How to check if your Facebook data was leaked – and what to do about it
By Yasmine Jacobs Apr 7, 2021
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More than 500 million Facebook accounts were compromised, leading to personal data being accessible not only to hackers but also exposed to the public.
The hack initially occurred in 2019, but the data obtained through it has since been posted in a way that anyone can see it.
Now, if compromised, your phone number, email addresses and other sensitive data are readily available to cyberattackers with minimal effort on their part.
Your sensitive data can be used for pretty much anything. Bad actors may use the information for social engineering, scamming, hacking and marketing.
While the leak creates a security risk, you can check if your account has been compromised and take necessary steps to protect yourself in future.
The website ‘Have I Been Pwned’ now lets you search for your phone number, email address, and other account details to see if they've been compromised.
To search for your phone number, you have to use E.164 international phone number formatting. In layman’s terms, you use your country code.
You can also check your email accounts. It will indicate whether or not your data was compromised and if it has, how many breaches it had and how many pastes. A "paste" is information that has been "pasted" to a publicly facing website designed to share content.
They have also shared tips for better security.
If your data has been compromised, it's important that you take action.
Change any compromised passwords, secure compromised emails and make sure to follow good security guidelines.
Check out leading password managers to improve your security. There are also password managers that can monitor for compromised data.
It is also helpful to use a password generator to ensure that you aren't relying on a weak or hacked password.
Windows 10 users can also use a free app called ‘Hacked?’ to check if their data has been compromised.
You can check for any accounts to see if they've been compromised and even set the app to regularly check for compromises. The Hacked? app also enables you to add a phone number to your list of accounts within the app.