Names, dates of birth, gender, location, and other data from 553 million Facebook users has been found to be freely available online. This is not a breach situation but rather a lot of data which was “scraped” off the website back in 2019. Simply put, someone was able upload a large set of data from Facebook. This was stopped in September 2019. However, this data could be used for phishing campaigns, targeted ads, spam and social engineering. So, how do you protect yourself from this incident?
The first thing to do is to see if your data was part of this leak. A good start is to use the Have I Been Pwned website. You can check to see if your email or phone number were part of the leak or anyother. I can tell you from personal experience that it makes interesting reading.
The reality is that once your data is out there, then there is not a lot that can be done but some good habits can still make a big difference.
- Don’t be lazy about passwords – watch our video on strong passwords to help protect yourself
- Anti-virus – Make sure that you are using good AV software to stop entering risky sites from phishing emails. It is also regularly worth checking that your software is updated and switched on
- Stay vigilant – If your data is to be out there then extra careful of unexpected emails, text messages etc. All of a sudden, the basic rule that if something is personally addressed to you then it is legitimate goes out of the window with so much data available to fraudsters
- ID Protection – If you’re worried about identity fraud and would like to protect your identity contact CIFAS
- Still Unsure? – Join Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisors will help you to stay safe
Unfortunately it seems that big data leaks or scrapes will continue to occur and that we all have to be careful and protect ourselves by keeping good cyber habits and staying vigilant.