Security analyst shows how to tell if your Facebook data was shared

As a security analyst at Seattle-based WatchGuard Technologies, Marc Laliberte explains his work this way: "I hack things before the bad guys do."

He said having your Facebook information shared in the Cambridge Analytica scandal is not as bad as someone stealing your credit card or social security number because the data is mostly used for targeting ads.

But he says social media users do expect privacy.

"This is a pretty serious issue with the easiness and the ability for companies to scrape personal information from social networking sites," Laliberte said.

How easy?

"It's too easy, honestly," he said.

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When 270,000 people took a personality quiz, Cambridge Analytica got ahold of data from all their friends, a total of 87 million people.

On Monday, Facebook began putting notifications in news feeds, although some users have not seen them.

To find out if you were affected, click on "Help and Support" in the Facebook mobile app, then "Help Center."

Search for "Cambridge," and an option should come up showing how to tell if your information was shared with Cambridge Analytica.

Click on that for a personalized message about whether you clicked on the quiz called "This is Your Digital Life."

Even if you didn't, and even if you have strong privacy settings, if a Facebook friend took the quiz, all of your data on Facebook was likely scraped.

In an email, Laliberte provided this answer about what users should do:

"The easiest way to keep your private information private is to avoid posting it online in the first place.

You can still use social media networks to interact with your friends and family without giving up information like where you live and who you work for.

Current Facebook users should review their profiles and consider scrubbing any information that they aren't comfortable having publicly available and potentially used to target them with advertisements."

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