How to Check If Your Personal Info Has Been Leaked In the Facebook Data Breach

Back in 2019, Facebook was hacked and user data was stolen. Now, that data is resurfacing with over 553 million Facebook users having their data leaked online over the weekend, including names, birth dates, relationship statuses, location by city, workplace and email addresses. 

Despite all of this data being sensitive in its own right, arguably the most sensitive data included in the leak were people’s phone numbers, which are often used for a “stronger” two-factor authentication. 

Although Facebook won’t say much about the hack except that it occurred two years ago, the interesting thing about this leak is that the data has been leaked for free. This means that anyone can find the 16GB of personal data with just a simple Google search.

On April 3 2021, the information was shared to a hacking forum, leaving millions at risk including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself.

While it’s difficult to find any kind of silver lining in a situation like this, the good news is that you can check if your data has been leaked via an online data breach tracker Have I Been Pwned. This site asks only for your email address and you can not only find out if you were part of the Facebook breach, but also any other breaches where your data may have been compromised.

As for checking your phone number, the only known website to check for breaches is only applicable to US numbers. Website The News Each Day allows US mobile users to check if their number has been leaked as a part of the recent Facebook and any other breach.

It should be noted that The News Each Day isn’t a well-known website, whereas Have I Been Pwned is well-known and trusted, with transparent communication from the creator Troy Hunt via Twitter. In a recent tweet and in light of the Facebook leak, Hunt posed the question of offering mobile checks as well as email checks via Have I Been Pwned, to which the majority responded yes. 

Given this, it wouldn’t be surprising if this feature was offered on the site very soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

As for the Facebook leak, there’s not much you can do other than ensuring the security of your current account and staying up-to-date. Things like regularly updating your passwords or engaging in a password management tool, reading privacy guidelines, staying vigilant about calls or emails you receive from unknown sources and not providing details to any caller, website or online form you don’t know the origins of can help to keep your privacy intact. 

The scary reality of living in a world of growing technology and an internet that seems to know no bounds means that we need to be cautious of where we put our personal information, and why. 

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