RCL Exclusive

If You Value Privacy, Change This Facebook Setting Immediately

Your phone number is exposing your account.

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To bring us up to date in bad Facebook news:

But that’s their bad news. Yours? Facebook’s been using your phone number in nefarious ways.

See, you handed over your number at one point to FB to “protect your account” as part of the company’s efforts in two-factor authentication (2FA).

Facebook then used your number to target you with ads. And then, no matter what your privacy setting, people can now use that phone number to look up your profile. The default phone number lookup is “Everyone,” and you can only restrict those settings (explained here) to “Friends of friends” or “Friends” … but with no option to hide your profile completely if someone has your number.

Security expert Zeynep Tufekcii summed it up perfectly with this tweet:

For now? Besides getting rid of Facebook entirely, we’d suggest turning your phone number lookup to “Friends” … or not using your phone number for  2FA at all (which, as the above article Tufekci links to notes, hasn’t been a requirement since only last May).

In slightly less horrible news: Two-thirds of apps that sent personal data to Facebook via the Google Play Store no longer do so.

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