May 24, 2018

Before You Fill Out That Facebook Poll, WAIT . . .

Before You Fill Out That Facebook Poll, WAIT . . .

“What car did you learn to drive stick shift on?”

“What is the name of your special furry friend?”

“What is your favorite movie of all time?”

Surely there’s no harm in responding to these and the many other polls that populate your facebook feeds—right? Wrong.

The harm is this: your answers to these posts are incredibly easy to find, and people other than your friends want to know these answers. . . for reasons beyond simple curiosity and conversation.

These days, banks and other institutions use security questions to verify that you are actually you. As we all know, “What is your mother’s maiden name?” has now been replaced and augmented by “First pet?” “First car?” “Favorite movie?” and more.

Facebook polls rarely ask such questions directly, but they hit near the mark. For example, the car on which you learned to drive stick shift will probably suffice as the correct answer to the popular “What was your first car?” security question. Clever hackers know how to mine through such polls to create a list of security Q&As about YOU.

If you are in the habit of giving frequent and friendly responses to such polls, STOP. Stop making yourself easy prey to hackers and identity thieves.