Online quizzes on social media are fun and help pass the time, especially if you’re cooped up in the house all day. But danger might be lurking among those entertaining answers to questions such as what combination of TV characters make up your personality or what historical character you resemble.
Like many other online activities, filling out random quizzes on social media platforms such as Facebook can put your security and privacy at risk.
Online quizzes may seem harmless, but have you ever considered that scammers and identity thieves could be behind them? After all, they’re an easy way to collect user information, including age, your pet’s name, hometown and e-mail address – where you’ll often receive additional details.
These types of online quizzes can make it easy for a cybercriminal to access your accounts since the information you provide often paints a clear picture of your habits and preference. The answers may even be linked to a security question or password used to set up an account.
Online quizzes can also serve as a gateway to spread malware. Threat actors can lace the quiz with malicious links to compromise devices, hijack accounts, and steal personal data and money.
Online quizzes used to mine personal data
If you’ve ever taken a free online personality quiz on Facebook via a third-party app, it’s essential to understand that these apps also collect profile information. Free quizzes aren’t actually free. You’re paying for the quiz developers with the information found in your public profile, including name, picture, gender, workplace, education, birthday, hometown, friends list and more.
So before you fill out the next quiz and share it with your friends and family, take a look at the permissions you unwittingly give to developers. Don’t dismiss the fine print and consider reviewing your privacy settings or removing unnecessary data from your Facebook profile.
How to minimize your risks when taking social media quizzes
Your social media feed is probably filled with hilarious quizzes and questionnaires that will tell you which Hogwarts house you belong in or what Marvel hero you take after.
Although not all quizzes have a malicious undertone or misuse your data, be mindful of these good practices to help protect your digital privacy:
- Be skeptical of any quiz that offers you a reward or asks you to pay. You’re likely on the edge of falling victim to credit card fraud
- Avoid taking social media quizzes that have gone viral. They’ve probably attracted the attention of scammers and cybercriminals who can exploit it
- Research before you participate in the quiz
- Be suspicious of quizzes that ask the name of your pet, teacher, your first car or best concert. It may not even cross your mind that you’re providing the answer to a security question. If you can’t resist the temptation to participate, give a fake answer instead.
- Analyze the information you’re sharing, and make sure you opt out of sharing sensitive information
- Review and update your passwords regularly and install a security solution to ward off malicious attacks
- Whatever you do, try not to give away any sensitive information about yourself and educate your children and family members about oversharing on social media
Protecting online privacy and personal information in the social media-driven age is a must. Bitdefender’s Digital Identity Protection tool helps you take control and minimize your digital footprint by continuously monitoring for data breaches and social media impersonators that may ruin your reputation.
The dedicated online privacy service proactively scans the web for data related to the information provided in the onboarding process (email address and phone number) so that you can start taking more privacy-focused decisions to protect against fraudulent attempts.