October 11, 2018 · 7:13 pm

Facebook and Google+ Breaches: What You Need to Know and What to Do Now

Take the necessary precautions to protect your social accounts

By Kelly Johnson

It seems that social networks like Facebook can’t catch a break. Right after Facebook addressed the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year, they suffered a breach in late September 2018.

Facebook reported that hackers found a vulnerability in “View As” — a feature that lets you view your profile as if you’re another user — that gave them access to the users’ account information. As many as 50 million users may have had their accounts compromised.

Additionally, Google recently announced that in March 2018 a vulnerability in their social network —  Google+ — may have exposed the private information of nearly 500,000-plus users’ accounts. The issue was resolved, but the network’s credibility was damaged, and Google shut down their social network for consumers.

Facebook fixed the vulnerability and is also investigating the source of their breach. The social network advised that their users take the necessary precautions to protect their accounts. But the question remains: How can you safeguard your social channels moving forward? Here are some suggestions.

1. Consistently Change Your Password and Check Your Contact Information

One of the first steps users want to take after a breach is to change their password, which is always a safe bet.

It’s wise to change your password every quarter to protect your information.

Even though it’s a good idea to change your password, Facebook says it’s not necessary since it rectified the vulnerability.

Facebook recommends that you go to your account settings to check if your e-mail and phone number are correct. If something looks drastically incorrect, then update your information and change your password.

You may also want to reach out to Facebook to seek help for a hacked account.

2. Check Roles and Permissions on Your Account

If you’re the administrator of your Facebook page or group, make sure there have not been any changes to the roles and permissions.

For example, if you notice a new admin that you don’t recognize, report the fact immediately to the Facebook Help Center.

3. Check Your Devices and Connections

Take a look at the devices that you’ve used to log on to Facebook. You can access this information on the Security and Logins link of the app, then navigate to “Where You’re Logged In” to conduct a quick device audit. If you see a device that doesn’t look familiar disconnect that device by clicking “Not You.”

Pro Tip: If your account is secure and you’ve noticed that you’re disconnected from third-party apps that required a connection to Facebook — such as Sensai — check the connection and reconnect your socials to the app.

4. Keep an Eye on Your Activities

You can also check to see if anything looks amiss by monitoring your account activity. We suggest keeping a close eye on your payment details in Payment Settings on your account.

Additionally, you should monitor your active campaigns in Ads Manager to check for any changes regarding ads, bids or budgets.  

Finally, look for any surprise listings on your Marketplace account.

For more information about Facebook’s breach, read their statement.