Online Quizzes: Don't Trade Your Identity to Discover Your Inner Superhero
Jackie here. If you’re anything like my Facebook friends, you certainly love a good quiz. Online quizzes certainly seem harmless, often featuring favorite movie characters, delicious desserts, cuddly kittens, and historical figures. But before you take them, make sure you are aware of the potential privacy risk.
Online Quizzes and Privacy- What You Need to Know
Many online quizzes are harmless, trading answers for a silly prediction or fortune. However, lately there’s been a trend in the world of online quizzes where quiz makers are asking for more personal information. These are the quizzes you should worry about.
In a recent blog post, the Identity Theft Resource Center highlights a popular quiz with some real privacy problems. The quiz is called “Most Commonly Used Words” and examines your Facebook timeline for your most used words. To take the quiz, users have to allow access to everything they’ve posted on Facebook, their friend’s list, their photos, their IP address, which browser they’re using, and more. Although a lot of this information is necessary to determine which words you use the most, it might reveal too much about you and your browsing habits.
Quiz developers could potentially store or share your information (along with some information about your friends). Someone with bad intentions could possibly find answers to security questions, email addresses, and much more by sifting through your information. The quiz might be fun, but is it really worth trading your identity for?
Here are some signs that a quiz needs a second look before you hand over personal information:
Requires Registration- If you need to fill out a form (providing details like name, address, email, etc.) to take a quiz, you might want to skip it.
Requires Access to Your Social Media Profiles- Be careful who you give access to your social media information. Depending on how much you share on social media, there could be a lot of personal information available to third parties who have access to your profiles. Privacy settings only protect you if you don’t grant access to strangers.
The next time you take a quiz, make sure it’s just a fun quiz, not an attempt to grab your personal information.