Hackers use Facebook quizzes to steal personal information

Published: Mar. 3, 2016 at 12:36 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2016 at 1:28 PM CST
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(NBC NEWS) - Facebook quizzes might look like fun, but cyber security experts call them 'click bait.'

"I love to know what kind of Disney princess you are, or, I don't know, a lot of crazy ones I see my friends post" said Katie Hayes, who takes online quizzes.

A lot of people like Katie Hayes take online quizzes, but beware hackers can hijack accounts and use them to lure in more victims.  Sri Sridharan, managing director at the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, said hackers want just one thing: money.

"It seems harmless, but you never know who's really asking you for that information" says Sridharan.

Hackers will use quizzes to disguise malicious links.  Some will connect to your Facebook account to extract data.  They can even trick you into downloading malware.  Quiz questions themselves could be a trap.  "The more they know about you, the more ways they can trick you into doing something like clicking on a link you should not click on," Sridharan said.

So how can you tell whether the quiz you're taking is safe?  This is what Sridharan recommends:

  • Be cautious of quizzes and polls that want you to sign in.
  • The same goes for email addresses, he said treat them like cash.
  • Don't click on links just because your friend posted it.
  • Only participate in quizzes from reputable sources that protect your data.

"Now that I think about it, I probably shouldn't take quizzes anymore.  My computer or phone might already be in trouble [sic].  Hopefully I guess nothing happens, but maybe I should stop taking the quizzes" Hayes said.

You can read more tips to protect yourself here.

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