In the recent Facebook data breach, some 30 million users were exposed during an attack by the hackers. Here’s how to check whether your data was breached in the latest Facebook breach.
At the end of last month, Facebook made a shocking disclosure. As many as 90 million of its users may have had their so-called access tokens which keep you logged into your account, so you don’t have to sign in every time was stolen by hackers. Afterwards Facebook put the actual number at 30 million users. Here’s how to see if you were one of them, and if so, what the hackers got from your account.
After the recent Facebook data breach, this is a good time to rethink what you post on social media. Just because Facebook wants your hometown, your gender, and your birthdate, you don’t have to give it to them.
One important step is to simply, well, lie. When you’re setting up an account, you don’t have to tell the whole truth. Who’s to know (besides you and a few close friends) if you substitute the date of your anniversary or the publication date of the novel “1984” for your birthday? The dozens of acquaintances who offer you birthday wishes every year will be none the wiser.
Don’t put anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want public, and when answering those pesky account security questions, you can give an answer that’s not quite accurate but remains easy for you to remember. Maybe tell your bank that you were born in Tokyo (where your favorite team plays) rather than Jack, where you were actually born.
If you are signed in to Facebook, you’ll see the status of your account and whether it was affected by the breach. If you don’t see the box, sign in to your Facebook account and go back to the page. For starters, it’s never a bad idea to reset your password when something like this happens.
Also, if you’re still not using a password manager or two-factor authentication, now’s a good time to change that.
Facebook Damage Control
From the Facebook aspect, it’s definitely worthwhile to see what information of yours was accessed as a result of this breach.
If you want to know whether or not your information was included in the Facebook breach, the company says that it is sending notifications to affected users over the “coming days.”
If you don’t feel like waiting for that notification or don’t necessarily trust Facebook not to make mistakes in who it contacts — there’s another solution as well. Visit the webpage <https://en-gb.facebook.com/help/securitynotice?ref=sec> and ensure that you are logged into your Facebook account. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a section called, “Is my Facebook account impacted by this security issue?” From there, Facebook will explain whether or not your data was accessed by hackers.
For instance, this is the message some of the users will see for their Facebook account.
“Based on what we’ve learned so far, your Facebook account has not been impacted by this security incident. If we find more Facebook accounts were impacted, we will reset their access tokens and notify those accounts.”
Of course, while the 30 million users affected is lower than Facebook’s initial estimate, the company adds that it has not ruled out the “possibility of smaller-scale attacks,” which means that number could grow as the investigation continues.
Facebook offers some advice about how to avoid phishing attempts, like being “cautious of unwanted phone calls, text messages or emails from people you don’t know.” Presumably, you were doing this anyway. The rest of the advice is similarly rudimentary, but that’s in part because there’s only so much you can do to stop that kind of attack. If a determined phisher wants to get you, they almost certainly will eventually. Especially if they have access to the kind of data that Facebook’s security fail has given away!