By now, you have probably heard of the huge Facebook data breach, in which upwards of 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries had personal data leaked online, including phone numbers, Facebook IDs, birthdates — you name it.
Your first question will be, of course, how to check whether you are part of that breach. There are a couple of places out there where you can find out whether your data has been compromised.
One well-known site that tracks data breaches is Have I Been Pwned. Just follow the link to the site and put in your email address. You will find out not only if you’ve been part of the Facebook breach, but also any other breaches in which your data may have been compromised.
While as of this writing, you could only do a search using your email address, Troy Hunt, creator of Have I Been Pwned, was considering whether to include a phone number search as well:
Should the FB phone numbers be searchable in @haveibeenpwned? I’m thinking through the pros and cons in terms of the value it adds to impacted people versus the risk presented if it’s used to help resolve numbers to identities (you’d still need the source data to do that).
— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) April 4, 2021
If you want to check your phone number against the leaked Facebook database, Gizmodo has suggested a tool created by a site called The News Each Day, in which you input your phone number to find out whether it’s part of the breach. However, that site is not as well-known, so until more is known about it, you may want to stick with the more trusted site listed above.
And if you do find out that your data has been compromised? Some of the steps you can take are to change the passwords of compromised sites, use a password manager so that you can create and track unique passwords for each site (so that if one is compromised, it won’t affect any others), use two-factor authentication for additional security, and stay alert for news of any other breaches.