What Facebook’s Hack Means To You

Even the mighty Facebook isn’t immune to the hackers. An estimated 90 million Facebook accounts were affected by the recently announced hack. Sadly, the social media goliath has had little to say on the risk users may face.

With little information to go on, here’s some advice from the people over at BullGuard.  

How do you know if you were hacked?

  • There is currently no way to know for sure if your account has been hacked unless you’ve received a message from Facebook or you were logged out of your account last Friday
  • That said Facebook’s ‘Security and login’ page in your profile’s account settings has a feature that tells you where your account has been logged in from. If you see a login from a location you don’t recognise, this may be a sign you have been hacked

Is the attack dangerous?

Facebook has sought to reassure users that the security breach has been fixed and said users are not currently in danger of being hacked.

  • However, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s fair to say Facebook’s credibility has been undermined and there will be many taking what it says with a hefty pinch of salt
  • What we do know is that breach is the largest in the company’s history
  • What we don’t know is how deep the hackers went; did they take full control of accounts?
  • What we also know is that hackers could have accessed third-party websites that use Facebook accounts for logins. This includes apps such as Instagram, Tinder, Spotify and Airbnb, all of which use Facebook’s ‘single sign-on’ feature

What should I do if I was hacked?

Given that those who were hacked were automatically logged out of their accounts you can assume you’re safe if this didn’t happen to your account.

That said several advisable steps can be taken to improve your overall account security:

  • Change your password, especially if it is used for multiple accounts
  • If you use the same password for different social media accounts and websites, change them to an individual, complex one rather than common, easy-to-guess names or phrases
  • Facebook also offers two-factor authentication, which requires a unique verification code as well as your password to access your account. This code will be sent either by text or via a registered authentication app, such as Google Authenticator or Duo Mobile that you would need to download
  • You will need to go to the ‘Security and login’ page in your Facebook account settings to set up two-factor authentication

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, and surrounding villages.

Source: BullGuard

Take Control Of Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Facebook data breach hits Android users

 

Your Facebook privacy settings are important.

Back in April, we wrote about the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica data saga.

Despite Facebook’s attempt at smoothing things over, the scale of this violation illustrates how Facebook’s infrastructure was designed to work.

It wasn’t so much as a data breach, as it was a way of operating for commercial reasons. It all came down to Facebook’s terms of service. Its API was structured to allow third-party developers to raid user data without consequence.

Why?

Simply because it is an effective way to push ad revenue and digital activity.

Of course, now Facebook is saying that developers abused it. But the evidence suggests they encouraged app developers to do this.

Take control of your Facebook privacy settings

One way to make sure your data isn’t pillaged it to ‘trash and burn’ your Facebook account

But for some, cutting themselves off from their social media online lives is a step too far.

If you are one such person, here are some simple steps you can take that will stop apps and websites accessing information like your friend list, gender and information you’ve made public.

You can just disable all apps on your account, but that means you won’t be able to log into sites using your Facebook login. Plus, you won’t be to use games or apps via your Facebook account, including apps such as Twitter, Instagram and others.

What you can do is:

  • Go to the small triangle at the top right hand corner of the page, click on it and scroll down to ‘Settings’ and click on it
  • On the left hand side click on the Apps icon
  • From there, click the ‘Edit’ button under ‘Apps, Websites and Plugins.’
  • Click ‘Disable Platform.’

If you don’t want to disable all apps on the same page, you can limit the type of information that apps access:

  • From the same page, click ‘Edit’ under ‘Apps Others Use’
  • Then uncheck the types of information that you don’t want apps to be able to access

Isn’t it time you took back control of your data?

Facebook’s Violation Of Our Privacy Also Affects Android Users

Facebook data breach hits Android users

It has come to light that if you have the Facebook Messenger installed on your Android device, there’s a fair chance that the social media giant has been collecting contacts, SMS and call history data until at least last year.

According to a recent article on BullGuard‘s blog:

This discovery was made by a New Zealand-based programmer who downloaded a ZIP file from Facebook and much to his surprise discovered it included complete logs of incoming and outgoing calls, SMS messages and contacts.

Why affect Android?

