Facebook Users Names and Phone Numbers Exposed on Dark Web
A Cyber security firm found that 267 million Facebook users had personal data including Facebook IDs, full names and phone numbers exposed on the dark web available to anybody. This according to an article from Daily Mail.com.
Cyber security firm Comparitech discovered the database according to reports Thursday. It's not clear how the sensitive data was exposed, although, it seems the data was on the dark web and available to anyone without a password for two weeks before being discovered.
How will this impact Facebook users who had their data stolen? According to the Daily Mail article, most likely people whose data was compromised will be targeted with spam messages and phishing schemes.
What all this means is sophisticated cyber thieves have your name and phone number and potentially other identifying information that makes it very easy for them to customize a phishing scheme to get credit card information, banking information, or other personal information that makes it easier for them to steal your money.
It's all very true. Cyber thieves targeted my buddy Scotty the other day. They sent him what looked like a very official Go-Daddy email concerning an email account he has associated with a website hosted with the service provider. They had his name, the website address and the linked e-mail account all properly listed. They had it mocked up like an email you'd receive from Go-Daddy.
My buddy Scotty checked it out. He figured it was scam because when he hovered over the website address connected with the email address the scammers were trying to tell him was going to be deleted... It went to a completely different and incomprehensible web site.
That's how we're going to beat cyber scammers. It's looking at these very well crafted phishing emails and finding the clues it's fake. Or calling the company that supposedly sent the email to check out whether they sent it or not. The Federal Trade Commission has a great web page dedicated to showing you how you can protect yourself against phishing. You can access that here.
As for securing our information on Facebook, good luck. The company's track record at securing personal information hasn't been stellar. And part of their motivation for giving us all free accounts IS to sell what they know about us so third parties can market to us. That said Comparitech told Daily Mail.com that users can reduce their risk of being targeted in future data breaches by tightening their security settings to limit the amount of information visible to the public.