Cyber security researcher reacts following the largest social media outage ever | Mobile County Alabama News


MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) — If you use Facebook or any of its apps, you may have been in the dark for a second time this week.

Another outage hit Facebook users early Friday afternoon, but it didn’t last as long as the one Monday that kept users offline for about five hours.

Facebook went on Twitter this afternoon to apologize about today’s problems.

And while it does not appear the outages were due to a hack, the possibility of a hack should be a reminder to us all that the information we share online is vulnerable.

And for some, Monday and Friday’s Facebook outages were more than an inconvenience.

“Some people can use it, and when it goes down can walk away from it,” said Dr. Michael Black. “There are other people that can literally panic about it. Why is it down? Why can’t I see my friends? I can’t communicate. They depend on it to communicate. They depend on it for other daily activities to do things.”

Black, who teaches at the University of South Alabama, also researches cyber security and digital forensics. He says the fallout from the outages could have people rethinking their reliance on social media.

“I think for a lot of people, it might be trust,” Black said. “As far as trusting if the service is going to be available or not. How can I know that it’s going to be there? What’s going to be the availability of it? When I need it, can I get to it?” 

That sentiment is shared by Brandon Nero, who uses Facebook heavily as a supply chain manager. But he also worries about the security.

“How safe is the information that I have?” Nero asked. “Which kind of makes me wonder if I should pull back from this being my primary means of communication.”

So, what can you do if you don’t feel confident that your information is staying private?

Experts recommend changing your social media passwords, and on accounts linked to your Facebook page

Also be on the lookout for fake accounts.

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