under “Data protection and security”. Facebook will then notify you when someone tries to connect to your account from a device you don’t normally use.
• It sounds obvious – and we all know it, but we often ignore it: Passwords need to be updated regularly and cannot match what you use on other websites.
• Make sure the passwords are secure. A strong password contains upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. It’s okay to make it pretty long. Make it something that isn’t too common, nor a combination of your name, address, date of birth, or phone number.
• Never share your password.
• Think about where you are logging in from and what you are sharing. When you sign in to a site from a shared or public computer (such as an office or public library), say “No” if the site offers to save your password. Make sure to properly log out of websites and online sessions after you finish to prevent other people from gaining access to your information.
• Check apps before you sign in. Some apps or websites ask you to sign in with a social media or email account. It’s always worth double-checking what type of access you’re allowing before agreeing to connect the two.
• Does the Internet address of a website start with “https”? The ‘s’ at the end means it has an extra layer of security. Make sure the ‘s’ is present both before and after logging in.
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