How ‘fun’ Facebook Lists Can Pose a Security Risk

The “10 Concerts I’ve Seen/One is a Lie” lists that seem to permeate Facebook from time to time may be more than just harmless fun. These lists are made for sharing, and often feature a twist that asks friends and family members to spot the lie. While these are great for generating conversation, reminiscing and even learning more about your network, they also pose a security risk to those who share them.

What’s the Problem with Facebook “Favorite” Lists?

Your identity could be at risk if you share too much information online, and cybercriminals are actively looking for the very types of information that is included in those trending posts. Even something as innocuous as your favorite movie character, the street where you lived as a child or a list of the concerts you’ve seen could expose you to risk.

When you log into a secured site from a new device, you may be prompted to answer a security question to confirm your identity. A few common questions used by banks, credit card companies and credit scoring agencies include:

- What was the first concert you went to?
- What is your mother’s maiden name?
- What street did you live on as a child?

There is a shocking similarity to the fun, share worthy questions that trend on Facebook and the questions you need to answer when you log into a secure site.

Password Recovery Questions

If you’ve lost your password or needed to change some account information, you’ve likely been prompted to answer the same type of query. By providing the answer, you confirm to the bank and site that you are who you claim to be – but what happens if someone else has the right answer too?

Facebook Might Not Be As Private As You Think It Is

Privacy settings change all the time, and your social media sites may not be as secure as you think they are. Someone viewing your Facebook page may have access to critical information already, particularly if you accept friend requests from people you do not know. Your birth date, phone number, email, kids’ and pets’ names and more are freely available to those you have friended. The answers in one of those fun quizzes could yield the missing piece of information a hacker needs to access your accounts.

Protect yourself and your identity by passing on those quizzes and sharable questions, no matter how much fun they seem; careful and regular reviews of your privacy settings can also ensure your private information stays private.


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