According to news, the new Facebook data leak revealed the sensitive details of over 533 million people worldwide. According to a country-by-country breakdown, the alleged data leak affects 6 million users in India. Security experts have cautioned that the leaked data may be used to conduct theft by impersonating another user since it contains phone numbers, complete names, addresses, and email addresses. Alon Gal, CTO of cybercrime research company Hudson Rock, shared details about the data breach in a tweet series. “This suggests that if you have a Facebook account, the phone number associated with the account was almost certainly leaked,” Gal wrote in a post.
Notably, the alleged Facebook data leak is not a novel occurrence. Gal announced in January that a loophole that allowed for the viewing of the phone number associated with each Facebook account had been abused. He continued that it was grossly under-reported, and the archive has become significantly more concerning as a result. He said that a user also built a Telegram bot that allowed users to query the database for a small price, helping them discover the phone numbers associated with a significant percentage of Facebook accounts.
In response to data leak allegations, a Facebook spokeswoman said, “This is historical data from 2019. In August 2019, we discovered and resolved this problem.” Business Insider first published the data breach news, citing Gal and stating that the very least Facebook should do is impacted, alert users. According to Gal, the data breach involves information such as a phone number, a Facebook ID, a full name, a current location, a previous location, a birth date, and email address (in some cases), the date the Account was established, the relationship status, and a bio. “Bad actors would certainly use the knowledge for social engineering, scamming, hacking, and marketing purposes,” Gal said.
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Though India Today Tech could not check the details believed to be from Facebook users on different domains. According to Gal, the folder is most definitely the same set of telephone numbers associated with Facebook profiles that have been circulated in hacker circles for months. Motherboard first posted on the Facebook data breach in January, but it is now being suggested that the breach was under-reported.
In light of recent data theft stories, India urgently requires a framework to penalize businesses that are unwilling to manage customer data appropriately. The nation needs a rigorous legal framework to address specific scenarios. Last week, information on MobiKwik digital wallet app users was reportedly leaked, with data on crores of users allegedly made public.
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What to do if your Account has been Breached or Compromised
Unfortunately, in our always-connected world of internet networks, data leaks have become a regular part of daily life; everyone in the United States is at risk of getting their data compromised. And if the data were breached due to a data leak, you should not have to be a suspect. You should take some measures to limit the harm and protect your accounts, credit report, and identity from offenders.
When you hear that an organization you do business with – or an internet site you use – has been compromised, there are a few items you can do right away.
1. Change your passwords
It’s a good idea to change your password regularly, but it’s particularly crucial after a data breach to change your passwords to something powerful, safe, and specific. You can even have some “passwords,” not just one. You are using a different password for each of your online accounts. A “strong” password, in general, is at least eight characters long and contains a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Consider using a password manager to assist you with creating and managing your passwords.
2. Sign up for two-factor authentication
Sign up for two-factor authentication (also known as “2FA” or “two-step verification”) whenever feasible, in addition to updating your passwords. Like Gmail and Facebook, many websites also provide this as an extra layer of authentication for your account logins. Your online Account would enable you to enter a different verification level to activate it, such as a code texted to your phone, if you use two-factor authentication. This ensures that even if criminals obtain your email address and password, they would be unable to access your Account until they provide the second identity authentication element.
3. Check for updates from the company.
If the information is compromised due to a significant data breach, the organization would most certainly have regular alerts and announcements on which consumers are being impacted. E.g., after a recent Facebook data breach, the organization immediately signed out impacted customers and sent them updates through the website explaining what had transpired and what they could do next. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a set of advisories and measures to help consumers defend themselves after the Equifax data breach.
4. Watch your accounts, check your credit reports.
Following a data breach, it’s essential to be vigilant to track your banking habits, which includes your Account with the compromised organization, as well as your checking account and other financial accounts. Look for any suspicious payments on the credit card receipts. Sign up for your free annual credit report and check your credit history from each of the three credit reporting bureaus.
5. Consider identity theft protection services.
Try signing up for identity fraud security packages if you like any more peace of mind. These programs, though, are not inexpensive, and you should do much of the tasks yourself. When a significant data loss occurs, the firm usually offers impacted consumers a full year of credit monitoring.
6. Freeze your credit
You may even freeze your credit, whether or not you’ve data breach has impacted you. You will achieve this by demanding a credit freeze from one of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). There is no charge to freeze your balance, and it will prohibit the opening of new credit accounts under your name. And if fraud hackers gain access to all of your sensitive information, if your credit is frozen, they won’t be able to create new accounts under your name. The one downside of freezing your credit is that it prohibits you from qualifying for new credit, so don’t consider if you intend to need a new auto loan, home loan, or credit card account in the immediate future. Your credit may be unfrozen at any point.
7. Go to IdentityTheft.gov
If you’ve been affected by a data breach, there’s a federal database that will help you get a handle on the situation and figure out what you can do next. Several websites provide guidance and suggestions about what to do if your confidential information is lost or robbed.
A data loss can be frightening because, in the worst-case situation, it can result in identity fraud and financial problems. You will avoid the complications and inconveniences of a data loss if you know what to anticipate and take a few easy measures to secure yourself and keep alert.
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