If you’ve been on Facebook, you have seen them a hundred times.
“Fill out this survey, take this questionnaire, answer these questions about high school.”
They seem innocent at first, but they are mining your data for future use.
Many of these questions are harmless, but the more you answer, the more they give you.
Sooner or later you slip up and answer one or more that help a data miner begin putting together pieces of information that help them steal your identity and get into your bank accounts, credit card or other sensitive accounts.
“One of these has to go” with a list of four types of candy bars isn’t helpful to anyone, but the more you get used to answering questions, the less carefully you scrutinize the questions. One day you answer one that gives someone your birth year: “how old would you be if the digits in your age were reversed.” A week later you’ve forgotten about that, but the information has been harvested and filed away and you answer another question that gives them your month of birth: “your birth month determines which celebrity you marry, are you happy?” with a bunch of pictures of famous people laid out in a calendar grid.
Some questions are straight up complete answers to common security questions: maiden names, grandparents’ names, where you vacationed as a kid, what was your first car, what was your first pet’s name, what was the name of your elementary school.
According to BBB, scammers aren’t the only ones who would want your personal information.
“We always knew someone was trying to trick us with social media quizzes, because they are free,” said BBB’s chief security officer Bill Fanelli, CISSP. “If there is no charge, then the value is the data they can collect. We also knew that it was for a use we probably would not like, because they went to such great lengths to hide their purpose. Now we know we were right on both counts.”
At N-Sync, we see people every day that get scammed, hacked, and their identities stolen. Please take our advice and don’t do anything that will make it easier for the hackers to do their jobs, and ruin your day. Think twice before posting that information.
If something does happen, know that we are here to help. Call (321) 784-8488 or stop by between 10-6 Monday- Friday.