Taking Facebook Quizzes Could Put You at Risk for Identity Theft—Here’s How To Protect Yourself

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It seems as though everyone has that one Facebook friend who is always posting the results of some random quiz. You may be tempted to answer the questions yourself now and then, too.

Finding out who you might have been in a past life or discovering the hidden meaning of your name can be fun ways to kill time. Besides, what’s the harm?

While many of them are nothing more than a type of bait to entice you to provide your email address or “like” a Facebook page for marketing purposes, some have a much more sinister objective.

Those seemingly benign quizzes can actually be a threat to your identity.

Getty Images | Carl Court

How They Get Your Information

Although they seem like a simple form of entertainment, Facebook quizzes can gather your details in a number of ways.

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They sometimes request permission to access your account. Clicking “Allow” or “OK” on a popup before taking the quiz could allow the makers of the app to access everything from your username to your friends to your activity on Facebook.

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They could hide malware. Scammers can use objects such as links in quizzes to infect your computer or device with viruses and other malicious content.

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They might ask you questions that seem harmless, but the answers could give scammers the info they need to steal your identity.

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For instance, “What street did you grow up on?” may also be a security question for an online account.

Getty Images | Dan Kitwood

Protecting Yourself

Before you take any quizzes, consider the source. If it is not a reputable, familiar name, you might want to skip it.

Getty Images | Dan Kitwood

Pay close attention to any pop-ups, links to other sites or downloads and requests for access to your profile.

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If you are concerned that you might have given permission to an unreliable source, you can revoke them in your Facebook settings.

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From Account Settings, select Apps and then click the X next to any app you wish to remove.

About the Author

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Tricia Goss

Tricia is a professional writer and editor who lives in North Texas with her family and one smelly dog. She is a wannabe problem solver, junk food maven professional coffee practitioner, web guru and general communicator. Learn More.