Facebook’s 2FA isn’t as safe as you think (and why you should care)
March 5, 2019

Various vulnerabilities found on the supposed secure login option.

Facebook has faced a plethora of privacy issues in the past few months. This included breaches and admittance that the social media network was using personal data for ad targeting. Despite calls to abandon Facebook, it’s safe to say that it is not a choice that everyone can do, especially since in emerging countries like the Philippines, Facebook access is free and is widely used as an alternative form of communication to calls and text.

For years, we have told you, readers, that enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) is the best practice to keep your account secure, especially when that involves personal and confidential information. But unfortunately, that method isn’t as safe as you think, especially with Facebook.

Jeremy Burge of Emojipedia revealed in a post that the phone number that you use for 2FA is actually made searchable on the platform – and there’s no way that it can be disabled. He pointed out a phrase that Facebook said on about acquiring your phone number: “to help secure your account and more.” That phrase alone points out that it gives Facebook the power to use your phone number in any way that they desire.

Additionally, it was highlighted that uploading your contacts on Facebook (as a way to find other friends) would also register their phone numbers to the platform. This means that even if your number isn’t saved on your profile, there is a good chance that you will show up as a ‘Suggested Friend’ if your mobile number was used on 2FA.

At the moment, there’s a quick workaround to this. If your phone number is saved on your Facebook profile, you can adjust the privacy settings so that only your friends are the ones that can see your number – by default it shows the number to everyone.

Since Facebook also owns WhatsApp and Instagram, there’s a good chance that your information is also being shared on these platforms. Facebook has tried to circumvent the bad press surrounding privacy issues on its platform, but random issues like this still show that they’re not doing enough.

If you’re really concerned about privacy, the best option right now is to simply close and deactivate your Facebook profile. It also paints a picture of how security issues are becoming more serious online.

Are you concerned about Facebook’s latest privacy issue? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. Passionate for all things tech - you’ll normally find him tinkering with the latest gadgets and computer peripherals. He is an avid collector of Blu-ray discs and occasionally plays on his Xbox.
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