From the Better Business Bureau:

We’ve all been bored one time or another and turned to social media for something entertaining to do. In doing so we’ve all most likely come across an online quiz and thought, “why not?” These online quizzes seem innocent enough. However, in taking the quiz you might be giving more away about yourself than you originally thought.

These quizzes ask seemingly silly or useless questions, but hackers can use that information to penetrate your social accounts and gain access to your personal information or the information of your friends and family.

According to Khristian Ibarrola, of “Once answered, hackers can easily hijack personal accounts and use them to lure in more victims.” The hackers will include links embedded in the quiz that can cause a security breach of your personal accounts.

Another red flag you should be aware of is if the quiz asks you to sign into a social site, give your email address, or send to several friends to gain you quiz results. “The danger in each of these scenarios is that you’re giving away even more access to a hacker,” says Olivia Smith, Communications Manager of BBBCV. “By connecting these malware links to your social accounts, the hacker is one step closer to all of the accounts of your friends too.” “They can also pose as you and send their quiz or corrupted links to your friends, who will be more likely to take a quiz or click a link coming from a friend than if it was coming from an unknown user,” added Smith.

The next time you come across a quiz think about where it’s coming from, if the website is unfamiliar to you move on.

Tips to avoid an online quiz scam:

  • Be skeptical: Before you take a quiz, figure out who created it. Is it a brand you trust?
  • Adjust privacy settings: Review your social media account’s privacy settings and be strict about what information you share.
  • Remove personal details from your profile: Don’t share information like your phone number or home address on Facebook or other accounts.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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