Last week was not a great week for social media sites and personal safety. After it was reported that more than 533 million Facebook accounts was made available online, the news comes that another 500 million LinkedIn account data were found online. These are some pretty scary numbers that are likely to affect most of us.
However, there is a difference between these two data breaches which are the common data hacks we’ve seen in the past and that is that they weren’t hacks. There was no unauthorized access to a secure system where data was stolen at all. No, both of the latest leaks were more likely from a process known as scraping, where bots simply searched profiles of users on both sites, searched for information such as emails, contact numbers and other useful information, and then wrote them in a table where they were then posted online. Yes, it means no personal information related to credit cards or ID numbers has been found, but people are likely to feel compromised anyway that certain ‘contact information’ is now in the public domain (although in reality it always was)
So essentially all of these so-called “hackers” took information that was already in the public domain in some form or another, in an easy-to-find location where they could be exploited. A similar issue that affected another app in the form of Clubhouse also on weekends. All of this essentially sheds new light on not only cyber security, but cyber privacy as well.
This means that in the first place, we as users must be more careful with the information that we allow to be displayed through these social media platforms. While they may require an email address to register, you can hide this information from public eyes and it may be best that you do so.
Second, it means that these sites should do a better job of ensuring that details cannot be made visible without some user approval to another user or possibly even preventing a browser from accessing these fields so that they cannot simply are copied and pasted. form the site.
For now, it may be best to take matters into your own hands and do your best to make sure you don’t have too much personal information on social media sites until companies find a better way to deal with these types of attacks. .
Last updated: April 13, 2021