Connect with us

How to Check if Your Facebook Data was Compromised

Credit: Unsplash

At least data leakers are courteous enough to compile a list.

If you hadn’t heard, a few days ago it was announced that Facebook had experienced a massive data leak (yes, another one) wherein the information of a good 533 million users was leaked online. This leak occurred back in 2019 thanks to a currently unknown bad actor utilizing a vulnerability in Facebook’s contacts importer feature. The leaked information included most things you can find on a public Facebook profile, such as phone numbers, birthdates, full names, email addresses, and probably a bunch of other things I’m forgetting.

It’s an unfortunate fact of the information age that data leaks like this are a semi-common occurrence. No social media platform is infallible, after all, and there are always more than a handful of weirdos out there who spend every waking moment poking and prodding for vulnerabilities. The best way to keep your information out of the hands of bad actors is to just not post it to public social platforms, but if that’s off the table, you can at least check and see if you were included in a data leak, and what specifically leaked out.

The website Have I Been Pwned is a valuable resource for checking on the status of major data breaches. The site keeps records of every major website data breach that’s happened over the years by combing the leaked records themselves. Data leakers tend to release this stuff indiscriminately, which is annoying, but potentially useful in this case. If you enter your email address or phone number into Have I Been Pwned, it’ll give you a list of every data breach or data collection your information may have been involved with, as well as what kind of data may have leaked out.

In the event your data was part of a leak, it’d be prudent to immediately change your account password to something nice and secure. Hopefully, at least in the case of the Facebook leak, nothing especially important got out. After all, if someone wants your Facebook data, they can just look at your profile.