How Secure is Facebook?

June 30, 2021

How Secure is Facebook?

Facebook was founded in 2004 and to this day is still considered a social media giant. The most popular social network worldwide, Facebook boasts an impressive 2.85 billion monthly active users. Its accompanying messaging app, Facebook Messenger, is also considered one of the most popular mobile messaging apps worldwide. For this blog post specifically, we will be investigating Facebook itself, not the attached messaging application. Facebook messenger will be discussed in a separate blog post. 

Possibly one of the most controversial social media applications, Facebook has been widely criticized for issues within its user privacy amongst other controversies. Several times in the past Facebook has announced that their user information (including likes, friends, groups, checked in locations, emails, phone numbers, names and passwords) has been exposed to the public, either through error on part of the company or hackers. Facebook hosts a wealth of personal user data including birthdays, events, locations, photos, friend lists and more. This makes the platform tempting for potential hackers. Most recently in April of 2021, it was reported that approximately half a billion users’ data had been stolen, including birthdates and phone numbers. 

Shadow Profiles

A shadow profile refers to all of the data that Facebook collects from users without explicit permission from them. Countless data points are collected from users over time, including likes, browsing habits and email addresses. These data points collectively form a user “profile”. This is a widely criticized practice as users are unable to opt out of this data collection and more often than not are unaware that their data is being collected. 

So, given the wealth of data that is stored on your Facebook profile, it is important that you take all precautions possible to keep your data secure. 

1. Turn Your Settings to Private

Make sure that your Facebook content is only being shown to the people you trut the most. You are able to adjust these settings under the privacy tab in settings.

2. Enable Two Factor Authentication and Have a Strong Password

Using a password manager can help you to create strong and unique passwords for each account you have. Here at Cyber Unit we recommend using Lastpass. Take your security to another level by using two factor authentication - this will help create an added layer of security for your account by requiring a second piece of information beyond just your password to enter your account.

3. Evaluate Third Party Apps

Playing a game, logging into an app with your facebook profile or taking part in a quiz can all be ways that you are giving a third party access to your sensitive data. Go to the Apps and Websites tab under Settings to remove any active connections you no longer want to allow. 

Next Steps You Can Take

It is always important to keep in mind that any application can be targeted by hackers. Major security breaches are always possible and it is important that you stay updated and take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. Are you worried about your mobile or personal security? Book an appointment today to talk with one of our cybersecurity experts on how you can improve your security!

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