What you need to know
- Facebook has just suffered a massive data breach, exposing more than 500 million accounts.
- The breach includes user names, phone numbers, email addresses, and more.
- There are a few ways to check and see if your information was affected by the breach.
Facebook is no stranger to large data breaches, and there seems to be a new one every year. Unfortunately, a past breach is catching up to the company, with data leaked online containing millions of users' personal information. According to Insider, the information was posted publicly and for free on a low-level hacking forum and included more than 500 million accounts in 106 countries.
The exposed data includes the personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and, in some cases, email addresses.
Insider verified the breach, although Facebook informed them that the information taken is from a previous breach reported in 2019, from a vulnerability that has since been fixed. That means the information is a couple of years old, but it could still affect millions whose information remains unchanged from the breach.
The Verge points out a few ways to check to see if your information was affected, including Have I Been Pwned, which uses email search to determine if you've been affected. It may eventually add the ability to search your phone number as well. The News Each Day can check your phone number to see whether it was part of the breach, although it's not as trusted as the first site. Meanwhile, both sites appear to be accurate.
Whether or not your information has been affected by the breach, it's important to make sure your account is protected. Fortunately, we have guides on how to change your Facebook password and how to set two-factor authentication for your Facebook account. It's definitely worth checking out some of the best password managers for Android to keep track of all your passwords, since creating strong, unique passwords is important to protect your online accounts. Also, Facebook recently announced support for hardware encryption keys, which can be used with the best Android phones to lock down your account further.