Social media is useful for keeping in touch while we maintain social distancing. It can be a nice distraction from the hardships we are facing during the pandemic.
As with any service or subscription, social media accounts require personal information. This can vary depending on the network, but at the minimum, you are giving your name and email address. Unfortunately, social media platforms are prime targets for hackers. Tap or click here to read about a recent breach that affected 533 million Facebook users.
That breach was massive, but it’s not the only one. We have information on a potential new data breach and instructions on checking if your account was involved.
Facebook is a leaky ship
A 2019 Facebook breach exposed millions of users’ personal data and was leaked last year. Now, an online tool is available through the messaging app Telegram that allows people to search for others’ information for a fee, though this is waived if the page has fewer than 100 likes.
Motherboard found a similar situation that doesn’t seem to be linked with that first massive breach. The Telegram bot allows access to phone numbers of users who liked a specific page in exchange for payment.
Motherboard used the tool to get the phone numbers and enter them into the HaveIBeenPwned breach notification service, which confirmed they were separate from the half-billion user database. Tap or click here to find out how to use HaveIBeenPwned.
The information was also shared with cybersecurity firm Hudson Rock, which first revealed the massive Facebook breach. It confirmed that the numbers do not appear in the first dataset.
Breaches like this have become alarmingly more frequent, with a recent one exposing more than 600,000 credit cards.
How to check if you’re part of a breach
A tool was created specifically to let you check if you were part of the 500 million Facebook data breach. Visit thenewseachday.com/facebook-phone-numbers-us and enter your phone number. You can also enter your email or phone number at haveibeenpwned.com to check if they are part of any known data breaches.
Remember, you don’t need to provide your phone number to Facebook. If you already have, you can remove it. On desktop, go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Mobile, then click Remove below the number you want to disconnect.
On mobile, go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Personal Information > Contact Info. Then tap on the number you want to eliminate and tap Remove on the next screen.