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On October 12, 2018, Facebook publicly announced that they had experienced a data breach affecting 30 Million users. The breach happened in September of this year when hackers gained access to Facebook’s servers and took advantage of software loopholes to steal personal information from user profiles. This data breach is particularly serious because the hackers stole information which makes people vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. The hackers stole a variety of data including names, gender, location, birthdates, devices used, academic details, professional details, messages and more.

It’s Time to Act:

For some people, hearing that Facebook got hacked isn’t really a big deal because they are cautious about how much they post online. But for many who’ve made a habit of sharing their lives completely online, news of the hack is devastating. Thanks to multiple recent data-breach scandals, Facebook and social media in general have suddenly found themselves at the center of the debate about people’s right to privacy. If you are among the many people who want things to change, you can either wait for new laws and regulations to get passed in order to preserve your online privacy, or you can take responsibility for your own safety and decide to be selective about how you participate in social media. Quite frankly, it would be much easier for you to take matters into your own hands.

Don’t Do it for the Likes:

There’s nothing wrong with having a Facebook profile, or using social media in general. In fact, social media can help build and maintain meaningful relationships in our lives. However, if things get to the point where you crave approval for every moment of your life by constantly posting your experiences online, you will probably end up oversharing to the point of being exposed to hackers. Getting millions of likes on social media might make you feel important, but if that prestige comes at the expense of giving up your privacy to corporations and hackers, it’s not worth it.

There has never been a more urgent time to become smart about how you share, and protect, sensitive personal information with others. While congress and corporations go through their own long process of sorting out privacy problems, here are some common sense precautions to take in order to protect yourself from cyberattacks:

1. Don’t Volunteer Information: Don’t scatter your personal information on each and every website which asks for it. The less corporations like Facebook know about you, the smaller the target on your back.

2. Maintain your Devices: Always makes sure to update the operating systems on computers/smart devices and replace their default firewalls with sophisticated antivirus security suites.

3. Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when Devices are Idle: Wireless connectivity provides a backdoor for anyone with the right equipment to hack into devices. Unless you are actively using Wi-Fi, make sure to disable it before setting it aside, or switching it off.

4. Inspect the Webpages You Visit: Before you ever decide to click any buttons on a webpage, always assess it to determine whether it’s been disguised for phishing. If you notice anything peculiar on a web page such as typos, altered format or inconsistent information, stop browsing immediately.

It’s time to face facts. Hackers mean business, and they’re not going away any time soon. You can either allow yourself to be a sitting duck and deliver all your personal information to them by oversharing online, or you can protect yourself by being responsible about your online behavior. Learn to be happy in your own truth. Learn to live in the moment and be content about your life without chasing likes. It might feel strange at first after spending so much time on social media, but in the long run it will definitely keep you safe from hackers.