Facebook Creates Alert for When the Government Is Hacking Your Profile

Putting a light on security, and turning it into a conversation.

Facebook doesn't mind tracking its users for its own benefits, but anyone else attempting to tamper with its users' profiles? That's where the company draws the line. Facebook is rolling out a new notification system that turns the topic of security into a conversation. The company says it will let individual users know when it believes their account is under threat of a nation-state entity.

This is the notification that will appear if Facebook thinks your account has been targeted:



“While we have always taken steps to secure accounts that we believe to have been compromised,” writes Alex Stamos, chief security officer at Facebook, “we decided to show this additional warning if we have a strong suspicion that an attack could be government-sponsored. We do this because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others, and we strongly encourage affected people to take the actions necessary to secure all of their online accounts.”

One way to battle security and privacy threats is to make them tangible, something we can see and react to. It's easy to tell people to set up two-factor authentication for their accounts, but it's difficult to make people take action on it right away. The reason being, there's no immediacy to it. Why should they change their habits when it costs them more time and they've never been hacked?

Facebook's designers may recognize they have a responsibility to build in more transparent security features in order to protect its users — to make them more aware. In the past, the company has shown its dedication to user demands for more secure options by enabling PGP email encryption options, HTTPS, and Tor access to its site. This new system has the potential to help build a stronger chain of defense. If users think their account may become compromised, they may be more inclined to set up two-factor authentication.

This open policy makes me, as a user, feel more confident in using the platform, knowing that I won't be guessing if I've been part of a hack. (There's nothing worse than finding out your account may have been compromised years after the fact.) It shows Facebook has a robust security system that it's able to notify individual users.


Stanley Allen McChrystal believes companies should go one step further and setup a security network with one another “where every time something happens, and we learn from it, the entire network learns immediately.”


--

Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo credit: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR / Stringer/ Getty

Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

Videos
  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less