Over the past 24 hours social media and tech sites have been inundated with reaction to last week’s Facebook data breach. The digital shrieking started after Friday’s announcement that nearly 50 million Facebook accounts were recently breached. Hackers leveraged vulnerabilities in new features that Facebook rolled-out in response to the prior Cambridge Analytica data collection scandal.
For Facebook, this is a PR nightmare. But that’s their problem. I’m more worried about how this impacts me and the millions of other Facebook users.
If you have a Facebook account, you might be asking yourself, “What steps can I take to secure my Facebook account and prevent unauthorized access to all of the other tools, programs and services that let me use my Facebook account to login?”
Keep reading to learn how you can minimize the damage to your digital identity following the latest Facebook hack…
Change Your Facebook Password
This should be obvious, but this is the internet. I’m not taking anything for granted. Facebook stated that they forcefully logged 90 million of their users out of their accounts in an effort to minimize the damage from this breach.
Regardless of whether or not you were logged out, it’s time to change your password. Here are step by step instructions to reset your Facebook account password:
- Login to your Facebook account on your computer.
- Click on the dropdown arrow in the upper-right hand corner of your screen.
- In the menu that appears, click “Settings”.
- On the left side menu, click “Security and Login”. Scroll down to “Change Password” and click “Edit”.
Oh, and before I forget – PLEASE USE A RANDOMLY GENERATED PASSWORD!!!
Create a List of the Places where You use Facebook to Login
Facebook makes it easy to login to your favorite services – from Spotify to Instagram – by entering your Facebook account details. Remembering a single username and password is convenient, but it’s no longer a secure option.
Facebook has proven, time and again, that they cannot be trusted with your digital keychain. Their data privacy policies have been criticized in Congressional hearings, and their growing track record of breaches should concern anyone that relies on Facebook to login to other sites online.
It’s time to brainstorm a list of all the places you use Facebook to login. Once you have your list, it’s time to set unique usernames and passwords for those services by unlinking your Facebook account.
The steps required to complete this will vary, but you can usually find an option in the “User Profile” or “Account Settings” area of the services you wish to update.
In conclusion, there are two key steps you can take after Facebook’s data breach. First, reset your Facebook password. Next, opt-out of using Facebook to login to third-party services. If/when Facebook is breached again, you do not want your other data at risk.
Hopefully this helps! If you need any additional help, feel free to comment below.