Facebook is the world’s most used social media site. This also makes it a prime target for hackers and cybercriminals from around the globe. So with this in mind, users may want to know how secure Facebook actually is. We discuss the answer below.
How Facebook Secures Your Data
All in all, Facebook provides a good level of security for user data.
They do this in several ways:
- By using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption for data transmissions.
- Anti-invasion systems running on their servers.
- Antivirus and anti-spyware programs running on their systems.
Facebook’s built-in security measures help protect user data from anyone who tries to use it in a harmful or illegal way.
Facebook Security Risks
However, just because Facebook provides security for user data does not mean there are no online risks. Some of these include:
- Stores a permanent record of online activity.
- You can be easily found on search engines.
- Your information is being shared with third parties.
- Privacy settings revert to a less safe default mode after each Facebook website redesign. Facebook does not always provide alerts to users regarding these.
- Facebook ads may contain malware that they do not catch.
- Your real friends unknowingly make you vulnerable.
- Scammers, bots, and con artists create large quantities of fake profiles that you may visit.
- Identity theft via Facebook quizzes.
- 419 scams, where a hacker uses your profile to send messages to your friends and asks them for money.
- Apps may have access to your Facebook data.
Major Facebook Hacks
Cambridge Analytica Scandal – 2018
The Cambridge Analytica scandal was a major data leak that allowed Cambridge Analytica to gather millions of Facebook users’ personal data without their consent. In total, this affected nearly 50 million accounts.
Facebook claims to have discovered and resolved the vulnerability which was due to three separate bugs. These were primarily caused by a 2017 update to a video uploading feature.
Massive Phone Number Leak – 2019
This was another large data leak that was caused by the breach of an exposed server containing over 400 million user records. Each record held the user’s Facebook ID and phone number attached to their account. The Facebook ID could be used by an intruder to discover the account’s username. With this in hand, they could access the user’s Facebook account to harvest any information or co-opt it for nefarious purposes. The geographical reach of the data leak was large, covering users in the US, UK, and Vietnam.
Ways to Keep your Privacy Secure When Using Facebook
There are extra things users can do to keep their privacy more secure when they use Facebook.
If you use Facebook regularly, consider doing the following:
- Limit who sees your posts, and only tag friends.
- Make your profile completely private.
- Do not reveal your location.
- Use a fake name on your profile.
- Keep your Facebook page off Google.
- Limit who can look you up through contact information.
- Block someone.
- Limit who can send you friend requests.
- Prevent people from sharing your photos and posts.
- Post something hidden from your timeline.
- Control who sees your app activity.
You can do all of these items within the Facebook app by going into the settings menu.
Facebook is seeking to make money for itself, so it is not necessarily working for its user’s best interests unless that increases its customer appeal. Like all websites, Facebook is vulnerable to cyber attacks, so users need to be proactive to protect their data privacy.
If you liked this post, you can also read our post Is Twitter Secure?