Facebook Updates Privacy and Security Measures

Laura BednarCybersecurity and Vulnerabilities, In The NewsLeave a Comment

Facebook Privacy Settings

As the world of the internet continues to evolve, privacy continues to be a great concern amongst users worldwide. One of the obstacles, however, is how this concern is translated between the user and the providers of the services they use. Users like to have control over how their information is used, displayed, and stored, especially in the over-sharing culture of social media.

After a couple years of intense scandal and investigation, the social media giant Facebook has been making efforts to update their privacy settings. This includes what users are able to change regarding their account and how others interact with them.

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What’s in Your Privacy Checkup?

Facebook’s move to give users a greater sense of control over their profile privacy comes in the form of the “Privacy Checkup.” While security settings have previously been around in one form or another, Facebook’s latest improved Privacy Checkup is designed to allow users to manage four categories of privacy that are meant to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-find, and detailed look at their profile’s security aspects:

  • Who can see what your share?
  • How can people find your profile?
  • How would you like to keep your profile secure?
  • How would you like to handle third-party apps and websites that you’ve visited?

With each of these four sections, you can determine whether everyone can see your posts, friends of friends, or if you’d like to keep it to just your circle of friends. You can also determine whether people can find your profile and how, such as through your phone number or email, if desired. There are quicker ways to change your password and set login alerts to help you keep a better eye on your account activity. Finally, you can make sure that apps and websites in which you logged in using your Facebook are either linked or disconnected.

The Trials and Tribulations Behind Facebook’s Privacy Measures

Facebook has had a series of issues within the past handful of years that prompted it to take stock of its privacy policies. Back in 2018, Facebook had been found guilty in both Belgium and Germany of violating privacy laws. Facebook then admitted to harvesting two-factor authentication numbers for advertising purposes, violating the privacy of users for the sake of profit.

Later in the same year, the political data analytics firm known as Cambridge Analytica was guilty of using an app to harvest data and create political profiles on more than 50 million individuals. This led to a public uproar and even an investigation into Facebook by the FTC, the US Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Facebook would later admit that as many as 87 million users could’ve had their privacy violated. In the same month, it was reported by KrebsOnSecurity and Cisco Talos that Facebook had several cybercrime groups operating on the social media network and had suffered no intervention from Facebook to put a stop to their crimes.

That was just the first half of 2018. Further into the year and into 2019, Facebook would continue to run into more scandals, including exploiting Apple iOS loopholes. Finally, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg would admit that his company was failing at protecting users and needed to do more to protect user privacy.

To start off 2020, SocialMediaToday reported that Facebook was taking measures to curb how certain advertisers (particularly credit, housing, and employment) reach out to users. This was thanks to the efforts made by civil rights organizations who protested against Facebook allowing advertisers to target users by their age, gender, and even location of residence. Now, all agencies must declare to Facebook about whether their ads involve anything to do with the subjects of credit, employment, or housing.

Preserve Your Privacy

Having your data privacy invaded can be distressing and costly. With access to your data, perpetrators can sell your information for a profit, or worse, invade your digital estate even further. When these scenarios happen, you’ll need expert help to investigate and stop the data breach or hacking attempt. Call Secure Forensics at 1-800-288-1407 and see how our certified examiners can help with your digital security needs.