The Facebook Torrent
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The Facebook Torrent

Hampton : VA : USA | Jul 30, 2010 at 3:55 AM PDT
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100 million Facebook users personal information is available

A hacker is one thing, this is another.

How would you feel if someone could find all your facebook profile information by easily accessing a single file available to all facebook users?

'Pirate Bay,' as this torrent has been called, makes such a thing possible.
People can download the entire file (Downloaders are referred to as seeds) and 'Leechers' actively download the file.

Is this a big deal?
This entire data set has already been readily available through search engines such as google and bing, but this is the first time it has been an easily downloaded file with over 171 facebook users.

What can this be used for?
For starters: Someone can use this data as a starting point to find other publicly available user data on Facebook(E-mail address, phone numbers, etc.) "One Carnegie-Mellon study also found a flaw in the social security numbering system that could allow a sophisticated hacker using data mining techniques to uncover up to 47 social security numbers a minute."

How do I know if my name was caught in the data dump?
1) Click on 'Account' in the upper right corner of your dashboard, and select privacy settings.
2) Under 'Basic directory settings' click on 'view settings'
3)If the first listing called "Search for me on Facebook" is set to "Everyone." Then chances are, your name and profile URL are in the torrent file.
4)"You should also check to see if external search engines are indexing your profile. To do this go back to your main privacy settings page, and at the bottom click on the "Edit Settings" button next to "Public Search." On the next page, if the "Enable public search" check box is ticked then search engines are indexing your profile. To stop this just uncheck the box and then click on "Back to Applications.""

What can I do to keep my information private?

To protect yourself, be sure to change the privacy setting on your facebook. You can tell what information is public by previewing your profile.

So what do you say? Is Bowes' data dump making your rethink your Facebook profile settings or are you not concerned?

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- In this August 27, 2009 file photo, the social networking site Facebook login webpage is seen on...
- In this August 27, 2009 file photo, the social networking site Facebook login webpage is seen on a computer screen in Ottawa, Can. A German data protection official said Wednesday, July 7, 2010, he launched legal proceedings against Facebook, which he accused of illegally accessing and saving personal data of people who don't use the social networking site. (AP Photo.The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld, file) | EU Germany Facebook
clasher21254 is based in Hampton, Virginia, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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