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How to know if you’re one of 880,000 Filipinos caught in Facebook’s data leak

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Apr 07, 2021 6:34 pm Updated Apr 08, 2021 11:43 am

ICYMI, over 500 million Facebook users have reportedly had their personal data leaked online. The large-scale breach apparently includes phone numbers, full names, locations, and email addresses of users’ profiles.

Though Facebook has assured that the data comes from an "old" corrected bug in 2019, it's still raised numerous alarms for people's data and privacy.

With the breach affecting worldwide Facebook users, data from Alon Gal from the cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock has found that as many as 879,699 Filipinos have also been compromised.

If you want to know if you're one of the affected users, data breach tracking site Have I Been Pwned?  is a useful resource to check if your email and/or phone number is part of the 533 million breached Facebook accounts. The website also shows any other breaches where your data may be shown.

Dubbed as a "free resource for anyone to quickly assess if they may have been put at risk”, the site was created by data breach expert Troy Hunt and collects data from public forums frequented by hackers.

The site is easy enough to navigate, as you only need to type in your email or phone number (+63 format for Filipino numbers) on the site's home page, and you'll be shown if your private data has been exposed.

If you’ve been breached, a warning will pop up saying how many times your email has been “pasted” or shared to public websites/forums. These sites are often visited by hackers due to their anonymous nature.

Luckily, there had been no pastes for my email. But even so, it’s still recommended to change your password, enable two-factor authentication when logging in, and consider encrypted password security services to protect your data.

Experts also recommend doing a clean sweep on your Facebook profile, thinking twice about oversharing, and using unique passwords for every account – Internet 101, basically.

Check out Have I Been Pwned? here.

Meanwhile, the country's National Privacy Commission (NPC) has also released a statement on the alleged large-scale breach, sharing that they’re probing into its eligibility.

“The NPC immediately reached out to Facebook’s Philippine Data Privacy Officer to gather more information on the matter. As we await more answers, we highly encourage Facebook users to be more cautious online,” they shared in a letter dated April 5.

“We reiterate the need for the regular changing of passwords and the activation of two-step authentication of accounts to safeguard their personal information. We assure the public that the NPC is on top of this matter.”

Photo from Austin Distel via Unsplash