The world is indeed changing with the rapid advancement in the technology. We could not imagine that one day I could be chatting with my friends in the comfort of my home on a computer or cell phone. Well, it has come to pass, and Facebook is one of the social media platforms that had given us that luxury. To be allowed to use Facebook you first have to register with your personal details such as email, name and contact information. You imagined that your private information was not supposed to be released to the public without your permission yet it was not only your information but that of all of your friend’s personal information. So when you register with Facebook, you entrusted your private details to them hoping that Facebook will keep your details safe where no one else would have access to it. Unfortunately, Facebook has betrayed us all by allowing our personal information to accessed and mined by persons we never authorized to do that. That is evidenced by what all of the world’s Facebook learned recently which is that Cambridge Analytical, an analytics firm, mined our information and then sold billion of Facebook users confidential information various political parties, foreign and domestic.

Cambridge Analytical scandal

Recent news reports and Mark Zuckerberg’s own admission confirmed that Facebook’s data was accessed by Cambridge Analytical with Facebook’s permission and each is responsible for the release of 87 million Facebook users personal information. How they achieved that is no longer a mystery. Facebook gave Cambridge Analytical permission to mine their user’s data and then never cared if Cambridge Analytical sold it to third parties who were out to interfere in the United States General Election. With the help of an app developed by Cambridge Analytical, Facebook allowed that app to access the private information of 87 million users. That is how that data was harvested from Facebook users.

Millions of Facebook users recently learned that using a Facebook third-party application will expose their private and confidential information along with all their friends’ information. Millions of people around the world are constantly prompted to use their Facebook login when visiting other websites. Those apps are helping analytic companies like Cambridge Analytical to troll private information to gain unauthorized access to your personal Facebook information. We are not implying that Cambridge Analytical hacked into Facebook. Facebook does offer third-party applications that allow Facebook users to use their Facebook log-in to log into other websites. That allows those apps to obtain information about your Facebook account. Therefore, we can confidently say that Cambridge Analytical exploited Facebook’s API infrastructure as a conduit to obtain users information maliciously.

How to protect data theft from your social media accounts.

Online data theft is usually done by cybercriminals whose only objective is to steal your personal information, photographs, contact details and etcetera from your various social media profiles and sell that information to criminals. We can prevent this by making few changes to your Facebook privacy settings.

  1. Set your Privacy settings.

To achieve this, you first need to log into your Facebook account. Go into Settings. Then  scroll down the page until you see”Apps, & Websites” click “Edit” for that box and scroll down to the bottom and click “Cancel.” When you do this, you will have wholly restricted third-party apps from using your Facebook account. What this basically means is that you will not be able to register or login to other applications or websites using Facebook, You will also not be able to interact with friends through other applications or websites. Additionally, all the third-party applications you registered for using Facebook will be automatically removed. This will, therefore, ensure that your Facebook account is safe and your data cannot be easily breached.

Be particular in your social media activities:

Please keep in mind that you must be very careful as to how you sue your social media activities. You must add only known people or your friends/family to your social media friends circle. Never share any critical information on any social media website neither as public post nor as a personal message. So overall make your social media use very compact.

  1. Seeking experts help or opt for cyber investigation services-

If you are an organization, for instance, relying on privacy settings alone that is not enough. Millions of banks and credit card companies along with large corporations maintain highly personal information on you that you gave them which they were not authorized to release to anyone. Cybercriminals are at work twenty-four hours a day working hard to infiltrate those kinds of companies such as Facebook. Their goal is to steal your emails, phone numbers, credit card numbers or passwords to credit card accounts. Should you be become a victim of Cybercrime, you might research cyber investigation services. Numerous companies specialize in those services; they offer cyber vulnerability assessment and digital forensic services. Cyber experts will provide you with a thorough evaluation of your computer systems. The top experts in the field are familiar with all the ways cybercriminals use to tap into your information.

In conclusion, as much as Facebook offers one of the best experiences of interacting with friends and family the issue of security is now up to you to control.