Now Is A Good Time To Change Your Facebook and Instagram Passwords
I'm someone who changes my passwords on a regular basis for this exact reason: I'm always scared my information is going to get out into the general public.
This past Thursday, Krebs on Security broke the news that between 200 million and 600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable. What does this mean? Well, any of Facebook's 20,000 employees could have looked up that information. Yikes.
The Vice President of Engineering, Security and Privacy at Facebook, Pedro Canahuati, released a statement about the breach, stating that the company has fixed the issues and as a precaution would be notifying everyone whose passwords had been found stored.
To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them. We estimate that we will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users. Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity.
Despite the company claims no evidence of account abuse, you should take the necessary precautions and change your passwords. I do, every three months. You can change your password in your settings on Facebook and Instagram.
The press release suggested some steps to making sure you're secure. Avoid reusing passwords across different services. It's also important to pick strong and complex passwords for all your accounts. Password manager apps can help. Also, you should consider enabling a security key or two-factor authentication to protect your Facebook account using codes from a third party authentication app. When you log in with your password, we will ask for a security code or to tap your security key to verify that it is you.
Stay safe, friends. Change your password. And don't use "password" as your password.