Social Media Quizzes Could Put You At Risk for Identity Theft


It’s fun to reminisce about your old gray Honda Civic, old gray Mrs. Rivers, your first-grade teacher, Gray’s Pub where you first met your partner, or your trusty first dog, Rocket, but think twice before sharing these memories online.

Popular social quizzes ask users questions like: “What was the name of your first pet?” or “What was the model of your first car?” These are common security questions asked when setting up online accounts or resetting your password for these accounts.

On the surface, these questions may be little more than way to pass time or bond with well-intentioned friends, but these seemingly harmless quizzes and games may provide the answers to security questions that can be used to unlock access to your online accounts.

You may think, “my friend wouldn’t try to hack my account” but anything you post online lives forever on the internet. Facebook alone has more than a billion users worldwide. Without realizing it, you are publishing the answers to your security questions, giving scammers or identity thieves ample material to impersonate you or gain access to your accounts.

A few tips to protect yourself:
• Rather than using true responses to security questions, use a complex response that you will remember. For example, as the response to “What was the name of your first pet?”, consider something like: “IW0nderWh@td0g$dre@m@b0ut?”
• Remove personal information like your phone number, address, or birth date from your social profiles.
• Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know and adjust your privacy settings so people who don’t know you can’t view your information.
• Change your passwords and security questions several times each year, or more.
• Rather than responding to their post, call your friend to reminisce and connect. They would love to hear from you.


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