WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP)– We’ve all seen them–quizzes on social media sites that ask about your cat or dog’s name, what your favorite cartoon/movie/TV show character is, favorite foods, where you went to school.
Seemingly all in good fun, but some of these same questions are used as online account security answers for your accounts, and you’re giving it away to everyone. Personality tests, quick surveys, and other types of online quizzes ask random questions, but the more information you share, the more you risk it being misused.
Thieves use your answers to try and reset your accounts, letting them steal your bank and other account information. Some scammers hack social media accounts and send malware links to friends of the hacked account holder under the guise of sharing a quiz.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other consumer protection organizations suggest not taking online quizzes and surveys, or don’t answer them truthfully.
For your accounts that require security questions, treat the answers like additional passwords and use random answers, preferably long ones. Asked to enter your mother’s maiden name? Say it’s something else: Parmesan or another word you’ll remember. Or use a password manager to store a unique answer. This way, scammers won’t be able to use information they find to steal your identity.
If you suspect that an online quiz is a phishing scam, report it to the FTC.