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Third parties have been preying on careless Facebook users for years now. They exploit lax security practices to sniff data stored in their Facebook profiles. These data sniffers use a variety of methods to access the accounts, but a few security practices and a reliable US VPN can block attempts to gain access.
Facebook Account Hacks
There have been several case studies on Facebook sniffing that point to the various types of attack that are used. The most prominent are cyber bullying, institutionalized discrimination, government surveillance and theft. Many different entities mine Facebook profiles for different purposes. The IRS, for instance, encourages their officers to set up profiles and “friend” people that they are investigating for tax fraud so they can learn about the subjects. Thieves search for information on Facebook profiles to lead them to likely targets. And the list goes on.
Protecting Facebook Data
If you leave Facebook on default settings, your data can be easily taken. The first step to preventing hacks is managing who can see which elements of your data. It is not that difficult to protect your data on Facebook. There are settings that users can take advantage of since Facebook has increased their security after coming under fire for the way it handled user data in the past. Users should take the first step to securing personal data by using Facebook’s security and privacy settings. Once security and privacy are properly configured, most Facebook attacks will not be able to get through.
The next thing to do is to be careful what kind of information you share on Facebook, and who you share it with. Some users are so careless as to talk in detail about their finances on Facebook. This attracts thieves who hang around waiting for someone to post about money. Personal details of this sensitive nature should never be shared. One Australian teenager posted a photo on Facebook about her grandmother’s savings. The house was broken into by armed robbers shortly after. Many other robberies have been connected to posts about scheduled holiday trips. Thieves would get the user’s address and plan a burglary for the time they knew these houses would be empty. Having many Facebook friends is nice, especially if you like to meet new people or want to expand your network for work opportunities. But a broad network of indiscriminately chosen friends leaves you open to a variety of security threats.
Finally, users need to sign up for a US VPN. This will help protect them from sidejacking. Hackers today use an infiltration app to get into Facebook accounts over shared WiFi. They gather information that leads them to usernames and passwords and track users to the websites where the information is used. With a US VPN, users can access Facebook with a different IP address and so avoid being tracked. Having a US VPN is important to avoid the hassles that come when accessing Facebook from other locations. The security comes from the US VPN server where all user data and traffic is rerouted. The US VPN will give you security through data encryption and a private VPN tunnel. One of the main goals of VPN services is to give average internet users the anonymity and security they need to keep safe from data sniffing that leads to identity theft and fraud. Facebook runs on HTTPS like many other similar services, and so do online banking websites. But HTTPS has vulnerabilities that are exploited by hackers every day. Additional internet encryption is needed to protect users from falling victim to hacks. This comes in the form of personal US VPN services, one of the last methods that works to prevent app-based sidejacking attacks and all forms of traffic surveillance.
US VPN Protection Against Privacy Attacks
Facebook has faced multiple concerns over privacy in the past years. The FTC has claimed that Facebook made user data public without informing or asking permission from users. Security experts have reported that face recognition has been manipulated by cybercriminals to sniff social security numbers from Facebook profile photos. There have been other accusations, all pointing to the lack of security for Facebook user data. Many users have ignored these problems as media hype. Many have preferred to accept Facebook’s guarantees of safety rather than face the fear of realizing their data is in danger. But Facebook privacy is still a very real issue, regardless of the solutions that have been provided to users.
The 2012 Annual State of the Net Study of Consumer Report focused on Facebook privacy issues. It revealed the multiple ways that Facebook profiles can be accessed. With the large volume of data that is collected by Facebook, there is a huge potential for illegal accesses to much of your personal data. The first threat starts with data brokers who collect personal information from Facebook and create profiles to sell to advertising companies, insurance firms, recruitment agencies and other entities interested in who you are and what you do. These profiles are not just lists of age groups and hobbies but detailed records of social behavior that can include incriminating photos and comments, and even evidence of illegal activities.
User data is very valuable for businesses. For example, shown by consumer reports indicating that social media reviews have been used by 69% of human resource officers to evaluate job applications. Medical insurance companies also use these profiles verify the existence of health problems that insurance applicants may have left out. Even universities use data broker profiles to weed out potential undesirables at the admissions level. The US Immigration authority uses a similar approach to the IRS when investigating suspects of illegal activity on Facebook.
Setting up a Facebook profile that does not use your real name or a phone number registered to you are good steps to take. This can help secure your privacy. But when your IP address is logged by the website, you are immediately identified as being associated with that profile. A US VPN hides your real IP address and gives you a new one that cannot be traced back to you. IP tracing and mining photos for geotags that give away GPS coordinates are very popular and simple ways of matching unidentified accounts to the real individuals behind them. Use a US VPN to hide your location and identity, and make sure that you don’t have photos or documents on Facebook that can be traced back to you through their metadata. Once you have secured your account, make sure your friends and other contacts do not share information that can compromise your identity. Be sure also that your Facebook friends do not form a group that could be analyzed to guess who you are by correlating relationships, where you grew up, where you studied, where you work and where you have traveled.
Online criminals still use phishing scams, sending emails and infecting devices with trojans. They take nicknames and other data from the Facebook accounts of users’ friends and family to make the email messages seem legitimate. Facebook has become instrumental to modern day crime, and protecting your Facebook data also protects your friends and family from being victimized. Limit the threat to yourself and your loved ones by being careful with sharing information on Facebook and by using a reliable US VPN service. Avoid threats caused by surveillance, data mining, and phishing.