The growth of “fun” quizzes on Facebook has been like an out-of-control wildfire. You know the ones. They ask you a few seemingly harmless questions, like your first job or the street you grew up on. At the end, you learn which Hogwarts House is right for you. The problem is these questions often mirror the security questions your bank, finance company, or credit card company use. They help identity theft happen. The really scary thing is that at least one person has tried to let folks know the danger by linking to Avast’s warning. Facebook removed the post, claiming it went “against our community standards”. I can’t help but wonder just why Facebook would be opposed to a post trying to help avert identity theft.
The questions in these quizzes are all meant to tease out as much personal data as they can possibly get from you, including hints to your passwords and identity verifications, such as “What was the name of your first pet?” or “What street did you grow up on?” At the end of the string of questions, you will get a made-up answer, such as “You belong in Gryffindor!” At the end of the same string of questions, the data scrapers will have enough to start building (or adding to) a profile of all your information.