If you’re anything like me, you tend to scroll through those social media sites to pass the time when you are bored. You’ve probably also seen those quizzes that will tell you your superhero name, Star Wars name, etc.

You may have seen the one out there recently where you could find out your royal wedding name.

Seems totally harmless, right?

It could be. Or, it could also be a way for scam artists to gather information about you.

Think of any website you use that requires a user name and password. These types of sites (online banking, insurance, etc..) usually have security questions that are asked to verify your identity if you forgot your password.  These security questions might also be asked if you are logging in to an account from a new device or IP address.

Some examples of these include, but are not limited to;

  • Model of first cart
  • Name of first pet
  • Street you grew up on
  • Name of your 1st stuffed animal
  • Any name of yourself or a relative (first, middle, last, nickname)
  • Favorite food, drink, candy, restaurant
  • Favorite color

Still not sure where I’m going with this?

Think back to that royal wedding name. One model I’ve seen online goes like this:

Lord or Lady, followed by the first name of your maternal grandmother or grandfather, the name of your first pet, the word “of,” followed by the name of the street you grew up on.

Did a light bulb just turn on for you like it for me the first time someone mentioned this to me?  All of these things could easily be answers to the security questions for your online banking.

And you just posted it on a social media site for who knows how many people.

Even though it may seem legit, and all 900 of your nearest and dearest friends have posted and commented on it, that doesn’t mean that someone isn’t going to use it for a malicious purpose.

Many times hackers use quizzes like these to gather information that could be used to steal your identity, your money and/or trick you into downloading malware.

I don’t think I have to tell you how devastating that can be.  Before you know it, your money has been stolen, credit cards have been opened and maxed out under you name,  your reputation is tarnished in the financial world and you have been robbed of your sense of security.

Don’t think it can happen to you?  I don’t want you to take my word for it.  I’m sure any one of the over 15 million victims of identity theft and cyber crime would be glad to tell you their story.  It’s pretty scary stuff.