Major data leaks seem to make headlines every week these days, and it looks like Facebook has become the latest company to be affected. The social network recently admitted that six million of its users had been affected by a recent leak caused by a bug in the system, as reported by the BBC.
The leak involved the email addresses and phone numbers of six million people being shared with other people who should not have had access to the data. The software bug that caused the problem had actually been around since last year before it was discovered a few days ago. Despite the team managing to fix it in under a day, the damage had already been done.
Facebook tried to minimise the damage by stating that in nearly all cases, the details were only exposed to one other person, and by confirming that no financial information was included.
There is little that users of websites like Facebook can do to avoid such a situation happening to them. However, we can all take precautions to limit the risks of privacy breaches when using social media, and indeed any other sites that contain our personal or financial details.
Keep Personal Details to a Minimum on Social Networks
If you want limit the damage that such data leaks can cause, be very careful about the information that you publish on social media websites, and consider all this information to be public. Try to avoid publishing your date of birth, address, place of birth and other personal information as these can be used to enable criminals to steal your identity.
In addition, tips such as using a long, secure password complete with numbers, letters and symbols, changing it regularly, and never writing your passwords down anywhere are all good general practice.
Businesses: Handle Personal Data with Care
If you run a business that handles personal data, remember that if you do not take sufficient security measures with the data you could receive a large fine under the Data Protection Act. This also includes destroying of the data securely to avoid it getting into the wrong hands.
Image courtesy of watcharakun / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- How Facebook Explains User Data Bug That Leaked 6 Million People’s Information (huffingtonpost.com)
- Identity Theft – Protect Yourself (assuredsecurityshredding.co.uk)