It appears that Facebook accounts are still up for grabs, albeit illegally, on the Dark Web for the super low price of $3 or less. This appears to be continuing the trend from the past, in the sense that there are still accounts being sold on the Dark Web for low prices.
A study by the Money Guru found that Facebook accounts were able to be purchased for about £2.30 Pounds (about $3 US dollars). Interestingly, this study was produced only hours after recent news about 50 million Facebook accounts being breached.
In addition, it appears that the email accounts that are connected to some Facebook accounts are even up for sale. Which unfortunately means that once a breached account is sold it can now possibly survive attempts by its legitimate owner to recover their account. This is because the recovery process generally uses the email that was used to register the Social Media account to begin with.
How to avoid your Social Media accounts from being stolen?
If you are concerned with your Social Media accounts being stolen and/or sold on the Dark Web there are a few things that you can do. First, on connected email accounts, you can use a feature such as 2FA (2 Factor Authentication), this feature requires multiple verification methods that are there to ensure that only the legitimate account owner can access the account. This usually involves using either your mobile phone or a dedicated hardware device to be able to generate a secure code of sorts. This code is then used to verify that you are actually permitted to login to the email account.
Many Social Media platforms also support 2FA to login to the account itself. Such methods can employ the above techniques, as well as being able to email or text message you a code that you can use to login. Thus, identifying that you are who you say you are, regardless of if you know the password to accounts in question.
On September 12th the European Parliament voted in approval of the Copyright Directive, a controversial reform of copyright laws in Europe that was spearheaded by Axel Voss, a German politician and member of the EU Parliament.
The reasoning behind the new law is to protect content creators from copyright infringements that have been prevalent on the Internet for years and to enable authors to collect royalties on their content being distributed online. While looking out for struggling creators and protecting the creative spirit in the digital age is in fact a noble cause, the consequences of the Copyright Directive are set to impact negatively everyone, from everyday social media users to the tech giants of Silicon Valley.
What Are Article 11 and Article 13?
The two sections of the new copyright law stirring the most controversy are captured in Article 11 and Article 13.
Article 11 calls for the creation of “link tax”, a fee which will be imposed on content sharing outlets such as Google News for distributing news content created by media companies. Proponents to the new law however claim that hyperlinks will be exempt and the fee will be applicable when actual snippets of content are being displayed.
Article 13 mandates that content hosting services such as YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, and even GitHub, the web-based code hosting platform popular among programmers, will be responsible for policing all content uploaded to their platforms against copyright infringements. YouTube has been dealing with copyright violations for years and although the system it currently uses to combat infringement on copyright was extremely expensive and took years to develop, users with ulterior motives continue to discover new ways to circumvent the filters. Creating and implementing similar safeguards by smaller platforms will be a financial burden many will not survive.
While we may not feel so sympathetic to the struggles of Big Tech, it is important to remember that the law will be equally applicable to everyone, including everyday social media users uploading movie clips and sharing memes with their friends and followers.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The Copyright Directive is not quite the law of the land yet. Individual EU member countries are expected to vote on the issue domestically prior to a second vote in the European Parliament set for late 2018 or early 2019.
In the meantime, opponents of the new law have created several campaigns against Article 11 and Article 13. A Change.org petition titled “Stop the censorship-machinery! Save the Internet!” has gained more than 1 million signatures to date.