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Facebook Data Breach Affects More Than 500 Million Users Worldwide

Even the world’s largest companies cannot fully protect important user data.

What Happened?

Over the weekend, Facebook made front-page news following a data breach that affected over 533 million Facebook users.

The hacker reportedly accessed the personal data through an older vulnerability in Facebook’s systems. As a result, the hacker was able to breach the system and access personal data from 2019. The hacker posted the leaked personal data on an online hacking forum.

What Information was Exposed?

According to Business Insider, which reviewed a sample of the exposed information, the hacker exposed Facebook users’ full names, phone numbers, birthdates, locations, email addresses, and more.

Although this is technically “old” data, it is likely that many users currently have the same information on record that they used in 2019. For instance, if a user hasn’t changed his or her email or phone number on record since 2019, then the user’s current email or phone number may have been included in the data.

It is important to note that a fraction of Facebook users’ information was compromised in this data breach. 533 million affected accounts represents roughly 20% of the 2.5 billion total Facebook users worldwide. This is still alarming, but it is not guaranteed that your information was exposed. There were approximately 32 million records from users in the United States that were exposed in the breach, but there are more than 190 million total users in the country. Thus, this still represents a relatively small amount in comparison with the total number of Facebook users.

What Can I Do?

As always, it is important to take necessary safety precautions while using the internet and online platforms, including strong password management, two-factor authentication, and other similar safe practices. While these will not guarantee complete online protection, it will reduce the chances of becoming a victim of any potential fraud that may arise from such data breaches.

Additionally, there are a number of tools to check whether or not your information was part of the recent Facebook data breach. One notable tool that includes the Facebook data breach is Have I Been Pwned. This website allows individuals to enter an email to determine whether or not the email has been part of a data breach.

If you have any questions about dealing with a data breach or cyberattack, give us a call at 239-319-4434 for a confidential, no-cost consultation. We represent clients faced with data breaches, cyberattacks, and other cybersecurity issues.