This week, over 540 million Facebook users had their data compromised via third-party apps. This is another case in a series of Facebook data breaches over the past year. Is your account affected? Continue reading below to find out.
What are third-party apps?
Third-party apps are applications not made by Facebook, but can connect to your Facebook account and get your private information. Popular Facebook games such as Candy Crush and Farmville are all considered third-party apps.
This week’s data breach involves two third-party apps – a publisher called Cultura Colectiva and an app called At The Pool. Both of these apps stored a total of 540 million Facebook user data points on unsecured servers. These data points contained comments, likes, account names, and other information collected from Facebook accounts.
Since the data were stored on unsecured servers, anyone with an internet connection could access this information. This means scammers could take this information to commit fraud and identity theft. The worst part is that some of these data points contained critical information such as the app passwords of 22,000 accounts!
How can you protect yourself?
After this data breach was found, Cultura Colectiva managed to secure its users’ data after 3 months. At The Pool’s data was also secured in under 3 months, but this is after the data had been left in an unsecured state for 5 years.
When it comes to protecting your data from third-party Facebook apps, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
1. Use Different Passwords Everywhere
The good news is that no Facebook account passwords were leaked. However, if you use the same password for every one of your online accounts, like for third-party Facebook apps, make sure to change all these passwords to different ones. Make sure they’re strong by using letter, numbers and symbols.
2. Limit Your Use of Third-Party Apps
Limiting the number of third-party apps you use is another way you can protect your personal information. When you allow third-party apps to connect to your Facebook account, you are giving them access to all the information you have stored in your Facebook account. Here is some information about your Facebook App Settings.
Information such as your friends, hobbies, where you went to school, and even your date of birth can all be leaked. But if playing Facebook games and using third-party apps are important to you, consider limiting the information you put in your Facebook account.
3. Run Routine FixMeStick Scans
You can never be too careful. With this leaked data people will create phishing attacks to infect your computer or steal more information. We recommend using FixMeStick once per month to deep clean your computer. This will remove viruses, such as spyware, that were downloaded onto your computer. You can click here to try FixMeStick for $9.95.
Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!