Facebook quizzes may seem like harmless entertainment, but can lead to potential theft of personal data.
Finding out which character you are in the latest popular TV show can lead to dangerous repercussions. Online quizzes, which are frequently shared on Facebook, are not as innocent as they look.
The quizzes are often described as clickbait, meaning the sole purpose is to lead users to dangerous sites. Once they click, users are often prompted to download dangerous malware. Often, the links themselves are even used to extract personal data from the person clicking.
The Florida Center for Cybersecurity recently spoke with NBC about the dangers of Facebook Quizzes and provided some tips for protecting yourself from the harmful practice.
Taking the quizzes “seems harmless, but you never know who is asking for the information,” says Sri Sridharan managing director at the Florida Center for Cybersecurity. “The more they know about you, the more they can trick you into doing something like clicking on a link that you should not click on,” he says.
Sridharan suggests that if something doesn’t look right, it probably is not. He also suggests never taking a quiz that is not from a reputable website. Email addresses should not be given out and internet users should be cautious whenever a quiz asks for you to sign in.
It’s important to be safe while browsing online, even when it doesn’t include Facebook. In general, Internet users should never give out their passwords, or become friends with people they do not know online. Ensuring your computer’s privacy settings and using a Firewall are also important tools that can be used to keep your info safe. Most importantly, never give out personal data to unknown sources.
Facebook can be a fun place that provides hours of mindless diversions. However, it’s imperative that users are cautious with how they share their data and information. Their identities may depend on it.
Elizabeth Aguirre is a digital writer and retail design project manager living and working in Chicago, Il. When she’s not tweeting about social justice issues, she can be found meditating or blogging at cultureofthechi.com.