BBB: Beware Facebook Quizzes Mining Personal Information

With Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data mining in the news, the Better Business Bureau is reminding consumers that what’s shared online can be used for illegal or unethical reasons.

Personality quizzes are especially popular on social media platforms, such as Facebook, and generally seem innocent enough. However, users might be giving away more information about themselves, and even friends, than they thought, BBB officials say.

Quizzes ask seemingly silly or useless questions, but hackers can use that information to penetrate social accounts and gain access to personal information. The latest news shows that it isn’t just scammers who are interested in quiz answers.

“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.

Not all quizzes are about unprincipled data collection, but BBB cautions users to be careful.

“Profile data, quiz answers, and more can be used to steal your money, or let a scammer pretend to be you in order to steal someone else’s money. And now we know that seemingly innocent information can even be used to build a profile on you that can be sold to anyone trying to influence society,” the BBB warns in a press release.

To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker. To protect yourself from all kinds of scams, visit the BBB Scam Tips page.

Here are some tips:

• Be strict about what information you share.
• Be skeptical. Before you take a quiz, figure out who created it.
• Adjust privacy settings. Review your social media account’s privacy settings
• Remove personal details from your profile. Don’t share information like your phone number or home address on social media accounts.
• Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.

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