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Facebook: Don’t Be Too Free With Your Personal Data!

Facebook has been all over the news lately—and not to receive accolades.   Here are two of the recent scandals:

  1. The Cambridge Analytica Scandal

This scandal revolves around a political research firm that used people’s private information without their consent.

Here’s how it started:  FB users volunteered to participate in a personality survey; they downloaded an app.  Users did this electively, willingly surrendering lots of personal information (besides the trove of personal information already publicly posted, such as their friend network, likes, etc.).

Nothing was wrong with a company using FB to offer people a personality assessment or to ask people for information about themselves.  However, what happened next was not OK:  the company which acquired this information shared/sold that info to a third party, who used it for political research and campaigning.  More than 50 million facebook profiles were affected.

  1. Cybercrime rings using Facebook to grow their network, sell your data, and do other dirty deeds

Yes, you read that right.

On April 12, Krebs On Security combed Facebook, looking for groups specializing in identity theft, spamming, credit card fraud, and account takeovers.  In just one afternoon, Krebs’ team discovered over 100 such groups.   Over ten percent had been active over 3 years.

The good news is that when Krebs alerted facebook, these accounts were taken down.  The bad news is that many of the groups reformed the next day.  Why did Brian Krebs have to prompt facebook to address this?  We are waiting to hear.  This story is hot off the press; for updates, check out www.KrebsOnSecurity.com

     The snippet pictured here is from a facebook group specializing in identity theft and stolen bank account logins.  This group was active for about 3 years, with over 2,400 members, before facebook shut it down just a few weeks ago.

How many such accounts did Brian Krebs discover?   And why did an outsider figure this out before Facebook did?

 

 

 

How Can You Protect Yourself?

STOP unnecessarily sharing personal info.   Tell your employees to stop, too!  The best firewalls and anti-virus software can’t stop the bad guys from getting the data you willingly post for the world to see.