In December 2021, Reuters reported that Facebook had suffered a major data breach that exposed the personal information of over 533 million users. The breach was discovered in early 2021, but Facebook did not disclose it until April of that year. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what happened in the Facebook breach and what you can do to protect yourself.
What Happened in the Facebook Breach?
According to Reuters, the Facebook breach was the result of a vulnerability in the company’s “contact importer” feature, which allowed users to find their friends on the platform by uploading their email contacts. Hackers were able to exploit this vulnerability to access a database of user information, including names, phone numbers, email addresses, and birth dates.
The breach affected users in over 100 countries, with the largest number of affected users located in the United States. The hackers reportedly offered to sell the stolen data on a hacking forum, but it is unclear whether they were successful in finding buyers.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?
If you’re concerned that your personal information may have been compromised in the Facebook breach, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Check if Your Data Was Compromised
Several websites, such as Have I Been Pwned and Dehashed, allow you to enter your email address or phone number to check if your information was included in the Facebook breach. If your data was compromised, you should take additional steps to protect yourself, such as changing your passwords and monitoring your accounts for suspicious activity.
- Change Your Passwords
Even if your data was not compromised in the Facebook breach, it’s always a good idea to regularly change your passwords and use strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts. This can help prevent hackers from accessing your accounts even if they do manage to obtain your login information.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring you to enter a code sent to your phone or email in addition to your password. This can help prevent unauthorized access to your accounts even if your password is compromised.
- Be Vigilant About Phishing Scams
Hackers often use phishing scams to trick people into giving them access to their accounts or personal information. Be wary of emails or messages that ask you to click on a link or enter your login information, even if they appear to be from a legitimate source. Always double-check the sender’s email address and be cautious about providing personal information online.
The Bottom Line
The Facebook breach of December 2021 was a major data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of users. While there’s no way to completely protect yourself from data breaches, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk and protect your personal information. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help keep your accounts and personal information safe from hackers and cybercriminals