Cyber security experts warn social media quizzes may compromise your information

Cyber security experts warn social media quizzes may compromise your information. // WSBT 22

Social media allows us to connect with friends, post pictures, watch cute videos and find out about local events.

But intertwined in your newsfeed, there's a lot of click bait -- things that could put your own information in jeopardy.

Experts say you should be skeptical about clicking on those personality quizzes that pop up on Facebook.

While those quizzes seem harmless, you may be surprised what they're really after.

What emoji best describes my personality? Am I the most annoying person on the internet? What type of penguin am I? You can get those questions and many others answered by quizzes on social media.

The big question is -- are these Facebook quizzes only fun and games?

"I think they're funny. My mom usually tags me when she does them,” said Taylor Yoder.

Yoder is a student at IU South Bend.

"I like the history quizzes I can take,” said Frank Gray, lives in South Bend.

Gray has taken a couple personality quizzes on social media.

Thomas BanAcker knows a lot of people who take them to pass time.

"To them it's just like a waste of time so if they are bored they just take them,” said BanAcker, lives in Mishawaka.

Those quizzes are designed to get you interested enough to click. But cyber security experts want you to think again.

"When they present it as a cute quiz for something to collect information, people are curious. They think it's fun, but it is a true site for advertisement,” said Mitch Kajzer, St. Joseph County Cyber Crimes Unit.

Kaiser says advertisers want you to take these quizzes so they can learn more about you.

It only takes a couple clicks for advertisers to obtain a wealth of your information, and see your online habits, using web logs and cookies.

"Advertisers can tell not only where you've been and what you're doing, how many times you've been there, how long you were there, which site you came from to get there, how many pages you looked at on there and then what page were you on when you left the site,” said Kajzer.

Anything on your social media is also exposed, including your posts, your wall, your friends and your pictures.

"When you're clicking on them, you're giving them access information and permission to your Facebook information,” said Kajzer.

Those quizzes can even install adware on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

"Once you leave there, that adware stays on your computer, so it is continually seeing what types of things you are doing and reporting back to whoever it may be for advertising purposes," said Kajzer.

This data collection could even lead to identity theft.

Now armed with this knowledge, the people WSBT 22 spoke to say they will change their online habits.

"That means I'm going to stop doing those quizzes,” said Gray.

"I'll tell my friends not to take them either,” said BanAcker.

Yoder says she will also tell her mom to stop taking the quizzes, and take steps to protect herself.

"So I try to be intentional but I probably should be more intentional about what I share on the Internet,” said Yoder.

"So you have to ask yourself, is the risk of your data being out there and possibly released worth knowing which penguin you are in this life by taking some quiz on Facebook?" said Kajzer.

If you must know what type of penguin you are, Kajzer suggests you do a Google search. Those results are a safer bet to click on than any links you see on social media or email.

If you post your results to Facebook, check how much access you're giving the website.

It's important to keep in mind, quizzes are just one of many ways your information can be compromised online.

Kajzer recommends having a credit freeze on all of your credit, so that hackers can't open up new credit in your name or charge cards to make purchases.

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