New Facebook Data Breach: How to Stay Safe
Last week, Facebook found itself caught up in a major global data scandal. The good news is that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, announced a news feed algorithm improvement that gives priority to posts from your friends and family. While displaying more private content instead of sponsored ads is a smart move, it’s unlikely to rebuild user trust, now significantly damaged by a massive user privacy breach.
Hundreds of millions of Facebook users had their data compromised by shady data-gathering tactics, according to a report by Naked Security. In a nutshell, if you took one of those fun Facebook quizzes, your data might have been harvested and used without your permission.
Pieces of personal information like this have been secretly harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm. Owned by Republican hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica was engaged in voter profiling both for the Trump and Brexit campaigns. Worse yet, it has used Facebook to analyze the data of 50 million users without their consent.
Some security researchers like the Electronic Frontier Foundation claim that technically this wasn’t a breach. True, processing users’ personal data was a part or Cambridge Analytica business model, yet it marks a breach of trust for end users, the Threatpost reported.
We believe whatever political games they play you should feel safe in social networks. Here are the four basic steps to protect your privacy on Facebook:
- Limit your social media use. If deleting your Facebook account is too drastic for you, you may start with deactivating your Facebook account temporarily and come back when you’re ready. We recommend staying tuned to the MacKeeper blog for updates on the latest security news, including other ways to stay safe on social media.
- Think before you share. Remember, the more personal details you share online, the easier it gets for someone to uncover your identity and location. Try to be less specific. For example, pics of fluffy cats with deep life quotes will reveal much less about your personal life than a post about the iPhone X you’ve just bought.
- Check your privacy settings. You’ve probably heard that Facebook allows searching for public posts by keywords, which makes finding your profile a two-click task. Check the instructions by Sophos.com to make sure your posts aren’t searchable.
- Read app permissions. By granting any test, quiz, or game access to your Facebook profile, you’re giving them access to your personal information, just like in the Cambridge Analytica case. We know you might be curious what animal have you been in your past life, but resisting the temptation to find out is a lot safer.
- Wondering how much Facebook already knows about you? Go to facebook.com/settings and click Download a copy of your Facebook data below general settings.
Our modern social world is built on emotions — and broadcasting them for instant feedback and validation. If you love boasting your new purchases in your timeline — a new car or smart gadget, for example — don’t be surprised if your house gets robbed while you’re posting stunning vacation pics. Bottom line? Don’t share too much, and Facebook will have much less to use against you.
Stay safe and stay tuned for the latest updates in security news.