Last year, a Facebook meme went around called “10 Bands I’ve Seen, And One Is a Lie.” Posters then listed the names of nine bands they’d seen and one that they hadn’t, and their friends had to guess which was the lie. The person sharing the list often included a note about the first band he or she had seen play live. Sharing that information, security experts pointed out, is a risk, because the first-band question is a common one used to verify a person’s identity when he or she is accessing online accounts. Security experts warn people to think twice before you meme
According to an April 2017 New York Times story about the 10 bands trend, security experts warned that memes which encourage you to share personal details can be used to unlock your accounts. Even if your Facebook account is set to private, it’s not impossible for bad actors to access it. Think about the number of times your friends have notified you their account was hacked and warned you not to accept a friend request.
So what can you do? It’s still possible to participate in fun trends on Facebook, just be cautious—especially when it comes to quizzes and other activities encouraging you to reveal information about yourself. Here are some tips:
- Think twice about what you share. If you’re concerned about privacy, sharing any kind of personal information on Facebook—or in a public space online—means offering valuable data to marketers who can use it to advertise to you.
- Don’t share information that answers common security questions. Things like the name of your first pet, the street where you grew up, or your mother’s maiden name should never be shared online.
- Consider making up answers to your security question. Questions like “where you went to high school?” are too easy. Change your answer to something random (but memorable) for additional security.