Millions of Facebook User Passwords are Unsafe
By Michaela Elliott
Yesterday morning, I awoke to the news of a Facebook scandal involving breach of privacy. I was shocked.
I’m kidding. I wasn’t shocked. On the contrary, checking which tech company is having the latest security issues has practically become part of my morning routine. Wake up, check the weather, see how many millions of users’ private data has recently been compromised….
However, this story was particularly unsettling. I read in an NPR article, “Unknown to hundreds of millions of Facebook users, their passwords were sitting in plain text inside the company's data storage, leaving them vulnerable to potential employee misuse and cyberattack for years.” To me, the most disturbing part of the story is that hackers weren’t involved. This was caused purely by irresponsibility and neglect on Facebook’s part.
What’s Facebook’s history with data breaches?
As almost anyone will know, this is far from Facebook’s first security breach. If you search “Facebook scandals 2018” online, you’ll find hundreds of examples of Facebook’s mismanagement of user information. Some of my favorite article headlines include: The 21 (and Counting) Biggest Facebook Scandals of 2018, Facebook’s 2018 Timeline: Scandals, Hearings, and Security Bugs, and Literally Just A Big List of Facebook’s 2018 Scandals. We’re well into 2019 now, and Facebook troubles (or, I should say, its users’ troubles) don’t appear to be vanishing.
If Facebook, the 7th largest technology company in the world at a predicted $434.66 billion market value, doesn’t invest in making its users’ security a priority, what does that mean for the rest of the tech industry? What does that mean about the meaning of the word “privacy?”
So, how do we keep our important files private?
These data breach issues - which are not showing any sign of stopping - are making it increasingly clear that social networking sites like Facebook are not a safe place to store data that’s important to you. This is especially true of one-of-a-kind photos, videos, documents, and audio files. At the hands of many companies like Facebook, your files are vulnerable to theft, sudden deletion, and general mismanagement.
There’s no reason to believe that Facebook and other tech giants are going to change their ways any time soon. It’s time to take your precious data into your own hands. These platforms are no place to save your important files. Find a company that cares about your privacy. Find a platform that was designed from scratch to promote the highest level of security. Most importantly, find a company with clear, straightforward terms of service that guarantee the safety of your memories for good.