Facebook quizzes and photos are so fun to interact with. I love tagging my friends in these quizzes to stir up old memories of fun times we used to have, or just to see how they answer! My favorite quizzes are the ones that ask you what your special name is, whether it's your elf name, your DJ name, your unicorn name, they're all fun to interact with.
But what I never even though of is that answering these quizzes publicly could actually be exposing me to potential identity theft! The Sutton Police Department in Massachusetts posted about the dangers of these quizzes on their Facebook page, urging people to be careful about what they share.
Please be aware of some of the posts you comment on. The posts that ask what was your favorite teacher's name, who was your first grade teacher, who was your childhood best friend, your first car, the place you were born, your favorite place, your first pet, where did you go on your first flight, etc...
Those are the same questions asked when setting up accounts as security questions. You are giving out the answers to your security questions without realizing it.
Hackers are setting these up as a get to know each other better game. They then build a profile of you from several different data sources. They use this data to hack your accounts or open lines of credit in your name.
Of course, when your friends are family are sending these quizzes to, odds are it's not happening maliciously. But even if you don't think that it's a big deal to leave a comment on a Facebook post, it's important to remember the types of questions a lot of these quizzes are asking.
"A nugget of information in isolation may not seem like a big deal, but combining that with other data that may be out there can result in a greater threat," Chief Technologist for the Good Housekeeping Institute, Rachel Rothman told the website. "Be mindful of photos or posts that could give away information about your location or self (like your birthday) and consider if you are posting something that could be used to locate you offline or make it easier for someone to figure out any of your passwords."
If you do end up getting tagged in one of these posts, you don't have to panic...just don't respond publicly!! Take the time to message the person who sent it to you and let them know you saw it and give them your answer.
[H/T: ABC News]