It’s happened again! Last week’s Facebook data breach put millions of accounts at risk. According to USAToday.com, some 50 million accounts have been compromised, while the data of 40 million more were exposed. It’s the second time the platform has been hacked this year, and it’s the largest breach in the company’s history!
It’s likely that users who login to other sites such as Pinterest or Tinder using their Facebook credentials may have put their personal information on those sites at risk, as well.
Hackers discovered three flaws in Facebook’s code and took advantage of them to gain access.
This Facebook Data Breach is Not an Isolated Event
It’s been a rough few years for Facebook and with this breach it seems like the tough times are still coming. In 2016, the social giant was criticized for allowing Russian agents to use the site to interfere with the presidential election.
In march of this year, the data company Cambridge Analytica acquired and used the personal information of millions of Facebook users.
Last month, security chief Alex Stamos resigned from Facebook over what USA Today describes as the company’s, “handling of the Russian manipulation on the platform.”
The social giant could also face fines from European regulators and their new data protection law, GDPR. It calls for fines that could be as high as 4 percent of the company’s global earnings, or $1.63 Billion!
Change Your Passwords
In light of this most recent Facebook data breach, what can businesses and individuals do to protect themselves? The first and most important thing you can do is to change your password. Do it sooner rather than later.
The data that was compromised contained account data from the moment it was taken. But if you change your password, then that information becomes outdated.
You should change your passwords on other sites or apps that used your Facebook login so your data in those places stays secure, as well. If you’re not sure if you used the Facebook login feature, then play it safe and change your password anyway.
In fact, with all the data breaches happening today, it’s a good practice to change your passwords for all your accounts on a routine basis.
Facebook makes an additional layer of security available with its two-factor authentication feature. According to Facebook, it is “is a security feature that helps protect your Facebook account in addition to your password.”
Here’s how it works: When someone tries to access your account from a device that Facebook doesn’t recognize, you will be asked to enter a login code sent to you by the site each time an attempt is made. If you are not trying to login, then you should not enter the code.
Facebook Still Has Advantages
While these data breaches may scare some businesses off, Facebook remains an attractive marketing channel. There are over two billion users on the site. You can reach many of those that fit your target audience through boosted posts or ads.
Advertising on the platform is both affordable an efficient. You can run ads or boosted posts for as little as $5.00 per day. Ads can be easily targeted to the users you want to reach, as well.
While it’s clear that Facebook has some security issues to overcome, the platform is largely secure. Hackers attack the site daily trying to get access to the wealth of data and personal information. But by changing your password regularly and using two-factor authentication, you can stay a step ahead of hackers.
Do you need help with securing your Facebook page? Call me at 513-237-5530.
Bob Turner is a Digital Marketing Consultant with RevLocal in Cincinnati, Ohio
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