We would hardly find a multi-million dollar yearly revenue generating company that has not experienced even the tiniest data breach or a security problem at least once in its lifetime. Attacks on companies, organizations, and institutions have reached the peak and do not focus on the extortion of money anymore, though not all hacks are alike. Instead, cybercriminals steal private users’ information more often these days since it is a valuable key that can unlock many doors. The stolen information might be leveraged in a variety of ways, including scams, fraudulent money transactions, and gaining access to online accounts that are often full of more private information that can be sold at a high price on the black market. Facebook, one of the fastest growing companies in the world, could not avoid data privacy scandals too despite having a team of the best security specialists working for it. In fact, the company has been shaken by privacy issues several times in its relatively short existence.
Facebook is not going to throw in the towel yet
The world has not yet forgotten the Cambridge Analytica scandal that affected 87 million Facebook profiles, but Facebook has already suffered a new problem associated with the “View As” feature – it exposed 50 million people’s personal accounts. Surprisingly, the number of Facebook users keeps growing. As of the second quarter of 2018, it had 2.23 billion active monthly users worldwide. Despite the increase in the total number of users, the company did not reach set sales goals during the same quarter for the first time in three years, according to media reports. The company has already taken certain measures to improve the current situation and stabilize income, one of which is the introduction of Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal Plus. These are the new Facebook’s Alexa-powered home devices designed for video chatting. The company considered releasing its own smartphone, but this has never happened, which automatically assigns Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal Plus a label of the very first Facebook-branded consumer hardware.
Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal Plus: the main differences and similarities
Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal Plus have been both developed to elevate the users’ video chatting experience to new heights. Facebook has put a lot of effort into making video chatting through the Portal device as pleasant as “being together in the same room.” Both devices enable users to video chat with contacts over Facebook Messenger, but they slightly differ from each other. Speaking about differences, Facebook Portal Plus is larger if compared to Facebook Portal and, consequently, more expensive. Unlike the smaller device, the larger version can also be used in the landscape or portrait modes. Last but not least, there are noticeable resolution differences (1280×800 vs. 1920×1080) between the two devices. As for the main similarities, they both have an integrated Smart Camera that recognizes people’s movements and adjusts the picture accordingly so that users would not need to do that manually. Second, both gadgets allow making calls to another Portal device, a tablet, or a smartphone. It has never been easier to make a call – just say “Hey, Portal, call…” plus a contact’s name. Third, they enable people on the call to listen to the same song or, for example, watch videos. Fourth, Facebook’s new devices feature augmented reality effects, e.g. bunny’s ears you saw on Instagram to bring fun into video chatting. Finally, both Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal Plus can be used to display pictures and remind users about upcoming birthdays or other important dates. Whoa, that sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?
Times have changed: you do not need to sacrifice your privacy for technology anymore
Facebook suspects that many users will refuse to have a new Facebook’s smart device in their homes simply because they fear that it will cause serious privacy issues. Of course, we cannot blame them after all those privacy scandals the company has suffered over the years of existence. However, don’t let those past issues to discourage you from trying out a new device on the market – it is said that all video calls will be encrypted and the device itself will not record any calls users make. Additionally, people could cover the device’s camera lens, mute calls, and turn off the microphone and the camera at the push of a button. Last but not least, users will have the full freedom to delete history of all the video calls made.
Facebook wrote in its blog: “we know that privacy and security are important when you bring new technology into your home.” With that in mind, both Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal Plus were developed to rely on password protection in order to improve users’ digital privacy even more. To be more specific, users could set a passcode of 4-12 digits to keep their devices’ screens locked. Facebook security specialists know better than anybody else how quickly ordinary passwords can be hacked/changed, so the new Facebook device will ask to enter a Facebook password whenever a user tries to change the Portal’s password. The passcode set will ensure your privacy only if you do not share it with unauthorized people and keep it to yourself only. Undoubtedly, you must set up a strong Facebook Portal password too. No matter how long the password you set is, it will be useless if it, for example, goes like this 123456789 or consists of your name and surname added together.
Setting up a strong Facebook Portal password
Only a secure password that is immune to hacking can improve your privacy, so do not even bother setting passwords that can be easily deciphered using automated software or simply guessed in no time by cybercriminals. Security specialists say that the most insecure passwords are those that are based on the keyboard walking techniques, e.g., qwerty, contain dictionary or popular culture words, include personal details, or simply consist of the minimum number of characters allowed. Speaking about the Portal device, this would be 4 characters. We would recommend going up if you care about your privacy, i.e. setting a 12-digit passcode.
Setting up a strong Facebook Portal password might seem to be a piece of cake at first, but it is not, because it is quite a challenge to come up with a secure password that would ensure the privacy protection. Luckily, there is a solution to the problem. You can generate a secure 12-digit password automatically using Cyclonis Password Manager. You will first need to download and install it on your Desktop PC. This tool will also make sure you cannot forget the password set for your device – you could keep it written in a Private Note and even enable password protection for it to lock your device’s password away from prying eyes.
You will not change anything even if you scream and pull your hair out if you have already experienced a privacy-related problem, but you can still protect yourself against future problems by setting a strong password. Of course, no password can guarantee 100% safety because companies themselves experience data breaches and other issues linked to user privacy. Facebook is one of those companies that has been struggling to ensure the user privacy protection for some time; however, it is now ready to regain its consumer trust with the introduction of the pair of new devices Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal Plus. Do not trust those promises to treat your privacy with respect blindly – set up a strong Facebook Portal password if you decide to give this device a try.
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