Dennis Horton: The Facebook breach

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October 08, 2018

From rrStar.com

Facebook’s recently announced breach is not their first, but according to Facebook it’s their largest, affecting 50 million user accounts.

With many of us frequently on the social media site we’re left wondering what’s our exposure is. Facebook says, “the attackers took advantage of a weakness in the ‘View As’ feature, which lets people see what their profile looks like to others. The hackers stole digital keys that keep you logged in; so you don’t need to re-enter your password every time.”

Facebook also says, “We’ve fixed the vulnerabilities and reset digital keys on the 50 million accounts, plus an additional 40 million accounts that used the ‘View As’ function.”

The investigation is continuing but, Facebook also says, “We still don’t know who’s behind these attacks or where they’re based. We’re working hard to better understand these details.”

That said, what can we users do? I checked with the experts at the Federal Trade Commission who recommend these things. They say, “With access to your Facebook account, hackers can get a lot of information about you. That information could be used to impersonate people you know or companies you do business with. If someone calls you out of the blue, asking for money or personal information, hang up. Then, if you want to know for sure if the person calling you was really your family member or was really from a company you know and trust, call them back at a number you know to be correct before you give any information or money. And remember: Anyone who demands that you pay by gift card or by wiring money is scamming you. Always.”

The FTC also says, “Consider changing your password. Facebook says that it fixed the vulnerability, so there’s no need to change your password. But, to be safe, log in and change your password anyway. If you use the same password other places, change it there, too. Don’t forget to change your security questions, as well — especially if the answers include information that could be found in your Facebook account.”


While we are playing it safe online let’s go a step further and take some other precautions. Identity theft is a never-ending and important battle. Consider these statistics: In 2017 one out of 15 consumers was a victim of identity theft. That’s nearly 17 million people, 1 million more than in 2016. Another way of looking at it: If the odds of winning the lottery were 1 in 15, then almost everyone would have family members, friends or colleagues who are millionaires.

To help you protect yourself, the Better Business Bureau, MembersAlliance Credit Union and Paper Recovery of Loves Park, are hosting their Fall Community Shred Day. Consumers and businesses have an opportunity to protect their identities by shredding unwanted personal, financial and confidential documents for FREE. Shred Day will take place Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to noon at MembersAlliance at the corner of South Alpine Road and Harrison Avenue.

Consumers and businesses may bring a maximum of two boxes per vehicle for shedding. For access to the shredding, enter off of South Alpine into the shopping center and drive south to the credit union’s drive-up area.

And finally, it’s not too late to enter the BBB’s 2018 Torch Awards for Marketplace Excellence. The award is given to businesses who exemplify outstanding marketplace behavior. They treat their customers, vendors, competitors and employees with honesty and integrity. It is part of their culture to put those attributes into practice every day. To complete an entry form, go to our website, www.bbb.org/chicago, and click on the Torch Awards link. Or for more information call the BBB office at 815-963-2222.


 

Contact:
Phil Liso, Contact
(562) 322-7376