A couple of weeks ago Facebook announced a major security breach that exposed the account data of nearly 50 million users. Out of the millions of user accounts hacked, over 15 million had their name, email addresses, and phone numbers exposed…provided it was entered it into contact info. The rest of the 14 million had even more profile data exposed including location, device info, locations you were tagged in, pages you like, your gender, and religion (again provided you enter that into your profile). Here is a look at how to find out if your Facebook data was included in the security breach.
Find out if Your Facebook Account was Hacked
To find out if your account was one of the nearly 30 million that were breached, you need to head to the Facebook Help Center. Log in if you aren’t already and you will see a notice at the bottom that will explain if your account was affected. If it was, the message will also tell you what information was taken. Luckily in the shot below it appears my account wasn’t affected, at least not this time.
If your account was hacked you will see a message similar to the one shown below which comes from a New York Times reporter’s account which was compromised.
Facebook says that there is nothing you need to do like change your password — although, I would for good measure. The company says passwords weren’t stolen, instead, the hackers took account access “tokens” that allowed them to log in. Facebook says it reset those tokens last month, which is the reason you might have found you were logged out in September.
The company is telling users it hasn’t seen evidence of the accessed data being spread or used, but it certainly could be sitting in a database somewhere. The breach is still an ongoing investigation and the FBI is also involved. It’s safe to assume more detailed information will be coming soon.
In addition to the hack two weeks ago, it was also reported that Facebook sells the phone number that you use for two-factor authentication (2FA) to advertisers. We always encourage you to use 2FA wherever it is offered online, but instead of using your phone number for the extra layer of security, read our article: How to Add 2FA to Facebook Without Using Your Phone Number.
Of course, if you’re tired of dealing with hacks and misuse of your personal information on a weekly basis, your best bet is to simply stop. Read our article: How to Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account.