Social Media Security: Keeping Your Personal Information Safe
The Facebook Security Breach of 2018
In 2018, Facebook announced its largest security breach yet, which compromised the accounts of millions of users. The breach occurred due to hackers taking advantage of a flaw in the "view as" privacy feature, which allowed them to access users' accounts and steal personal information, such as birth dates, employers, religious preference, education, pages followed, recent searches, and location check-ins.
While Facebook initially estimated that 50 million users were affected, the company later revised this number down to 30 million. Of these, 14 million had their detailed personal information stolen, while 15 million had only their names and contact details taken. The remaining 1 million had their accounts affected but did not lose any information. It's worth noting that other Facebook-owned applications, such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and third-party payment applications, were not affected.
The Consequences of the Security Breach
The consequences of this breach were significant, with affected users potentially becoming targets of phishing attacks. Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had his account compromised, highlighting the severity of the issue. The hackers had access to view private messages and post on users' accounts. While the attacks did not steal personal messages or use access to users' accounts on other websites, affected users in Europe faced significant penalties under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Tips for Keeping Your Social Media Accounts Secure
So, what can you do to ensure your social media accounts remain secure? Here are a few tips:
- Enable two-factor authentication: This is a security feature that requires users to provide two forms of identification before logging into their accounts. It adds an extra layer of protection against hackers.
- Use strong, unique passwords: Use different passwords for different accounts, and make sure they're difficult to guess. Avoid using easily accessible personal information, such as birth dates or names.
- Be mindful of the information you share: Don't share sensitive information on social media, such as your home address, phone number, or financial information.
- Regularly review your privacy settings: Check your privacy settings to ensure you're comfortable with the information you're sharing and who can see it.
- Keep your software up to date: Keep your devices and software up to date with the latest security patches and updates.
- Be cautious of suspicious links and messages: Don't click on links or download attachments from unknown sources, as they could contain malware or phishing attempts.
By following these tips, you can help keep your social media accounts secure and reduce the risk of a security breach.