Was your Facebook account breached? Here’s how to check

Published on June 4, 2021

During the Easter weekend, everyone was talking about the publishing of personal information of more than 500 million Facebook users. 

However, this is not new information. 

In fact, these 533 million user records from 106 countries have already been leaked way back in 2019. 

Facebook cybersecurity breach 2019 

In 2019 in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, cybercriminals were able to obtain over half a billion personal data by scraping it from Facebook’s platform.

As you know, scraping is a method that lifts public information from the Web and distributes it to multiple online platforms.

Facebook noted that they already addressed this issue by shutting down the feature that allowed users to enter their friends’ phone numbers to find their profiles.

The company noted in a blog post that this year’s fiasco was not a result of a cybercrime. The massive amounts of data that resurfaced just three days ago were found in an unprotected online database.

But even so, this incident serves as a reminder for social media users to be extra vigilant when using their accounts.

Is your Facebook account breached?

The sensitive data scraped from Facebook’s platform is being sold online. Most records contain names, genders, relationship status, employer, date of birth, and current location.

If you are using the same Facebook account you had in 2019, you can visit the third-party website, haveibeenpwned.com top check if your account was breached.

By simply entering the e-mail address you use when logging in on Facebook, you will determine if your e-mail is among the 500 million accounts stolen.

Protect yourself now against data theft

There’s no crawling back the data that’s already been exposed, but users can still guard themselves against another theft. Here are some precautionary steps to promote cybersecurity when using your personal Facebook account.

  1. Use unique passwords. While it’s challenging to keep track of unique passwords for all your online accounts, it will secure your data. You can use password managers to help you with this. 
  2. Use two-factor authentication. Add a second layer to your passwords by creating two-factor authentication. This will give hackers a hard time accessing your account. 
  3. Avoid using Facebook to register and sign in to other websites. Not all websites you log into are secure. When you sign up or log in using your Facebook account and it gets compromised, hackers will be able to access all websites linked to this. 
  4. Watch out for online quizzes. Hackers may use different gimmicks to get your data and sell it online. They could go as far as creating quizzes that will ask for your information before you can see your results. Check the credibility of the websites you’re going to or avoid Facebook quizzes altogether. 
  5. Think about what you post. Be careful about the posts you upload on social media. Make sure that the photos you post do not contain any sensitive information. 

Want more cybersecurity tips to keep you, your family, and your team secure? Learn how to promote cyber awareness in your organization here.

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