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Social media quiz or phish?

  1. What was the make and model of your first car?

  2. What was the name of your 1st grade elementary teacher?

  3. What city were you born in?

Do these questions look familiar to you? You've likely had to use them as a security questions for banking accounts or any other accounts that contain your sensitive data. It's also very likely you or someone you know have answered these questions on copy and paste "survey" questionnaires on social media. This type of social media questionnaire has existed since the dawn of social media platforms. MySpace and blogging sites such LiveJournal made this fun "time killer" common.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals use this kind of innocent fun to gather information about victims so they potentially gain access to their accounts. There are two kinds of these quizzes that you've likely come across, especially on Facebook:

The question "meme"

Do you remember your first grade teacher's name?

You've been probably been seeing this a lot more on Facebook recently. While some of them may appear as innocent questions from a page you follow (it's also a common way to increase engagement on Facebook), others may be actual phishing scams. If you see these questions ---especially from a page or account you do not follow---do not engage.

The survey quiz chain:

As the security team from KnowB4 writes:

Don’t share any information online that you wouldn’t want to make public. No matter how cautious you are, any information posted on social media can still fall into the wrong hands.
Social media platforms have many security options that can easily be overlooked, such as your tagged photo settings. Review and edit your privacy settings to be sure your information is kept safe.
The next time you see a friend or family member post a quiz on social media, inform them of the risks involved. They may share sensitive information that you both have in common, such as your hometown. Cybercriminals may realize this connection, so your friend’s post could put you and others at risk.

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