#FacebookDown — What you need to know about your PRIVACY!
(LONG — Summary + action steps at bottom!)
For most of us Facebook – and by association Instagram – is primarily one thing. It is the homepage of our social world. Facebook casts a wider net and allows us to not only connect with friends and families but stay current on news, pop culture, and media.
There is also an element of entertainment and connection to the brands that we deal with, or the ones who want to deal with us. I have used Facebook as a tool to connect with customers since the days of “Adam Sand is….” And ZERO PICTURES on Facebook — back in the days when I was selling many of my friends Tanning Lotion at Gold N Tan.
Instagram is a more beautiful version of facebook, more intimate, but less confrontational with text and controversy. Less sharing, and more creating. With a “behind the scenes” feel to brands and celebrities via stories.
As an Agency that builds businesses on Facebook (Roofing Business Partner) as well as a local service business Sargeant’s Roofing I count on YOU to enjoy your experience on these platforms to continue connecting with you.
I want to share something with you, that I think you need to be CONCERNED about and AWARE of. Not AFRAID of, and certainly not “CANCEL FACEBOOK” worthy, but deserving of your time, effort, and attention.
First of all… THIS SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAPPEN! I do not mean from an entitled “SCREW YOU FACEBOOK” perspective. After all, none of us really PAY for these platforms.
I mean that fundamentally, tactically, technologically this is as close to impossible as it gets and has been methodically prepared for.
Facebook has multiple “home bases” where the entirety of facebook is contained in duplicate and updated in real time, built by the smartest, highest paid engineers with the most expensive and sophisticated equipment available to mankind today.
There are backups, on backups, reserves on the backups, redundancies on the reserves, and backstops on the redundancies.
This has been hypothesized and simulated. Facebook has run tests to remain functioning in a national emergency, both environmental and militaristic. This has not only been simulated, but tested in real life examples where the social media platform has been used to empower uprisings such as the arab spring, protests in egypt, libya, venezuela have all benefit from private IP addresses, and other technological philanthropic efforts even when dictators shut down internet service providers or restrict data usage. Facebook has also been available in natural disasters. The government works closely with facebook to empower rescue teams and disaster recovery personal during times of suffering.
In short, you could NUKE California, Seattle, Washington, AND New York simultaneously and as long as data service and cell towers exist Facebook would still be available.
THIS IS TESTED AND PROVEN, and IMPROVED UPON CONSTANTLY.
Facebook has spoke OPENLY about fending off dozens and even hundreds of Hacks DAILY. They moderate content and work closely with the best data security and cyber defence minds on EARTH to build something that is simply TOO BIG to fail.
It has been tested against MASSIVE 1.3Terabyte DDOS attacks without fail. You would need the computing power of a 1st world country to DDOS Facebooks system.
FOR THIS REASON!!! (This is where it gets important) Many sites around the internet have opted for a “login with facebook” option as opposed to managing and storing your login information in house. Essentially by showing your Facebook “ID” you can gain access to many sites around the web, instead of “Creating a User Account”.
This is because your personal information could be SORT OF Shared with the site, in the same was as if you gave them your email address and signed up. At the same time protect smaller sites from having their systems compromised, relying on the rigidity of Facebooks sheer size.
Think about it in terms of the trust you put in a Passport. One time I was given a passport with my last name spelled incorrectly. I only found out upon arriving at the Air Port for a non-refundable VERY costly trip to Bora Bora…. andhad no choice but to travel to Bora Bora with airplane tickets and hotel reservations all using my new pseudonym. 13 flights, 3 countries, 2 hotels, car rentals, everything was changed to reflect what was on my passport. With that I could have very easily start living in another county under that name, and returned to Canada a GHOST.
Facebook is your DIGITAL passport, and within that passport is a digital stamp or “Customs record” of every site you have been to, every button you have clicked on, every purchase you have made, and almost every social connection you have for at LEAST 180 days.
The reason all of this is relevant is that in most hacks, typically some kind of back end database is downloaded with no real impact to site usability or performance.
OR the website is changed to say something embarrassing or funny. In many cases bringing it down for some kind of political motive such as the Sony Hacks in 2016 (if memory serves) This is usually publicly announced as a way to HURT the company, its users, affect stock prices, or force changes.
