5 Tips to Avoid Social Media Quiz Scams

two young women on couch looking at social media quiz scam

You see quizzes all the time on social media: What is your favorite flower? What kind of dog would you be if you were a dog? What state should you be living in?

But here’s a question we can answer for you: How can taking such seemingly harmless, silly quizzes be dangerous?

Scammers like these quizzes too. They can use your answers to collect your information and potentially hack into your accounts.

Here’s how it works: You're asked the name of the street you grew up on, the type of car you first owned, your favorite color, or your grandmother's maiden name.

These are often the same security questions asked by banks, credit card companies, or insurance agencies to allow access to your account.

When you provide answers like these in a quiz, you’re potentially handing a scammer the tools they need to break down the last wall of defense protecting your finances and valuable personal information. With a few clicks, they can steal your money and, worse yet, your identity.

Here are five tips to reduce the chance of having your personal information stolen:

1. Be skeptical. Before answering a quiz, find out who created it. If you have any doubt at all, skip the quiz. Or even better, avoid all social media quizzes, no matter how innocuous they seem.

2. Keep information on your profile to a minimum. Don’t share addresses or phone numbers publicly and limit the people who can view your content.

3. Be stingy sharing answers that could work for common security questions. Here are some common security questions asked by legitimate financial institutions: What is your favorite food? What was your high school mascot? What elementary school did you attend? What's your maternal grandmother's maiden name? Never ever answer questions like these in a quiz.

4. Limit your kids' quizzes to the ones they take at school. Your daughter may not be thrilled about pop quizzes in class, but she's probably game for a quiz on social media that'll tell her what her name would be if she were a Disney princess. Enforce a no-social-media-quiz rule if your children are allowed to have social media accounts.

5. Keep your computer's security updated. Regularly update your operating systems and use antivirus software that offers malware spyware and adware protection.

And ask yourself another question: Is it worth risking your financial security to learn your ideal city is El Paso?


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About Author

Sandra Quadros Bowles
Sandra Quadros Bowles

Sandy Quadros Bowles is a veteran journalist who has received local, state, and national journalism awards. A resident of New Bedford, MA, she is an animal enthusiast, an avid reader, and an enthusiastic traveler.

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