While the Facebook data leak first took place back in 2019, business owners are on full alert again this week after news broke that data including the full names, dates of birth, email addresses and phone numbers of Facebook users and business owners were now available on a hacking forum.

With the details of more than 533 million Facebook users leaked online, here’s what you should do to protect your and your salon’s details.

Most salons use Facebook as a means of communicating with their clients, and reaching new ones. If your salon’s details have been leaked, it could lead to an increase in the number of phone scams, due to a large number of phone numbers being released.

Additional information such as location data could also help criminals make their scams more believable.

In addition, if you have multi-factor authentication (MFA) set up using your phone number, you should assume criminals will be able to link that number with your Facebook account.

By calling your phone provider and impersonating you, they could port your number to a new phone, thereby gaining access to the MFA information, and access to your account.

To avoid this, you should move to a non-phone based MFA method such as an authenticator app.

All of this also applies to any staff member that has access to your business page as an admin.

Next steps
If you think your account may have been compromised, it’s best to change your password to any platform that uses the same email address immediately.

“Change passwords regularly, and don’t use the usual suspects such as your birthday or business name. They’re easily guessed,” says IT expert Jason Latvin.

Even if you don’t think you’ve been affected this time, it’s a good idea to have MFA for all your accounts, and to use an app authenticator, rather than an SMS method.

If you don’t have MFA on your Facebook account already, you can learn how to set it up here.

The more information a hacker has about you and your business, the easier it will be to impersonate you online.

“Make sure your staff members are also aware of the risks,” says Jason, “especially if they have access to the salons site. Ensure they limit their personal details and regularly change their passwords.”

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