Our Wired World

Facebook's Security Breach: What You Need to Know

Zuckerberg: A ‘Very serious issue’

This article was written by Shannon Boyle, Content Marketing Specialist for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT. Reprinted with permission. Visit here.

October 1, 2018 — Are you one of the 50 million Facebook users affected by the security breach? On Friday, September 28th, 2018 Facebook announced it had suffered a massive data breach. “This is a very serious security issue, and we’re taking it very seriously,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a CNBC interview. Facebook’s engineering team discovered that hackers found a weakness in their coding in regard to its “View As” feature. The “View As” let’s users see what their profile looks like to other uses on the platform. It has since been suspended until further notice.

This weakness allowed the hackers to get access to digital keys. These keys let people stay logged into the service without having to re-enter their password. Hackers could use these keys to access and control user accounts.

50 Million Accounts

Almost 50 million accounts had their digital keys taken. Facebook has since reset these keys. They also reset the keys for an additional 40 million accounts who used the “View As” feature in the last year as a precautionary measure.

So how do you know if your account has been affected? Facebook would’ve logged you out of your account on the day of the breach and notified you in a message on top of your News Feed. However, Facebook also logged out people who used the “View As” feature as a precautionary measure.

BBB offers tips to help protect your social media accounts:

Familiarize yourself with your privacy settings and revisit them frequently. As Facebook adds new features, it makes decisions about settings which you may or may not like...

Be Cautious With Your Personal Information
Never give out personal information, such as your full name, telephone number, address, etc. to a person or business you don’t know or trust.

Don’t Friend People You Don’t Know
Be extra cautious of what you click on from “friends” you don’t recognize. Messages that are brief or come from people you don’t expect to hear from might be scams that include links to malicious sites.

Protect Your Password
Use different passwords for each social media/email account and avoid including your name or common words. Never share your password with anyone; if you have to share it – change it immediately after.

Use Extra Security Features
Turn on two-factor authentication or set up a security code.

Log Out of Facebook
When using a computer you share with other people, log out.

Understand Your Privacy Settings
Familiarize yourself with your privacy settings and revisit them frequently. As Facebook adds new features, it makes decisions about settings which you may or may not like.

Third Party Apps
Never allow a third party app to gain access to your personal information. These apps will have rights to post anything on your behalf, which could get dangerous.

For more tips on how to avoid scams, check out bbb.org/scamtips. Additionally, if you’ve fallen victim to this type of scam, you can help others avoid being scammed by filing a report at bbb.org/scamtracker.