Facebook Data Breach: Here is why you should be worried and what you should do

As Facebook keeps experimenting with the interface and keeps adding new features, our security settings require regular checks.

By: | Updated: 22 Mar 2018 11:32 AM
Facebook Data Breach: Here is why you should be worried and what you should do

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New Delhi: More than 25 crores of Indians are Facebook users, making the country more vulnerable in cases of data leak. With the recent reports of data breach of over 50 million users by British firm Cambridge Analytica, it becomes pertinent to take safety measures, better late than never.

As Facebook keeps experimenting with the interface and keeps adding new features, our security settings require regular checks.

The app developer in question Cambridge Analytica, here, uses a technique that creates a wall of fake news around users, directed at changing the perception of the users. Well it does strike us though, that how can somebody monitor our Facebook data.

Here is how your Facebook data can be monitored

First of all for Facebook sign-up , you are required to provide three of your essential details , including your e-mail id, your gender and date of birth. Then you are asked to name your friends and then asked your photograph.

From here, the process of collecting  information shoots up.

Based on what pages you like, what are your interests and what groups you are in and what groups you ignored, an idea of what kind of a person you are is generated.

Added to these, the “about me” section of Facebook gives all of your details like your nationality, education, you work, your marital status, your home-town,  your current town even links to the profiles of your relatives. With ‘check-in’, your last location can also be accessed.

Political interests, sexual orientation and religious beliefs too can be filled in. Facebook uses this data for advertisements with a promise of not leaking it to any other party.

Facebook, however, gave space to applications (apps) on the website and some applications started using personal data for games and fun-events but with the permission of users.

However, Cambridge Analytica started closely monitoring the personal data of users, such as their last location, the personalities and groups liked by users and other such details, which users casually post as a part of “socialising”. Cambridge Analytica started harvesting this data and started using it for political purposes.

These firms create personality profile of users and help political parties to change the perception of the mass by setting the agenda, which is clearly a breach of privacy.

How to stay secure:

When you install applications, you are given option of “login with Facebook” or “create a new profile”. People invariably opt for “login with Facebook” as it is comparatively easier and less time consuming. This makes your FB data accessible to the third party applications.

To avoid sharing data with third party application we can disable apps website and plugins, under the edit tab, under apps settings in the Privacy Setting window of Facebook. This removes the stored data on the websites and application.

Other than this, it is advisable to change Facebook password from time to time and keep strict privacy settings.

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First Published: 22 Mar 2018 11:32 AM
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