Facebook Scams: Just Say NO to “What’s Your Elf Name” and other quizzes – 2021

  • Also, in light of the 2019 revelation that Cambridge Analytica allegedly mined personal information from more than 50 million Facebook users, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate what you share online that can be used for illegal or unethical reasons
  • Many of you might have seen those quizzes on social media websites like Facebook and Instagram that give your “Elf Name,” “Warrior Name,” or ask what you are proud of from your past. The quizzes ask the letter of your first and/or last name and date of birth or sometimes even ask you to put where you are from, what street you grew up on, the first car you drove, your fourth-grade teacher’s name, and more…
First Job –Stop
Current Job –Sending
Dream Job – Your
Favorite restaurant – Potential
Name of first pet –Password
Favorite sports team –Or
Favorite dessert –Memorable
First car –Data
Least favorite vegetable – To
Favorite holiday – People
Favorite color – Who
Best friend growing up –Collect
Mom’s maiden name – This
Favorite movie – For
Favorite band –Social
First grade teacher – Engineering
An example of an online scam to steal your information
  • While users find these quizzes to be amusing and fun, they do not realize that they are giving away identifying information about themselves and their family and friends. This information is viewed by other people, companies, and organizations that collect this data. Some of the quizzes are using these questions to hack into personal accounts using security questions from the information provided using the quiz.
  • It is imperative to remember to never provide any detailed information online about yourself and others. If you find friends and family placing this data online, remind them to remove it and not place that information in the future. The more people we make aware of social media quizzes’ dangers, the more people can be protected from hackers.
  • Some quizzes are designed to steal your data in an outright scam. According to Khristian Ibarrola of Inquirer.net, “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 or your computer.
  • Remember, be careful about what they share online, especially when it comes to company work. Besides, profile data, quiz answers, and more can be used to steal your money or let a scammer pretend to be you to steal someone else’s money.

Tips to avoid social media scams:

  • Be skeptical: Before you take a quiz, figure out who created it. For instance, 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: NEVER share information like your phone number, home address, and in some cases, work information on social media accounts.
  • Don’t answer common security questions: Be cautious if the questions in a quiz asking for things like your mother’s maiden name, the street you grew up on, or the name of your high school.
  • Lastly, don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.

BuzzFeed published an article in December 2020 on how they profit off of fake ads.