By Kathrina Ysabel Pineda
It is not ‘fake news’ that Facebook profiles are being hacked and used for dirty tricks and politics. People with money and bad motives will do all they can to manipulate people, and evidently, the whole country. What is coined to be the largest leak in social network’s history has passed us by without us being aware of it – until now.
In an article in New York Times titled “How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions”, former employees of upstart voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica have reported that they harvested private information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts without the users’ knowledge. They gathered the Facebook users’ information to influence elections around the world, including the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
The firm that does international political, government and military work around the globe has violated Facebook’s Platform Policies by passing data from an app that was using Facebook Login to Cambridge Analytica. The company was able to gather the information when users gave permission to an app they made to access their profiles for information on their identities, posts they have liked, and network of friends.
With all these shenanigans going on, how do you keep your profile safe? The first step is to be aware and to be informed. Learn from previous mistakes and take note of these proceeding tips:
Just say ‘no’
We are often too lazy to read what pops up on our screens, so might as well not get into what you don’t know. Try not to jump on the bandwagon and be fond of apps like “Which celebrity do you look like” or “Which of your friends do you look like.” Those absent-minded clicks and likes could lead to breach of your personal information. DO NOT click on unfamiliar and suspicious links willy-nilly.
Create a strong password
Obviously, avoid common words that can be easily found in the dictionary or obvious dates and names like your birthdays or a pet’s name.
Browse in private
When you are on desktop mode, you can go incognito on your browser settings. This helps to keep your activities from being traced on the browser history.
Add in your mobile number
To add your number, go to Account Settings > Mobile and click on Add a Phone. This helps in enhancing your account’s security by sending you an SMS when there are suspicious logins, etc.
End previous sessions
When you go to your account settings and click on security, you will see your Active Sessions. Here, you get info on what device and place your account is logged on. Select a session then “End Activity” to log your profile out of all other devices.
No to third parties
Apps, that is. You can review the applications that you gave permission to on the settings. Choose ‘Apps’ on ‘Privacy’ to revoke app permissions. Click on the ‘X’ button next to the apps to get rid of them.
It is not just important to be informed; one must also do their part to protect themselves even just in their own little way.