Facebook was VERY quite today, and VERY quick to announce it was not a DDOS attack, a common precursor to stolen data. (google DDOS)
Most users still had ACCESS to the platform, it seemed to function normally for many. Friends were there, posts were possible for many. The one thing that seemed UNIFORM across the platform and user base was that OTHER services like Whatsapp, instagram, and many of the sites or softwares, that had access through the “login with facebook” authorization features were unavailable. Even the Oculus Virtual Reality system which is as far disconnected from Facebook.com you can get, without being Myspace.com
Do a quick search for the Revenue facebook brings in per user, in aggregated advertising spend. This income per user, multiplied by user growth, makes up the tangible value of Facebook on the stock market. Further multiplied by the confidence of consumers and investors long term, and what they are willing to pay knowing the “always up” growth of users. It is as real estate once was. Between cash flow, and equity, there is TRILLIONS of dollars of lifetime value in Facebook just in the near future. Consumer confidence in facebook employs almost 100,000 people – mostly high paying jobs. Provides a proven gateway to billions of dollars in sales for businesses and brands, and that trickles down to people like me. As well as the tangible hardware requirements, energy usage, and wireless data infrastructure contribution.
All that pales in comparison to Facebooks Ace in the hole. Above all, it is the DATA that they have on consumer behaviour, demographics, personality profiles and physical attributes that makes up Facebooks long term value, and POWER.
Without users, and without trust that house of cards comes crashing down. Likely bringing the rest of the tech industry with it to some degree. This is something none of us want and thus should be cognizant of what happened here, because Facebook was VERY VERY quiet and gave NO up to the minute communication regarding the outage. Even in the face of hundreds of thousands of tweets they remained silent. Any statement given in the following days or weeks will be carefully crafted, and communicated. No cause for concern will be indicated, and we will likely be led to believe that someone spilled a coffee and tripped over a power cord.
You and I will likely need to read through the lines on this one because with Trillions at stake in user confidence no company in their right mind will go down that rabbit hole.
THAT BEING SAID! I fully believe that the full might of engineering might at Facebook and subcontractors will be hard at work to completely understand the complexities of todays outage, any impact it had to users and will ruthlessly work to secure and track down any compromised data. Without any need for a pat on the back from us.
So lets quickly recap and bring all these points back together.
1. This is quite reasonably described as an impossible event. You could Nuke, burn down, and otherwise destroy 60% of Facebooks hardware and otherwise never know anything happened.
2. The uniform affect of the outage was consistently felt in the Login and Authorization functionality across hundreds of sites, services, and apps. Otherwise the site worked for the most part.
3. Facebook was uncharacteristically quiet, and for reasons that should now be OBVIOUS knowing what is at stake.
** So what should you do? **
Step One – Go into your Settings in Facebook click on Security and Login. First thing assign a friend you can get you into your facebook if you get locked out for any reason. Choose a mom or best same gender friend. Someone you trust.
Step Two – You are likely logged into many devices, more than you want to know. There are TV’s with Cameras, old phones and tablets. Work computers, friends and family. Review it, and I highly suggest logging out of all sessions. A hacker can essentially change a computers identity to MATCH one of those, and gain access to your account.
Step Three – you will have to log back in to all your devices, such as your phone. I would immediately log in, and change your facebook password, as well as update the e-mail that you use to a more current one. Many of us use a 10 year old e mail. That could be easily hacked since its often the email you use for free trials or gated content you know will result in spam. You want to get notifications from facebook even if they are just the company updates.
Step Four – Add 2 factor authentication to your Login process. This is the strongest form of convenient consumer level security system. This forces all new logins to be authorized only after entering a random, constantly changing every 30 seconds code, that you retrieve from a trusted device like you phone. This is why you need an “unlock friend” in case you lose all trusted devices and cannot get a code.
Step Five – Click Authorized logins. This is a list of websites that do not need a login code, essentially they trust that your facebook account is un-compromised, thus allowing easy login and sharing of data from, and/or to facebook. Plus in many cases enable easy transaction completion or sharing of information. I highly suggest removing this entire list today, and re-authorizing as you go!
Step Six – Click “apps and websites” on the sidebar to the left. Removal all of these too! Perhaps this next step is the hardest… it was for me!
Step Seven – Click “Business Integrations.” on the left sidebar. You don’t need to delete all your posts and activity. You just want to remove the authorization. I suggest screen shotting this and writing these apps down because many could rely on authorization and certain work flows or automations could quit! You probably want to re-authorize them, right away with 2 factor authentication.
And thats it! You’re DONE!
If you were wondering;
“Is my Data and Privacy Safe After Facebook down?”
Now it is!
Continue enjoying facebook fear free, and know that Facebook is hard at work to address whatever happened and you will likely never ever really know what truly went down on March 13, 2019. #facebookdown
Thanks! Hope that helps