Facebook is now not only a social media platform but also a huge part of online advertising. This benefits both the user and advertisers to get what they want.
Initially, Facebook was started with the aim to connect people, share and post their thinking, communicate with friends and family. It has made communication a lot easier than earlier times with its instant chat and video call features. Facebook has eased out the social life of the people of every age. They can share and react and do a lot of things only because of Facebook.
But the most important thing to be very cautious about is privacy. Privacy and security of the Facebook account play a significant role; as it decides what you want to show to the world and what you don’t.
Why Facebook privacy A Real Concern?
As in recent times, the Facebook security was questioned many times and millions of people lost their private data. It made people lose their minds and panic about feeding their data to Facebook accounts. People were struggling to know why it all happened and the consequences the 90 million users lose their data. Facebook has unparalleled data access to the 8 million websites over the internet through the “Login With Facebook” option putting all its users at a high stake of risk.
What is “Login with Facebook”?
There are almost all the websites that asks user to first login to the account before accessing the services or information within. Well, this is one of the most annoying tasks which we always like escape, as it gets a lot difficult to keeping different passwords for every website and maintaining them. Sticking with the same password is not a safe practice, but using the same login account is not good either. If the account gets hacked, then you may lose the control on all your connected apps and data.
Because of not being able to remember all the usernames and passwords, people prefer using social logins. As by clicking the Login to the Facebook option, you do not have to go through the annoying registration form to authorize yourself and have nothing to memorize.
Just one click and boom…. you are registered.
The fantastic convenience it offers is impeccable and beats the username and password memorization. But again you should think before doing so.
It was figured out that the companies that let you Login through Facebook option, also scramble the data of the users and compromise them without the consent of users. Therefore, the experts recommend that for every new website a new password should be set. Also, the passwords should be strong and does not contain any private information like nicknames, birth date, pet name so on.
Use password managers if it is hard to remember the passwords for every single site and NEVER use Facebook to Login to your websites.
Why Login with Facebook option is a dangerous idea!
To know why Login with Facebook option is a dangerous idea. There are majorly three facts that let you know about the problems associated with the centralized connection of the social media profiles. These social media profiles are then used to Login to the accounts that are created on other websites.
Fact #1: Facebook collects a surprisingly massive amount of data from its users to control its advertising engine.
Facebook is a social media company or moreover a social media app. But people prefer not calling it a business model. It is precise to think that Facebook is the second largest data collecting and advertising agency in the history of humanity, well, of course, behind Google. In 2017 Facebook generated total revenue of 98% through its advertising business. Facebook aims at collecting the data of every person, whether they use Facebook or not. It is scary yet unknown to most people. Facebook works hard to gather all the data of the people residing across the globe.
Remember the phone number you provided to Facebook to secure your account? Well, that is used by Facebook to serve you and your friends with a tremendous number of ads, and the end number of data points they collect is practically boundless.
With all this data in hand, it can be said that Facebook knows more about you than you know about yourself at this point. And Facebook’s way of collecting information is quite vulnerable and suspicious.
Fact #2: The Facebook hack revealed Login With Facebook data, which connects users with third-party services like Airbnb, Spotify, and Uber so on.
Nowadays, it is quite challenging to find any service, whether a website or an app without Facebook connected to it. For almost every service user do not have to create an account; they click on the “Login With Facebook” option and the Facebook credentials are used to Login to the particular services.
Theoretically, By using Facebook to manage logins for third party accounts is profitable to all the parties. How? Users get secure, one-click Login, new services, verified users that too without any responsibility of securing login data. This is how Facebook gets access to user data associated with third-party services and apps and websites.
Although, the recent Facebook hack disclosed all the possible dangers that we are susceptible to; if we use Facebook logins to manage our logging in process for different accounts.
It still not figured out as to what data was stolen during the hack. But A paper published by the famous computer scientist Jason Polakis in August 2018 stated different ways the hackers exploit Login With Facebook to infiltrate third-party accounts.
There were some controlled experiments performed by the authors of papers, and they were able to:
- Get into a victim’s Uber account and track the victim’s trips in real-time and also tip the driver after any ride is completed its journey.
- Through the victims Tinder account, they were able to receive and send messages, and the message appeared unread in the targets phone.
