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(Image: Getty)Sign up to FREE daily email alerts from mirror daily newsSubscribe We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see ourPrivacy Noticefor details of your data protection rightsPasswords are usually masked in an unreadable format but the social network has admitted hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users and tens of thousands of Instagram users may have been affected by the error.According to cyber security expert Brian Krebs , the passwords were searchable by thousands of Facebook employees in some cases going back to 2012.Facebook says an ongoing investigation has so far found no indication that employees have abused access to this data.Facebook response after New Zealand gunman live streams shootings on platformHowever, a Facebook insider told Krebs that “access logs showed some 2,000 engineers or developers made approximately nine million internal queries for data elements that contained plain text user passwords”.Pedro Canahuati, Facebook vice president for engineering, security and privacy, said the company planned to alert affected users, but that no password resets would be required.”We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way,” he said in a blog post.However, other cyber security experts urged Facebook users to err on the side of caution.Facebook lets people look up your profile using your phone number”Passwordsare to the digital age, what seatbelts were to the auto industry. They protect your identity, finances, and other critical personal information,” said Emmanuel Schalit, CEO ofpasswordmanagement firm Dashlane.”AlthoughFacebookclaims that the internal exposure of thesepasswordsmeans that they were not compromised, the fact remains that they were not encrypted and exposed for years.”Because the impact is still unknown, we would recommend changing your password on Facebook immediately.”Read MoreThe announcement is the latest in a string of headaches for Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in recent years, including rampant misinformation spread on the network, breaches of user data and allegations of political manipulation.In October, Facebook revealed millions of email addresses, phone numbers and other personal user information were compromised during a security breach, affecting as many as 50 million accounts.The social network has also come under criticism for its handling of live streams following the Christchurch mosque attack and its response to removing videos.Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterallMost ReadMost RecentSexual healthWeirdest sex questions Brits Googled in 2019 with some hilarious resultsBed SOS has revealed the most bizarre sex questions that Brits asked Google in 2019, in the hopes of encouraging people to be more open with their loved onesVideo GamesJourney To The Savage Planet preview Blast off into the unknown in this planet exploration role playing gameJourney To The Savage Planet is a planet exploration game that takes inspiration from early 70’s sci fi.

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