By Ida Lassesen when she isn't writing, she spends her time travelling, eating or watching Asian horror flicks- but most of the time she's busy testing out any anti-aging product she can get her hands on

Problems pile up for Facebook

Do you remember having to re-enter your Facebook login details last week? Don’t recall logging out in the first place? Sorry to say, but the private information (your name, age, gender and location) you put on Facebook may have been accessed by an as-yet-unknown group of hackers last week.

On Friday, Facebook announced that an attack on its computer network by unknown hackers may have exposed the personal information of 50 million users. As a result, Facebook forced 90 million users to log out in order to secure any breached accounts.

Security breach

So, what happened? The security breach, the largest since Facebook’s inception in 2004, occured after hackers exploited 3 software flaws. The first 2 were part of the “View As” function on the site. The function allows users to control and customise the information friends are able to view. It is particularly interesting to note that this feature was built to enable users to have better control over their privacy settings. The third flaw was found within a tool introduced last year enabling users to easily upload pre-made birthday videos. These software flaws allowed hackers to steal digital keys, giving them full access to user accounts.

Vulnerability of third-party apps

Although investigations are still ongoing, the hackers may have even gained access to third-party apps. These include Spotify and Instagram, which use Facebook login credentials. Yeah, any time you choose to “log in with Facebook” you may be giving the popular social network more information than you meant to.

Why you should care

Can simply entering your birthdate onto the website be feeding it a lot more information than you intended? It’s possible.

As an avid Facebook user myself, the thought of external parties accessing my private details is quite scary. Even though I’ve adjusted my privacy settings, I feel that it almost loses its purpose if I had a Facebook account devoid of pictures, or personal details like my birthday (how else would anyone remember each others’ birthdays) or location (nice to update my family on where I am in the world at the moment.) Wasn’t Facebook supposed to be an online database of shared information of your friends? Has this all gone too far? With the past couple of years being filled with scandals regarding the way Facebook handles my private data, it’s a wonder I haven’t given up on it yet.

Hopefully the latest scandal will force people to sit up and really push for change. Senator Mark Warner called the hack a timely reminder about the dangers posed by Facebook being able to accumulate so much personal data about individuals without adequate security measures.

Here at Kindaba, we couldn’t agree more. That’s why we remain committed to providing you with an alternative, safe, and private space to stay connected. (Without the fear of us harvesting your data.) Ultimately, you are in control of the information social media sites have access to, so now may be the best time to review your privacy settings and Facebook posts.

Join our FamTech community and take charge of your privacy settings

Still can’t get enough of all things social media? If you want to chat about all things family and technology with a whole group of like-minded parents, head over to our closed FamTech community and join us as we:

  • Discuss the journey of parenting in a digital age
  • Share the latest on all things family and technology

We can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

 
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