By Sarah Basford
Do you use Facebook to sign into other sites? You need to read this.
Most of you might not use Facebook as much as you used to (because you live for the ‘Gram), but there’s a good chance you still have an FB account. If that’s the case, you should probably know that Facebook, home to 2.2 billion users worldwide, was recently hacked.
Facebook issued a security update to inform users of the huge breach.
“On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 25, our engineering team discovered a security issue affecting almost 50 million accounts,” the security update read.
(Yes, you read that correctly: 50 million.)
“Since we’ve only just started our investigation, we have yet to determine whether these accounts were misused or any information accessed,” it continues.
“We also don’t know who’s behind these attacks or where they’re based.”
Facebook explained that the hack was due to a vulnerable piece of coding in the “View As” option introduced last year.
But that’s all we really know. It could be just a minor breach and your data is safe and the world will continue to turn. However, it could also mean that the hackers had access to any sites that you’ve used your Facebook account to log into, such as Spotify and yes, your precious Instagram.
This just got serious.
If you’re worried that your login data to other sites may have been compromised, read on.
How do I know if my account was breached?
Facebook said “almost 50 million” accounts were breached in the hack. Given there are more than 2.2 billion users out there, there’s a one-in-44 chance your account was targeted (quick maths).
According to Facebook’s statement, there’s no reason to change your password at this time, but it never hurts to keep changing it every few months anyway.
To stay on the safe side, you can also go to Settings (click on the ‘down’ arrow next to your notifications) and select the Security and Login option. It’s here that you can check the device and location of every place you’re logged in.
Should I change my password to something other than “cooldog123”?
If I just exposed your top secret password, then this is a no-brainer. Yes, it is hard to remember more than two passwords and I know that updating passwords is the probable bane of your existence, but the alternative (getting hacked) will wind up being much more time-consuming.
When a website tells you to update your password regularly and for it to contain a solid mix of caps, numbers and symbols, listen up. Especially when it’s a site that contains some important information about yourself (anything more than your first name and email address).
What should I do in the future?
Given this breach affected any site you’ve logged into using FB, it’s a good idea to remove that connection to avoid any multi-site hacks in future. It only takes an extra minute (maximum) to create a unique account. Bonus: If you ever decide to deactivate your Facebook, you won’t have to deactivate your Spotify and Instagram too.
Head to Settings again and select Apps and websites to check and remove which sites you’ve logged into using your Facebook credentials.
It’s a crazy world out there. Take care, digital citizens.