What do the model of your first car, your favorite hobby, your pet’s name, and the high school you attended have in common? If you said they’re all topics for questions commonly used for online account security and online quizzes, you’re correct! Before you take a quiz to find out which Marvel character you are, ask yourself, “Do I know who’s gathering this information about me—or what they plan to do with it?”
Personality tests, quick surveys, and other types of online quizzes ask seemingly harmless questions, but the more information you share, the more you risk it being misused. Scammers could do a lot of damage with just a few answers that give away your personal information.
Scammers have been known to use “phishing” to seek answers to security question data through seemingly harmless quizzes. Quiz answers can then be used to try and reset personal accounts, and if successful, a scammer can access bank accounts or other private information. Some cybercriminals hack into and hijack social media accounts and then send malware, or malicious software, to infect others linked to that account. A popular method of doing this is under the guise of sharing a fun quiz.
One major way to protect your personal information—in addition to maintaining strong passwords and using multi-factor authentication—is to steer clear of online quizzes, if you just can’t help yourself, just don’t answer them truthfully. As for accounts that require actual security questions, treat them like additional passwords and use random answers, preferably long ones, for those, too. Asked to enter your mother’s maiden name? Don’t use your mother’s actual name; you can say it’s something else, like “Parmesan” or another word you’ll remember. You can also use a password manager to store a unique answer.
Taking these measures will help guard against scammers and to protect your identity and private details. If you ever become the victim of identity theft, bank fraud, or any other breach of your personal information, contact Morgan & Morgan to take action.