The problem is, Google’s Android is an ‘open’ platform. This means companies and developers can tweak the operating system to meet their own needs.

Initially, Android API permissions weren’t very strict. So, in older versions of Android, the Facebook app took away contact permission at the time of installation. As a result, it was allowed to access call and message data automatically.

Eventually, Google changed the way Android permissions worked. But third-party developers like Facebook were able to bypass this change. As a result, it continued accessing call and SMS data until Google released a new version of the Android API in October last year.

How to stop Facebook’s data gathering

The easiest way to spoil Facebook’s party is to turn off the continuous uploading setting in the Facebook Messenger app. Just remember though that this change will also delete all your previously uploaded contacts.

Just in case you were wondering why Apple’s users aren’t affected, it’s because Apple’s iOS has never allowed silent access to call data.

If you’re concerned about what data Facebook holds about you, BullGuard offer this advice:

  • Go to the arrow at the top right hand side of your Facebook home page.
  • Click on this and then scroll down and click on Settings
  • This will take you to General Account Settings
  • Beneath your settings information you will see Download a copy of your Facebook data
  • Click on this and it will take you through to a page where you will see a green button and Download Archive
  • Click on this and the data will download though you have to add in your password to a pop-up box before the process starts
MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Were You One Of The 87 Million Facebook Users Caught Up In The Cambridge Analytica Saga?

Facebook data saga

The Big Fight: Facebook Vs Cambridge Analytica

The Facebook / Cambridge Analytica saga has been fascinating.

Mark Zuckerberg’s grilling by the Senate was cringe-worthy stuff. He came away virtually unscathed. Not because he was proven innocent of any dubious goings-on, but because most of the senators had no idea how Facebook works.

It all started with a personality quiz called, “This Is Your Digital Life.” Anyone who took the test had their data harvested by Cambridge Analytica. Worse still, their friends’ data was mined too.

Facebook announced that if you were amongst the unfortunate 87 million people affected, you would be notified via your News Feed.

But what if you haven’t been notified and are still sceptical?

You can check if your Facebook data was shared with Cambridge Analytica by logging into Facebook and visiting their help page.

This is probably a good time to check out the other apps that have access to your Facebook account and disable any that you no longer use.

What does Facebook know about you?

It’s events like this that make you stop and think about what you share on social media.

PCWorld.com offers a guide on how to download your Facebook data.

If you’re not comfortable with what you find, here’s their article on how to delete, disable, or limit your Facebook account.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Facebook’s Direct Brain Interface – Fact or Fiction?

Facebooks direct brain interface

 

Hidden away in a secret building, the boffins are hard at work. They are working on taking technology to the next level – direct brain interface.

They plan to capture your words before you speak them as they pass through your brain and convert them into text ready for transmission by SMS.

Sound far-fetched?

Perhaps a plot for a new thriller?

No, this is Facebook’s latest development. The hope is that this new technology will allow people with brain injuries or communication issues to be able to ‘speak’ to others finally.

Of course, it won’t stop there. Once proven Facebook will undoubtedly bring this new interface into the mainstream.

According to a recent article in PandaSecurity.com:

“Because the technology is “decades” from release, it is hard to properly imagine what the interface could do. At the most basic level it will probably work like a person-to-person version of the Facebook Messenger app. Presumably users would be able to send text messages direct to the brain of their friends, anywhere in the world without having to lift a finger, or making a sound.”

What are the risks?

As with most other technologies, this carries the risk of being hacked. Of course, being hypothetical at the moment, there’s no telling what form these threats could take. It could be receiving unwanted advertising messages to the brain, or malware could potentially be used to cause physical damage.

There’s no need to worry just yet because Facebook’s telepathy text system is a long way off coming to fruition. That leaves engineers plenty of time to develop security measures to counter any potential malware or hack-attacks.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Panda Security

Cross-platform Malware for Windows/Mac/Linux is Spreading via Facebook Messenger

 

Facebook messenger

Yes, something else for you to keep your eyes open for.

Watch out if you get a Facebook message that includes:

  • The recipient’s name
  • The word ‘video’
  • A shocked emoji followed by a shortened URL

Because the message comes from one of your friends, you could be fooled into clicking the link. If you do, the malicious link opens a Google document containing a blurry picture taken from your Facebook page that looks like a playable movie.

