Protecting your information in the wake of Facebook's massive da - WSMV News 4

Protecting your information in the wake of Facebook's massive data breach

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(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)

You might notice something different about your Facebook feed today. 

The company started rolling out notifications today that let users view and limit the amount of personal information that can be accessed by third-party apps.

Facebook is also informing the 87-million users who might have had their information shared with Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm affiliated with the Trump campaign, acquired millions of profiles to build a program to predict, and potentially influence, how people vote. 

An estimated 70 million of those users live in the United States. 

As the social media giant struggles to cope with the worst privacy crisis in its history, many people are getting rid of their profiles. Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, just did that today.

But for those that don't want to part ways with the platform, News4's Lindsay Bramson talked with a security expert to find out other things you can do now to protect your information and privacy online. 

It didn't take us long to find people who were concerned that they could be one of the millions whose personal information has now been shared with strangers.

"It's just scary for us grandmothers raising grandkids and having all that kind of information out there on the grandkids and myself as well,” said local Facebook user Mannie Walker.

Walker didn't even know about the breach until we told her. 

The first thing she did after our interview was to check her Facebook account.

"Are you relieved not to see that message on your phone?" Bramson asked. 

"Yes, I am relieved, yes, because that's scary," Walker said.

But what about the ones who do get the message letting them know their information was shared in what's being called the Cambridge Analytica breach?

"If you've shared things like your date of birth and your loved ones, etc...that's all information they can gather,” said Bruce McCully, a security expert who works at Dynamic Edge in Nashville.

McCully says the information lifted from your online profile reveals enough about you that it could be used to steal your identity. 

And it's not just Facebook where this can happen. 

“As we become more and more used to using tools, we become more used to and comfortable sharing information about ourselves, and that information is being used in this way,” McCully said. "It's a ticking time bomb."

One thing you can do to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft is to change or remove important personal information on social media platforms like Facebook, including your birthday, McCully says. 

According to McCully, it may also be time to think twice about what all you’re sharing online -- advice not everyone likes but understands.

"It bothers me, but the only alternative is not to use the platform,” said local Facebook user Barry Lapidus.

Experts say the best thing you can do right now is to change your password on Facebook and other social media sites. 

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