by Graham Pierrepoint
Anyone who has used Facebook lately may have noticed a resurgence in certain memes and text chains – referred to as copypastas – which were hugely popular during the infancy of social media, and at a time when MySpace ruled the roost. Such memes as questionnaires or ‘pick the concert I didn’t attend’ are doing the rounds this spring, and while it is interesting to see social media return to some of the trends and memes of old, some have issued warnings that you could be offering plenty of data about yourself to make a hacker’s job that bit easier.
It’s always been advised to exercise caution when it comes to the data you provide on Facebook – despite warnings, so many of us still provide our birthdays, our home towns, pets and family details – but these are all prime targets for anyone looking to harvest your data or to swoop in on any of your personal or banking information. Facebook have, admittedly, tightened up their privacy tools in recent years to great effect – but with new memes doing the rounds and with continued discussion over exactly what the social network intends to do with our data, it has never been a better time to really dial back on the information you’re giving out to the public – friends or otherwise!
Internet security expert Tom Gorup for US firm Rook Security this week weighed in on the new trends and advised that it simply isn’t ‘worth it’ to answer questions laid out to them in this way online. According to ABC’s WZZM13, other analysts and experts have also advised that the information provided in such questionnaires is rich pickings for anyone looking to breach data, steal information or even to hack into an account. It is also noted that the answers given in some of these quizzes may point towards security answers – many of which can already be easily sourced by a simple snoop online.
So what is the best way to ensure that you are protected from the threat of social media hackers or worse? Keep your personal details close to your chest – turn up your privacy settings to full, and make sure you stay away from any of those tempting quizzes. While they may seem fun, experts advise that you could be giving away more about yourself than you first think – so take caution!