Facebook Hacked, What You Should Do

2 Oct    Security

Their mission statement: “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

Facebook is by now known to millions of people across the globe as a social media networking site that also features video programming, shopping/selling marketplace, and employment listing classifieds. But if you are not aware of what Facebook is, Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service company based in Menlo Park, California. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.

Facebook can be accessed from a large range of devices with Internet connectivity, such as desktop computers, laptops and tablet computers, smartphones, streaming media boxes, and smart televisions. After registering, users can create a customized profile indicating their name, occupation, schools attended and so on. Users can add other users as “friends”, exchange messages, post status updates, share photos, videos and links, use various software applications (“apps”), and receive notifications of other users’ activity. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups organized by workplace, school, hobbies or other topics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. Additionally, users can report or block unpleasant people.

The one feature that Facebook has yet to be implemented is a “true” privacy setting for one’s personal profile. This is a setting that would not be searchable at all unless you know the person’s account direct e-mail address, direct user name, and/or phone number in which the account was registered. Unfortunately, the closest to this setting and the current highest level of privacy for a profile end user is to where “friends of your Friends” can submit friend requests and see your profile. This should not be the last line of privacy for a user.

Why is the above information of importance, it is because of a recent hack of a feature Facebook has, called “View As” this past Friday. This feature allows people to preview others personal profile without actually visiting their profile. Nearly 50 million users were affected by the hack. The attackers gained access to the digital “keys” that allow users to access Facebook from multiple devices without having to reenter one’s password. The keys could be used to take over people’s accounts, but Facebook says that the issue has now been fixed.

As of now, Facebook is uncertain of the compromised accounts and if they were misused or if sensitive information was accessed. Access keys for over 90 million users have all been reset. The only task users need to perform is to log back into their accounts – no password change was deemed necessary. However, the investigation is still in its early stages and more details of the overall impact could arise in the coming days.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: Change your password to your Facebook profile/pages, Instagram account (as your Instagram may be linked to your Facebook account), and to your WhatsApp account. Also always remember to completely log off, not only to social media accounts, but to any web site you log into once you are finished using them. Do not save your user name and passwords into your computers and/or smartphones for quick access in the future. Once you have finished using your devices for the day, before turning the power off, be sure to clean out ALL cookies and browsing history from your web browser (Safari, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.). Also check your apps on your mobile devices, as they may store your search history as well (ie YouTube Mobile App). We also recommend a security package from Norton that will add protection to your devices plus they have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service that secures your web browsing location identity. Lastly, get peace of mine by getting a Identity Theft Protection plan from Zander Insurance ($79 per year) as a insurance on your identity.

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