Why You Shouldn’t Have Your Number In Your Facebook Profile

By : Sam Ridgway |


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There’s a good chance you have used your phone number on your Facebook profile at one point or another – whether you can remember doing it or not.

Well, it turns out that their privacy methods are pretty flawed, and whether you kept your phone number a secret when signing up for your Facebook profile or not, it turns out your account, photos and location can be exposed just by searching your digits.

Basically, whether you changed your name, or set your profile to private, if you at any point used your phone number when signing up – or punched it in later – you can be easily be found, or worse…

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British software engineer, Reza Moaiandin, decided to prove these vulnerabilities in an attempt to show us how exposed our data is. To do this, he coded a script which harvests data about users simply by generating random phone numbers.

He then punched millions of phone numbers from the UK, USA and Canada into a Facebook app-building program, which, in turn, gave him millions of unobstructed personal profiles.

This means that almost 1.5 billion users are ‘open to hacks’, with the loophole currently remaining intact.

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Speaking to the Daily Mail, Facebook responded to the vulnerability accusations:

The privacy of people who use Facebook is extremely important to us. We have industry-leading proprietary network monitoring tools constantly running in order to ensure data security and have strict rules that govern how developers are able to use our APIs to build their products. Developers are only able to access information that people have chosen to make public.

The long and short of it is basically this.. The responsibility lies with you. Get rid of those phone numbers, and protect your data.