If you’ve been on Facebook for any length of time, you’ve likely taken a Facebook quiz. From finding out which Sex In The City character you are to what colour best represents you, these quizzes can be a fun way to pass some idle time.
However, taking Facebook quizzes could put you at serious risk for identity theft and other online hazards.
Scammers Are Behind Many Social Media Quizzes
Think of the last Facebook quiz you took. What kinds of questions were being asked? Was the quiz asking the street you grew up on, or maybe your first pet’s name? Do these questions sound familiar? That’s because social media quizzes can ask the same questions that your financial organization may use to verify your identity. For example, when a password change is required.
The exact questions may not appear in each quiz you take. However, enough responses over a variety of quizzes could give scammers an accurate picture of your personal information. What seems like a harmless online questionnaire is actually a form of phishing. Phishing is a type of online threat used to steal user data that usually masquerades as a trusted entity, like Facebook quizzes.
These types of attacks can sometimes have very harmful results. For individuals, this could lead to loss of funds or outright identity theft.
Facebook Quizzes Can Be a Doorway for Hackers
While these quizzes could be designed to glean data out of unsuspecting users, they can also end up opening doorways to your data. In 2019, CNN reported about a pair of Ukrainian hackers who used online quizzes and surveys to gain access to user data. The alleged hackers exploited a Facebook feature that helped them gain access to a slew of user data, including private information about Facebook users and their private friends’ lists.
Victims would end up installing what Facebook described as “malicious browser extensions” that basically allowed these hackers to pretend to be the affected user. More than 60,000 internet browsers were compromised, mainly in Russia and Ukraine.
How to Avoid Falling Victim
The Computer Science Department at Dalhousie University offers some other suggestions to protect yourself from malicious social media quizzes:
- Be careful. Free quizzes offered on social media actually aren’t free. You’re paying with your personal data that big data companies collect for targeted advertising, or cybercriminals collect to sell on the Dark Web.
- If you can’t resist filling out these quizzes, provide fake information, especially to questions similar to the security questions used by your financial institutions. If the quiz asks what your favourite pet is, make up an answer.
- Once you take these quizzes, you can’t take back the information you provide. So keep a close eye on your online transactions for any unusual banking or credit card activity.
Additionally, QuickProtect offers a wide range of cybersecurity services, including awareness training. Let our team of experts train you to recognize threats like this with ease. We’ll even test your knowledge with periodic phishing scam emails to make sure you’re on your game!
Get in touch with QuickProtect today to see what else we can teach you.