If you try to play the video, the malware will send you to one of a number of different websites, depending on your Web browser, operating system, location, and other factors. This site will then prompt you to install malicious software.

For example, you use Google Chrome; you’d be redirected to a fake YouTube channel, complete with the official logo and branding. You would then see a fake error message designed to trick you into downloading a malicious Chrome extension. Firefox users, however, are sent to a website displaying a

If you use Firefox, you will be sent to a website displaying a fake Flash update notice, which, once run, attempts to run a Windows executable to install adware. Finally, Safari users are taken to a similar site, customised for macOS, encouraging them to

If you use Safari, you will be taken to a similar site, customised for macOS, encouraging you to download a malicious .dmg file.

This type of malware is designed to track your browsing activity using cookies and display targeted adverts. But it can also use social engineering to trick you into clicking on them.

This malicious code is highly sophisticated and complex, and researchers suggest that the malicious links are being sent from real Messenger accounts compromised as a result of stolen passwords, hijacked browsers or clickjacking techniques.

What do they get out of it? Well, each click on the ads generates revenue for the malware authors.

How to protect yourself 

The simple answer is to use caution with any link received from a Facebook friend. For greater security, experts recommend having a trusted,

Of course, making sure you’re protected by trusted and up-to-date antivirus is a must.

As with all internet threats, stay vigilant; stay safe.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

 

Source: Panda Security

Facebook’s Lifestage – Would You Be Happy For Your Teen To Use It?

Facebook's Lifestage

 

First off, Facebook’s Lifestage is only currently available in the US, so you can breathe easy for now.

If you’ve not heard about it, Lifestage is Facebook’s latest app targeted at teens aged between 13 and 21 so they can connect with people in their high school or college.

Sounds harmless enough until you dig a bit deeper. Once a minimum of 20 people from a particular school or college start using the app, everyone in that education establishment can easily access everyone else’s profile.

Rather than status updates, users upload videos to show their likes and dislikes etc., but unlike Snapchat, the videos are available for everyone in the school to see for an indefinite time period. The app store disclaimer tells you that:

“Everything you post in Lifestage is always public and viewable by everyone, inside and outside your school. There is no way to limit the audience of your videos. We can’t confirm that people who claim to go to a certain school actually go to that school. All videos you upload to your profile are fully public content.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, there is no requirement when signing up to prove that you’re under 21 or that you attend that school, and once you’ve registered you have access to everyone’s profiles.

Users don’t have friends lists like Facebook, but you can block individual users, but until you do everyone can see your videos.

There is no news yet as to when, or whether, Lifestage will be available in the UK, but if it does it may be worthwhile talking to your teens about the potential dangers before they start using it. Especially due to the lack of privacy settings.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Transcendit

 

 

Watch What You Post on Facebook

The chances are you have a Facebook account and are fairly active on it, posting all sorts of status updates, adding photos and playing games.

Although you think your information is secure because you’ve taken the time to check your privacy settings, what happens in a friend’s account gets hacked, or they forget to log out so someone you don’t know can see your updates? A recent article on netsecurity.about.com highlights 5 things you should think twice about before posting.

1. Birth dates

If you share your birth date on Facebook you’ll get loads of lovely comments from friends on your big day, but you’re also providing potential thieves with important information they can use to steal your identity.

The best option is not to list it at all, but if you’re adamant you want to, miss out the year.

2. Relationship

Are you single? Married? Divorced? Whatever your relationship status keep it to yourself.

Worse case scenario, if you’re newly single you could end up with unwanted attention from people.

3. Location

Using Facebook’s location tagging feature tells people not only where you are, but where you’re not – i.e. at home.

4. Home alone

You never know exactly who is reading your profile (or your children’s), so never tell the world you’re home alone.

5. Picture of your kids

It’s sad that you even have to consider this, but don’t tag, name or give the date of birth of your children on Facebook. You never know who could be looking at them. The same goes for photos with other people’s kids in them. If you want them to see the pictures, send them a link.

Social media is fun and a great way to keep in touch with people, but you still need to exercise caution when using it. Most of it is common sense, so just be careful and think twice.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.