Last month, on September 16, security experts at Facebook discovered a breach in their system. Hackers had exploited a weakness, and were able to access the accounts of about 50 million Facebook users. It took eleven days to close the security gaps, during which time hackers likely enjoyed access to private messages, passwords, photos, and more inside the affected accounts.
Unfortunately, our current knowledge of the hacking event is slim. Facebook has yet to identify which accounts were hacked, or whether information was taken from them. We don’t know if the hackers stored information and plan to release it online later (as they did with the Ashley Madison fiasco a few years back), or if they plan to use the information for some other purpose. As of yet, Facebook doesn’t even know the identity of the hackers. For now, we all face a long wait before we discover the potential fallout of the event, or if anything will happen at all.
Another problem, from our standpoint, is that we don’t know whether personal accounts or business accounts were hacked. And since some professionals use their personal accounts to network, those people might be at risk either way.
So, what can you do to protect yourself in the meantime?
Change your password. If your account was one of the 50 million affected, hackers might now have your password. This means that theoretically, they could log into your account at any time. Change your password immediately, and choose one that is difficult to guess.
Change other passwords. Some people use the same, or very similar, passwords for a variety of accounts. Hackers know this, and might try your Facebook password (if they now have it) to access your email or other social media sites. If you’re one of these people, change passwords to other accounts, too.
Set up password protections. Facebook offers two-factor authentication, whereby you must enter a code sent to your email or cell phone before logging into the platform from a new device. Utilize all password protection options available to you.
Practice prevention. Keep your social media image “squeaky clean” by setting up separate profiles for business and personal use. You might not want some private messages to be associated with your professional image. By utilizing Facebook’s “page” option for businesses, you can access some helpful services, anyway.
And of course, give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH if you have any questions about your internet security. We’re here to help you put all the necessary protections in place.