Advertising is all around us. Newspapers, radio and television broadcasts, and physical signage have been promoting various events, products, and information for hundreds of years. A well-placed sign can expose local consumers to a brand between 50 and 60 times per month.
Advertising in 2018, however, increasingly takes place in the digital realm. As we spend more and more time on apps like Facebook, advertisers are moving their dollars there as well. In fact, global spending on digital marketing is nearing $100 billion. Of course, as companies like Facebook and Twitter become more powerful, they also become bigger targets for criminals. Often, it’s everyday users who suffer the consequences.
Approximately 73% of the U.S. workforce (which is roughly 100 million people) are “knowledge workers” who work primarily in open office environments. According to CNN, one of the most successful knowledge workplaces of our time, Facebook, was just compromised by hackers and was the worst hack of all time.
In late September, Facebook’s engineers detected some unusual activity across its networks. It quickly worsened from suspicious activity to the biggest security breach in the history of Facebook — taking the company’s engineers a full 11 additional days to stop and correct it.
There are still plenty of uncertainties amid the aftermath of the attack, but at least 50 million users have been fully compromised. Hackers broke into these tens of millions of Facebook profiles and accessed years of their activity history, including private messages.
“If Facebook has been hacked then the user has to assume that the information in their account has been compromised,” said Joseph Liesen, executive director for institutional technology and an instructor for the cybersecurity program at Culver-Stockton College.
According to the Herald-Whig, Facebook announced that the hack has been corrected and the all the breached users have been logged out and the issues have been corrected.
“We do not yet know if any of the accounts were actually misused,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. “For example, unflattering or noncomplimentary information that the user may not want the whole world to see. Keep in mind that many prospective employers do a Facebook search to determine the quality of a candidate.”
Zuckerberg’s own Facebook account was part of the attack, as well.
Facebook’s vice president of product management announced that the company hasn’t been able to determine whether or not there was any specific targeting, or if it was just a broad attack.
Facebook and Google are two of the best organizations in the history of advertising at making it easy to spend on their platforms. After serious attacks like this, major corporations and smaller companies alike are searching for ways to protect their brands and ensure that cyber threats like this can be prevented and easily corrected.
Whether you’re on a personal account or running a company’s Facebook profile, you need to make sure your information is safe and secure at all times. Here are some things to keep in mind in order to improve your online security and maintain privacy:
- Create a strong password and change it frequently.
- Confirm your mobile phone number.
- Activate Facebook “Login Approvals.”
- Disconnect previous active sessions.
- Activate secure and private browsing.
- Make sure the “Keep me logged in” box is unchecked.
- Avoid clicking on spam links.
- Log out after each use