HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - WAFF 48 is dedicated to helping you protect your family. That's why we've started a new weekly series on our morning news program dedicated to that important goal.
Every Tuesday morning, we'll bring in one of our hand-picked experts to talk about what you need to do to keep your loved ones safe. Whether it's physical safety, financial security or online protection, we'll have you covered.
This week, we're focusing on your online life. We invited our digital expert, Dave Hall from Hall Associates Systems Engineering to talk about the recent Facebook data issues.
One of the things we noticed when we posted this story online was a general apathy from some of our viewers. Many comments essentially said "So what? My data has already been leaked, hacked and breached a hundred times!" or "People knew what they were getting into when they signed up for Facebook." We wanted to get an expert's take on that attitude.
"We're not used to this kind of data out there being used," Hall told WAFF 48's, Trent Butler. "The thing about 'people out there already know everybody' – They don't know everything about you. All these breaches have particular thousands, millions of pieces of data. Maybe it's hooked to a name, maybe not. But, if you can hook something to a name, like on Facebook, then it makes it so much easier for identity theft and phishing. It makes it so much easier to attack your business."
Hall says it's important to understand that this isn't similar to the massive hacks at Yahoo or Experian in recent years. "This is personal information that people willingly give. The more you combine all of this stuff, the more they know about you as an individual." Hall says that makes it much easier for criminals, conmen and even espionage agents and marketing companies to manipulate you.
Hall was realistic when it comes to protecting yourself. "There's really nothing you can do that will make you 100% protected. The best thing you can do is to not put your personal information out on the internet anywhere. If you go Facebook, don't put out 'I'm going on vacation' because then local gangs may look at that and say 'Hey! Their house is open! How about that?" Hall says it is possible to use Facebook while keeping some modicum of privacy. For more information on how to accomplish that seemingly impossible goal, check out this incredibly detailed article from TheVerge.
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