14 millions of Facebook users have unknowingly posted private information to the public, thanks to a privacy software bug.
The flaw made a user’s post to be shared to “everyone”, even if a user had previously chosen a more restricted option, like “friends of friends”.
All affected users have been or will be notified by Facebook on the site’s newsfeed.
Facebook has fixed this issue and starting today it is letting everyone affected, by this bug, know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time.
We have to mention that this bug did not impact anything people had posted before and they could still choose their audience just as they always have.
The bug was active between 18 and 22 May, but it took the site until 27 May to switch posts back to private – or whatever the user had typically used before.
Companies and individual people must take certain precautions against this growing phenomenon of unrestricted use of private data; for that they should implement at least a cybersecurity solution, like an antivirus, to protect their systems. Necessary things like regularly updating operating systems, using antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac depending on which OS your device is using. Companies must also hire professional cybersecurity firms to do regular checkups to their internal network a couple of times per year. These checkups must always include a penetration test and various ethical hacking test.
This is how the bug works:
When users post to Facebook, there is a menu option that decides who sees or not see that post; for example: if the user chooses the public option, anyone can view that post.
Any other options are meant to limit the audience; most users typically use them to post updates that only reach their friends. Facebook should always remember what setting you last chose and automatically selects it the next time you make a post. However, between 18 and 22 May, Facebook didn’t remember what setting was used before and just sets posts to “public”. If the user didn’t notice the setting had changed, he may have posted something publicly that was not intended for all the audience.
Facebook estimates that 14 million people were affected by this flaw and has started notifying users about it. In the meantime, Facebook has, also, reverted the audience for affected posts to the intended setting the user had previously selected.
This bug adds another mishap to the basket for the giant tech company.
Even if this one is relatively minor compared to recent issues facing the company, the glitch is yet another embarrassing situation for a company is already under heavy fire over privacy concerns.
The most recent big privacy issue was revealed this week when multiple reports have shown that Facebook has been selling data to multiple handset makers including Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE.
If you are a user which is affected by this latest bug, you will be shown a graphical notification soon, with the chance to review what posts may have been posted publicly by mistake.
Keep in mind that every private data has a significant value that must be protected by at least cybersecurity solution like an antivirus. Depending on which OS your device is running, install an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac for total protection. Companies must take an extra step and hire a professional cybersecurity firm that will run various cybersecurity tests on your company’s network to implement only the best possible cybersecurity solution. Always opt for a package that includes at least a penetration test and ethical hacking test. For companies that exist 100% online, we recommend the using of cyber-secured web hosting services.