Apple & Facebook Hacked

Just before last weekend, Facebook said in a post on the company’s blog that it had been hacked. Naturally, a company with that large a user base being hacked will lead to significant media coverage.  It also now appears that Apple was the victim of the same hack.

It’s important to note that at this time, Facebook is stating that there’s “no evidence that Facebook user data was compromised.”

Given these incidents, it’s not a bad time to consider changing your password…just in case. For reference, here’s a good reminder on how to create a strong password.  Why change your password? Because if it falls into the wrong hands, an identity thief could potentially wreak havoc on your Facebook account, not to mention other areas of your life (especially if you’re using your Facebook password for other accounts).

Facebook and other social sites are awash in privacy concerns. The more personal information you reveal about yourself, the more of a target you become for identity thieves. Identity theft is real, and is closing in at all-time high levels.

Take the time to learn more about identity theft protection, especially if you’re an avid social user and tend to use the same password for multiple accounts. ID theft protection services, for instance, can automatically monitor the “shadier” parts of the Internet where personal information (such as social security numbers, credit cards, passwords, and birth records) can be bought and sold.

And while you’d (hopefully) never publish your social security number or credit card number on a social network, that information, combined with information that people DO publish on their social networks (such as home address, birthday, etc) can be used by thieves to fully take over an identity.

In light of this recent Facebook incident, here are some quick tips/guidelines for helping you protect your personal information online:

  1. Change your password frequently (at least once every 3 to 6 months).
  2. Use a different password for each of your social (and other) accounts.
  3. Never share your password with anyone, and ensure your password is “strong” (in that uses a good mix of capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers and/or different characters).
  4. Avoid posting your address, birthdate, and other “sensitive” information on Facebook or elsewhere.
  5. Be wary of any email or phone call solicitation asking you to provide your password, social security, or other personal information.
  6. Take the time to learn more about ID theft protection and monitoring