We live in a day where we are constantly looking over our shoulders for malicious individuals trying to steal our private information. Online security has been persistently under attack and data is being mined from every possible source out there. All with the goal of stealing your identity, money, or other forms of data treasure troves.
One may normally assume it is the software and plugins we download or questionable websites we visit that we have to fear the most. In many cases, this is true. However, sometimes a leak can also occur from some of the most common places you visit online every day. Some of these sources include social media.
Your social media accounts are ripe with personal information. Some of this information you offer openly in various profile fields covering favorite foods, movies, and songs. Another way this information can be mined is via posts that appear to innocently ask you for this information.
That last point is something that many don’t even catch on to. So the next time you come across a post on Facebook or any other network that asks for your participation in some kind of word game or “fill in the blank”, consider what they are asking for. Many times, it is something you’d commonly use as a security question for recovering an account somewhere (let it be another social network, or something more serious, like your bank accounts). Many times it will have something to do with your favorite movie or food. Some even ask you to fill in the blank with the name of your childhood friend. Are these variables starting to sound familiar yet?
So be careful with what you fill out on your social profiles and be mindful about the posts you respond to. Your friends aren’t likely trying to phish your information from you. However, the account that started these chain posts might have nefarious intentions you don’t know about. Even if they didn’t, any number of accounts involved can see this information, thus creating a vulnerability for the various accounts you have online.
This is another reason why users should consider making use of 2FA (two-factor authentication) or MFA (multi-factor authentication) methods to secure accounts. Try not to rely on simple security questions that allow someone to guess the answer. Instead, consider using options like biometrics (fingerprint) or security keys, if a website or service offers support for it. This makes it a lot harder for someone to try to break into your accounts.