- Expedia account of the victim was easily accessible, and hence it revealed their passport number, payment details and TSA number.
It was easy for them to Login to accounts of the users who did not even use the Login With the Facebook option. The only catch being the email address of the Facebook account and the service account should be the same. Hence, use a different email address from Facebook to cut off risk from the list.
It is quite easy to imagine a real-life scene where the hackers indulge and gain an advantage of various social accounts that are compromised and connected to third-party services and brutally exploits them. This is a significant threat to the people’s data and security, and hence precautions should be taken beforehand falling prey into the hacker’s cage.
Fact #3: Many bad actors deploy fake apps showing some attractive fun features but are actually meant to access your data via Facebook.
There are a lot of problems that are associated with using a centralized service like Facebook to log in to your other accounts. There are other social media platforms like Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yahoo that at some point share the data of users for advertising campaigns. Each of these businesses is that they generate bulk money and revenue through ad sales. Apart from these legitimate apps and services, there are millions of apps are only concerned to collect the private data mostly which we share in Facebook. Hackers can even hack your Facebook account through these third-party apps.
Some apps claims to predict your future, which celebrity you resemble or quick games you play via Facebook. All these are tracing your online activities and gathering information to sell them to advertisers and sponsors. Even some of the data gets leaked to any hacker.
The ultimate truth:
Users are most focused over the ease and services they are getting from such social media platforms for free. No one have time, go through their privacy settings, change passwords regularly or remove the apps they no longer need. The legislation is always assuring to provide data privacy and protect citizens by making various laws as society evolves. Facebook could take a considerable leap by allowing all its users to choose in or out of giving Facebook permissions to connect accounts of third-party services. In this way, users can have full control of how their data is shared, and Facebook has no say in it.
But still this becomes a serious point of attention, you should seriously stop trusting these data companies with your private data as their only primary goal is to sell you ads. You should be cautious and take full prevention so that your data remains private. And the data should not, in any case, be accessible or exposed to hackers as they can exploit it without you even knowing it. Hence you will have to face adverse repercussions.
You can begin to take back charge of your private data by using a password manager alternately of Facebook to log in.
The password manager is a tool designed to create strong passwords and manage it securely. It remembers all the different passwords, payment info and personal details. And password manager effectively fills the information on your desktop, laptop, tablet or any other mobile device. These password managers are more secure in their way of working. Surely, they do not protect 100% of the risks that are coming your way, but they provide considerable protection than Facebook managing the access to your accounts.
Must Read: 7 Ways Password manger Can be Helpful
Due to the high-grade data encryption process used by the password managers, it can be proving more secure than Login With Facebook. For this, there is an app Known as “Dashlane“. This app controls your private data and gives you the convenience of quick logins across all your accounts.
There is one significant difference that is Facebook remains a single point failure for its 2 billion users. And moreover, a Facebook vulnerability can mean access to millions of users and even their third-party accounts are exposed.
Whereas a password manager prevents this “one-to-many” hack effortlessly because it requires a unique key also known as your master password. This master password is stored online securely and is only known by you so that you can unlock your data. Therefore a password manager keeps all your accounts separate. And even if one account gets hacked or compromised, all other considerations are still safe.
It is like you have a brick of gold inside a secure locker and is locked in a giant vault with optimum security measures. Even if someone gets past the giant vault, your locker is intact protected by the unique master password.
Facebook has been a boon to many, but many times has proved to be a con to people. It risks the user’s information to make a revenue out of it. Facebook’s privacy is a mystery for all the user. The risks start with the Login with the Facebook option that Facebook provides to many other websites and services so that you can quickly Login. But what you mistake as convenience and ease are not actually what it seems like. It is a way to gain revenue and makes a profit.
Facebook, when hacked, revealed all the loopholes to the users very efficiently. To solve the privacy issue caused by the “Login With Facebook” option should be carefully dealt with and not taken lightly at all.
Till Facebook finds a way to secure our private data and providing us with the ease of logging in without having many usernames and passwords we should be cautious. Hence, we should opt for password managers rather than using “Login with Facebook“.
All in all, it is extremely clear to say that we can’t stay away from social media platforms, but yes, we can control the access to our data. What being shared publicly and restricts the third-party apps to compromise it.