Facebook’s Latest Security Breach: A Glitch That Compromised Passwords of 600 Million Users

Facebook has always turned a blind eye towards data privacy.

Facebook data breach affected millions of passwords
Facebook data breach affected millions of passwords

From all the controversies that Facebook has worked up, it is quite clear that the social media giant has chosen its poison: data breaches. For seven years, Facebook stored an innumerable password in plain text for its employees to see and access.

It doesn’t seem safe to trust Facebook with any of our private data, even our login id and passwords. Where is Facebook’s sense of data privacy?

Credentials Exposed To Employees

Facebook has always been at the top of the pile whenever a data breach is on news. The social media company came across a glitch which exposed credentials, like login id and passwords of users, the number of which is as high as millions. These credentials were stored as readable text and in the internal systems absolutely exposed to the employees.

The credit to finding out the glitch goes to a security blog KrebsOnSecurity. Around 2000 employees of Facebook Inc had unrestricted access to the passwords and is dated as back as 2012.

The report by KrebsOnSecurity revealed that around 200 million to 600 million Facebook users have their account data compromised and credentials saved in a readable format. This was found out by an internal investigation conducted by the company.

No Damage From Facebook Employees?

On questioning, the company said, “These passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them.”

But how much truth does this statement hold? Previously, Facebook has gone to the length of paying teenagers to gain access to all their personal data. Also, Facebook had tracked people who hadn’t been using Facebook too, which led to the company being declared the least trusted company.

The social networking site discovered the issue in January and has apparently fixed it. Also, it has come to notice that users of Facebook Lite were the ones most affected. Facebook Lite is just another version of the app which is used in places with lower connectivity.

Facebook’s Guidelines To Ensure Safety

Facebook has addressed the issue ever so graciously and gave out a set of instructions for users to follow and protect whatever is left of their already compromised data.

Here is what you can do:

  • Change your passwords on Facebook and Instagram. Also, avoid keeping the same passwords for different apps.
  • Make sure your passwords are strong and complex enough for no one to be able to access them. There are password manager apps that can help you through this.
  • Enable a security key or two-factor authentication to avoid your Facebook being accessed by any third party authentication app. Whenever you log in with your credentials, Facebook will ask for a security code or your security key to cross-check if it is really you.
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