If you are a Facebook user, be careful: your mobile and your email address could have been leaked online. Up to 533 million users have suffered from this problem and its personal data has been stolen and leaked for free on the internet.
The danger is enormous since anyone can obtain this data and use it, for example, to impersonate those users. Theft affects users in 106 countries and among the leaked information are Facebook identifiers, their cell phones, addresses, biographies, dates of birth and in some cases the email address.
So you can check if your phone number has been exposed in the Facebook data leak (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)
Your first question will of course be how to check if you are part of that leak. There are a couple of sites where you can find out if your data has been compromised.
A well-known site that tracks data breaches is Have I Been Pwned. You just have to follow the link to the site and enter your email address or your mobile phone number, first entering the code of your country (that of Spain is 34) without spaces. You will not only discover if you have been part of the Facebook breach, but also any other breach in which your data may have been compromised.
Although at the time of writing this article could only be searched using your email address, Troy Hunt, creator of Have I Been Pwned, then added the ability to also include the search by phone number.
Another way to check your phone number against Facebook’s leaked database, Gizmodo has suggested a tool created by a site called The News Each Day, in which you enter your phone number to find out if it’s part of the leak. However, that site is not that well known, so until more is known about it, you may want to stick with the more reliable site mentioned above.
What if you discover that your data has been compromised? Some of the measures you can take are to change the passwords of compromised sites, use a password manager to be able to create and track unique passwords for each site (so that if one is compromised, it will not affect the others), use two-factor authentication for increased security and keep an eye out for news of other violations.
Will Facebook compensate those 553 million users?
On Facebook they affirm that the vulnerability that caused that massive data theft was already corrected in August 2019 and he was talking about “old data”, but still the amount of leaked data is enormous and its validity remains a real threat to all those affected.
As Alon Gal, head of the cybersecurity company Hudson Rock explained, almost 11 million users in Spain (10,894,206 specifically) are part of this leak, while the most affected countries are Egypt (44.8 million), Tunisia (39.5 million), Italy (35.6 million) and the United States (32.3 millions).
Will Facebook compensate users for this failure? It is very likely that Mark Zuckerberg’s company throws balls out and blames third companies or the Virgin Mary herself for the failure, but European legislation is very clear in these cases: Facebook faces a fine that could be multimillion-dollar, in addition to having to compensate its users for not knowing how to save their data. Another black chapter in the very long list of problems of this social network that is becoming more and more toxic.
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