Not another Facebook breach! What can I do?

So Facebook is in the headlines yet again for what they are calling ‘old news’. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how old the breach might have been, the chances are the data that is affected – typically your name, your date of birth, email address or your telephone number – probably haven’t changed.

This means the latest sorry tale to come from Silicon Valley will have a direct impact on your personal data footprint and whether you are likely to now suffer an uptick in unsolicited spam calls, texts or emails from criminals who are located all over the world.

We have long warned readers and followers of NorthWalesSocial that protecting your data needs to be a top priority – both your personal and business data – so we do share your frustration when such a large corporation fails again to take care of your personal data properly.

Depending on your type of business, you might heavily depend on Facebook for promotional offers, messages to your followers, posting news and developments – especially as we all begin to take our own roads to recovery out of this prolonged crisis. Now is precisely not the time to have to plan for new ways of working and rules whilst dealing with increased criminal activity, distracting you from doing your best. Do remember though, we are always here to help you, should the worst thing actually happen and your business is hacked. We have worked with several organisations across North Wales fully remotely during this period to help them recover their operations after being attacked, so never think all is lost simply because your screens have all turned red demanding payment in bitcoin to be restored. (Hint: Never pay btw, you’re dealing with criminals who aren’t subject to service guarantees.)

But before something disastrous might happen to you, we always like to balance issues in cybersecurity with solutions and ways to mitigate them from happening in the first place. If you’ve read any of our previous posts here or on Twitter and LinkedIn we try to offer free of charge advice and solutions to help you do this.

Unfortunately with the sheer scale and size of Facebook today and the reliance many small businesses place on them, it is becoming ever more difficult if not impossible to leave the platform for something that is a lot less stressful. Even if this breach is the straw that breaks the camel’s back for you, you might feel it’s a bit pointless to worry about it now that your data might be ‘out there’ and how would you pivot or move to a different social media platform – potentially losing much of your business traffic?

Well, all might not be lost. We’d first suggest you check to see if your details have been compromised at all in the first place – and bookmark this ‘free to use’ website that collates all the public breaches like this so you can keep tabs and regularly check up on this yourself – we suggest doing this every few months or so.

It also goes without saying you should reset your passwords now and activate two factor authentication on Facebook if you haven’t done so already. It’s not as daunting as you think, simply follow Facebook’s instructions here; This is free to do.

This will help protect your data better against future breaches and misuses, but remember if your data is already out there, it will take time for you to see a drop off in any unsolicited calls /emails etc. If you prefer physical devices for security, we’d recommend you look at physical keyrings like Yubico keys, which like your house keys are never out of reach and require no internet signal (and cannot be hacked themselves). Security Foundry are authorised partners of Yubico and other leading cybersecurity technology providers and can advise you here as well.

So our recommendation is to take your security responsibility for yourself – and not rely on the big corporations to do it for you. They usually only wake up to the data hacks and thefts long after the events have actually occurred and only report what they legally have to do so. Worryingly, many breaches are never detected at all and therefore never reported to the likes of the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). So just because it isn’t in the newspapers, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, each and every single day.

We suggest you diversify and use other social media platforms as well, so if one is breached or compromised, you will have others to fall back upon, and obviously never use the same passwords twice, because this would negate any benefits you had here. Remember that Facebook own WhatsApp and Instagram so is essentially the same platform when it comes to your data security despite what they might say.

If your business is getting to a stage where you have multiple systems, typically starting at around 25 users or more, managing customer data on premise and in other systems in the cloud, and knowing how to secure everything consistently does start to get complicated and difficult. Don’t struggle, just give us a call, this is what we do everyday to help small businesses and business owners right across North Wales.

We take care of your cybersecurity so you can take better care of your customers. Security Foundry are based in the heart of Wrexham with a team of security advisors who are currently remotely based throughout Wales. Call us on 01978 345247 or email our team if you need any free of charge advice or support with your business. And follow us – but not on Facebook!

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