Data security researchers discovered an online database containing the names, phone numbers, and Facebook IDs of 267 million Facebook users available for download on a hacker forum. The database was not password protected and had been posted on December 12th. On December 14th, the researchers contacted the internet service provider that was hosting the database and the database was removed on December 19th.
Although it is unclear why or how the database was created, researchers warn that such information can be used for phishing or spam, especially via SMS.
Facebook users can maintain better control over what profile information is displayed by adjusting their account privacy settings. For example, users can:
Go to Settings & Privacy in Facebook
Click Privacy Shortcuts
Click See more privacy settings
Set all relevant fields to **Friends** or **Only me**
Set **” Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile** to **No**
Be on the lookout for phishing emails, which may appear to come from a familiar source or use personal information. Be wary of emails or phone calls with urgent requests for help and/or secrecy. Also be aware of emails from unfamiliar sources that contain links or attachments that you were not expecting. Do not click on these links, as they could be embedded with malware.