Facebook is in the limelight but guess what, we aren’t thrilled because the so-called big brother of the social media sites has indulged in a number of controversies over the years. This time, it is the contact number that millions of its users fed onto the two-factor authentication (2FA) system which is meant to secure the account preventing any hacker or intruder to access your profile but there’s more.
According to the Fast Company, Zeynep Tufekci – New York columnist and a security researcher, found out that now anyone can look you up on Facebook with your phone number and entering it in the Facebook search bar. Now if you are an oldie, you know that previously Facebook allowed users to look up others using their registered phone numbers, however, the feature has since been diluted since anyone can find your profile using the number they found somewhere.
Anyhow, this matter is particularly different since the phone number that you are feeding into the 2FA system is to be used to strengthen the security of the account and to employ 2FA for authentication. However, instead of solving a security issue, Facebook is allowing people to look you up on the social networking site and stalk you without any hassle.
But there’s even more. According to Zeynep, you cannot completely hide your phone number from the Facebook lookup feature since, by default, it is set as ‘Everyone’ that can be changed to ‘Friends’ or ‘Friends of Friends’. Since you cannot hide it completely, it is better to change the settings to ‘Friends’ at least for now until Facebook resolves it.
But the major concern here is that the social networking giant is using the phone number as a factor to do targeted advertising to its users. This is the reason why you get the same ads on Instagram and Facebook after a quick Google Search since this is a vast interconnecting mechanism. The phone number exposed due to the ongoing and surely incompetent 2FA system could create a hole in your profile’s security or privacy as a matter of fact. But we would recommend users to switch the settings to ‘Friends’ as of now.