Facebook Seeks to Protect Users by Buying Stolen Passwords

Database security tools

Every day, people all over the world have their Facebook passwords stolen or their accounts hacked. For its part, the social media giant has taken the unusual step of buying stolen passwords, according to reporting by PerfScience. This is one of the database security options that many may not have seen coming.

Facebook considers itself to be obliged to the users of its services. A team of security professionals works for the social network. They are dedicated to finding the best database security options so that the services they provide are as secure as possible. This is despite the fact that sometimes the users themselves leave the network vulnerable to attack.

All social networks face a number of database security issues. As one of the largest social networks, Facebook faces more attacks than some others. The battle against the theft of personal data and inappropriate access to user accounts. It appears Facebook has gotten creative in its war against hackers. The company has begun buying databases of stolen passwords in order to check them against lists of their users’ real passwords, says Alex Stamos, the Chief Security Officer for Facebook.

“The reuse of passwords is the No. 1 cause of harm on the internet. Even though we provide these options, it is our responsibility to think about those people that choose not to use them,” Stamos said in Lisbon at Web Summit.

Despite repeated warnings to use stronger passwords, many people who use the internet opt for more simple passwords. As a consequence, more and more companies are no longer giving users the option to do that. One of the best database security options is to require users to pick passwords with both lower and upper case letters and special characters. Many of the most common passwords in use today were identified by hackers. One of the best database security tools is changing from easy to hack passwords to more difficult ones.

Adobe was hacked in 2013. After that happened, Facebook looked at the list of Adobe users who were hacked and compared that list to its user list. They then went through and checked to see if the users who had active Facebook and Adobe accounts. If they had the same password for both, they were required to change their password on Facebook before they were allowed to use the social network.

“Facebook has admitted that it trolls the black market for stolen passwords in an effort to beef up its own security and protect its users who may use the same password across multiple online accounts,” said Stamos. “Usernames and passwords are an idea that came out of 1970s mainframe architectures. They were not built for 2016.”

Facebook is not alone when it comes to buying blackmarket passwords as one its database security options. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, PayPal does the very same thing and considers the practice to be one of the ways they can protect database data security. That company started doing this after EBay was hacked and their customer database was compromised.

A spokesperson for PayPal admitted that buying stolen passwords is instrumental to, “identify larger sets of compromised accounts that can be used to support law enforcement investigations and to protect customer accounts.”

Many people assume that they do not have to worry about database security solutions or that their information is vulnerable to hacking. Every day, unscrupulous people are looking for ways to get into other people’s accounts. There may seem there is nothing to gain from hacking your Twitter, Facebook or SnapChat accounts but that does not mean they are not going to try.

There are from things you can do to protect yourself from hackers’ prying. You should make sure you pick passwords that are not easy to guess like your birthday or address. Do not use the same password for all of your accounts. You should make it a point to change your passwords on a regular basis and do not reuse them. Keep an eye out on your bank account and credit report. Report any strange activity on your accounts as soon as you notice it.

There is no way to to 100% safe from hackers but you can be careful.

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