Safety first, online.

think-safety-first-when-online

Yesterday I started helping a friend of mine to recover his facebook account. The process is still on. His account is hacked. The linked email account is hacked too. The hacker is sending messages to his friend list asking for weird things.

This can easily happen to you. There were recent hacks in to many accounts of FB. But hey, it is not just FB, there are multiple breaches every day in many digital services.

Have a good digital hygiene.

Here’s a previous post of mine. Change your password. Make it a better password. 

I have posted this earlier too. If you or a friend of yours is affected by hacking and online harassment, drop me a email ( isura.silva@gmail.com ) with details and links.

Do we really care about our data ?

Tips-and-Pointers-to-Avoid-Data-Leaks-e1494391398283

It’s 3 days since the facebook data hackIt appears there’s so much more to the consequences than we thought. Because facebook is larger than life with more than 2 billion accounts and we are so connected to it for our daily work and life, we carry on despite all the warnings out there. The activists, governments and policy makers do not have much leverage in the face of rapid fire technological advances. There’s a concern, but nobody seems to know how to keep ourselves connected and secure at the same time. Let’s try with basic hygiene as a starter in this blog post.

So what can we do to gain some control of our FB data ?

Beginner Steps:

I strongly suggest you,

  1. Change FB password now.
  2. Don’t use facebook login for other apps like airbnb, booking.com, spotify etc. At least in future don’t use facebook login for other apps.

Advance Steps:

  1. Go to  Facebook’s ‘Security and login’ page in your settings which tells you where your account has been logged in from. If you see a login from a location you do not recognise, you might have been hacked.
  2. Don’t use same password for different social media accounts and websites. Change it to individual, confusing ones. Long passwords with words that make no sense, numbers and special characters, such as &!#@?, are much safer than simpler ones with phrases like family and friends
  3. Use 2 factor authentication – go to the ‘Security and login’ page in your Facebook account settings and set up two-factor authentication. When this feature is activated you will get an SMS to your phone, if someone is logging in to your account from an unknown device or location.

I was logged out of Facebook

zuck

I was at a conference today (September 28, 2018). I wanted to post something on Facebook. In my phone, I felt some kind of a lag when opening facebook app. Then FB app logged me out and asked me to log in .

Strange, I thought.

I typed my password and logged in. Then FB messenger asked me to do the same thing.

Weird, I thought.

Back home, I opened facebook on my laptop. FB logged me out and asked me to log in. Again.

Then a news article caught my eye. I immediately changed my password.

Facebook Network is Breached, Putting 50 Million Users’ Data at Risk

More than 90 million Facebook users were forced to log out of their accounts early Friday, a common safety measure taken when accounts have been compromised.

Facebook said it did not know the origin or identity of the attackers, nor had it fully assessed the scope of the attack. The company said it was still in the beginning stages of its investigation.

Facebook said the attackers had exploited a bug in the site’s “view as” feature, which allows users to to view their own profiles as if they were someone else. The feature was built to give users move control over their privacy.

It appears that my FB account has been compromised. If I did not see this news article, I would have carried on with my life, not knowing the data leakage that has happened for 90 million FB users world wide, out of which I was one.

The magnanimity of data breaches are too complex for ordinary minds to comprehend. The most brilliant minds at FB succumbs to attacks like this time to time. Yet under the radar there are cyber attacks on a daily basis, if not every minute. Most of them are averted.

The convenience of reaching out to your friends online comes at a cost. Only when we are faced with these kind of a breach, we realise how much we are connected and how much we have taken that luxury for granted.

UPDATE: September 29.

When I logged in to FB, I was greeted with this message from FB.

Screen Shot 2018-09-29 at 6.00.31 AM

Screen Shot 2018-09-29 at 6.01.25 AM