NBC2 Investigators: Danger hidden behind Facebook personality quizzes


Which words do you use the most on Facebook? Which superhero are you most like? These personality quizzes are making their rounds across Facebook. They seem fun and harmless, but a new investigation out of the Unites Stated from broadcaster NBC2 have uncovered there’s a darker side. When you take these quizzes, all your private and personal information is likely being shared with the quiz developers.

Why should you care if these quiz makers have your information? Because information is power, and most of those quiz makers are selling your information to third parties like advertisers and spammers. Most companies just want to try and sell you things. But when dishonest companies get a hold of your data, they can use it to scam you.

“There’s always a cost and a benefit. Does the benefit outweigh the cost, and are you willing to live with the cost?” said Russ Sabella, social media expert and FGCU professor.

“I don’t know if people realize what they’re giving up here. Some people will say I have nothing to hide. That may be true, but at the same time, do you realize that what you’re giving up is going to be connected to other data from other websites and other apps and put together could be a picture of you that you would rather not be in someone else’s hands?

Scrolling through Facebook, we’ve all seen the click-bait quizzes. Fort Myers mom Nikki Barger said she’s taken a few. “Since I’m a little obsessed with Harry Potter, of course, I did that one,” she said.

FGCU student Jonathan Shumway said he’s also taken personality quizzes. “For sure, all the time,” Shumway said. When the NBC2 Investigators asked him why he takes the quizzes, he said, “I don’t know, it’s just there.”

“I would caution against that,” Sabella said. “Is giving up access to your profile worth the results that you’re gonna get?”

Before you take a quiz, Sabella said you should ask yourself two questions: Who are you communicating with? And, is it worth it? “It will receive your public profile, your friend list, email address, posts, and photos. Well, my goodness, what else is left?” asked Sabella.

And as flattering as it is to be compared to Wolverine, cyber security experts like Sharan Harkisoon say it’s not worth the phishing and spam emails that will soon flood your inbox after you take the quiz. “I mean, the possibilities are completely endless,” Harkisoon said.
Harkisoon’s best advice is scroll past the quizzes, but if that’s something you just won’t do, he encourages you to make a secondary email account or a secondary Facebook page.

“It’s always a wise idea to use a secondary email account that has no legitimate purpose,” Harkisoon said. “That way they’re not getting a hold of your actual contacts, and they won’t be able to profile you as easily.”

It’s also a good idea to read through the terms and conditions.

“In the fine print, it says you give us the right to sell your information, but as you know, most people are not gonna read that,” Harkisoon said.

We asked Barger if she ever reads through the terms and conditions.

“Heck no,” Barger laughed. “I’m ignorant that way, I guess.”

All of the major social networks have security scanning checks and tutorials.

Experts say you should use them every few months and make sure you know just how much information you’re sharing with strangers.






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