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The phone number is also connected to your Instagram account when you sign it up for 2FA.

Even for those aware of the ability to look up Facebook users by searching a phone number, it's come as a shock to find out this also includes the phone numbers in some cases given only for account security.

The social media giant previous year admitted that it used phone numbers to target users with ads and now, it is letting everyone, with or without a Facebook account, to look up a user profile based off the same phone number previously added to their account. Worse, Burge says there's no way to turn it off.

People can still search for you even after hiding your phone number when someone uploads your contact information to Facebook from their mobile phone but is way harder than using their phone number since facebook put up measures that limit how often people could search after being warned by security researchers that user account information could be scrapped by scammers. Two-factor or 2FA authentication in itself is a great way to ensure someone trying to hack you needs to clear several hurdles before doing so, but Facebook seems to have an ulterior motive for pushing you to better protect your account.

A reporter with The Telegraph was alarmed when her profile could be searched using her phone number which she had never given to Facebook.

As SMS become the more convenient method of adapting to 2FA, companies ranging from social media platforms to telcoms have started exploiting phone numbers for search and ads and it's imperative to switch to Authenticator apps - the true 2-factor authentication.

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Not mentioned on its help page is the fact that Facebook uses phone numbers for advertising. He tweeted a lengthy thread exploring how Facebook uses phone numbers submitted for two-factor authentication (2FA) as an identifying and tracking tool. Before then, a phone number was the only mandatory option.

On his Twitter, Jeremy Burge criticised Facebook for the alleged misuse of users' personal information.

'Phone number is such a private, important security link.

The other icky thing about this is that, again via a confirmation to TechCrunch, Facebook has acknowledged that it does use phone numbers provided for two-factor authentication to also improve its user ad targeting.

'Messing with 2FA is the anti-vaccination misinformation of security.