According to cybersecurity experts, the personal information and data of 533 million Facebook users has been posted to a hacking website.
The leaked information includes phone numbers, full name, location, birthday, email addresses, and relationship status.
According to Alon Gal, the CTO of cyber intelligence firm Hudson Rock, there are records for more than 32 million accounts in the United States that have been leaked.
Here are some tips for staying safe on social networking sites:
- Limit the amount of personal information you post- Do not post information that would make you vulnerable, such as your address or information about your schedule or routine. If your connections post information about you, make sure the combined information is not more than you would be comfortable with strangers knowing. Also be considerate when posting information, including photos, about your connections.
- Remember that the internet is a public resource- Only post information you are comfortable with anyone seeing. This includes information and photos in your profile and in blogs and other forums. Also, once you post information online, you can't retract it. Even if you remove the information from a site, saved or cached versions may still exist on other people's machines. (See Guidelines for Publishing Information Online.)
- Evaluate your settings- Take advantage of a site's privacy settings. The default settings for some sites may allow anyone to see your profile, but you can customize your settings to restrict access to only certain people. There is still a risk that private information could be exposed despite these restrictions, so don't post anything that you wouldn't want the public to see. Sites may change their options periodically, so review your security and privacy settings regularly to make sure that your choices are still appropriate.
- Be wary of third-party applications- Third-party applications may provide entertainment or functionality, but use caution when deciding which applications to enable. Avoid applications that seem suspicious, and modify your settings to limit the amount of information the applications can access.
- Use strong passwords- Protect your account with passwords that cannot easily be guessed. If your password is compromised, someone else may be able to access your account and pretend to be you.
- Check privacy policies- Some sites may share information such as email addresses or user preferences with other companies. This may lead to an increase in spam. (See Reducing Spam.) Also, try to locate the policy for handling referrals to make sure that you do not unintentionally sign your friends up for spam. Some sites will continue to send email messages to anyone you refer until they join.
- Keep software, particularly your web browser, up to date- Install software updates so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should enable it.
- Use and maintain anti-virus software- Anti-virus software helps protect your computer against known viruses, so you may be able to detect and remove the virus before it can do any damage. Because attackers are continually writing new viruses, it is important to keep your definitions up to date.