If you’ve been on Facebook for a while you’ve probably seen a wide variety of quiz-style posts pop up in your Newsfeed.
There are many variations of these posts, but the most common ones are of the “What is your spirit animal?” or “Which celebrity do you look like?” type posts.
These posts can seem like they’re nothing more than just a bit of innocent fun, but the truth is they can be quite dangerous.
Many of these quizzes require you to enable an app in order to participate in the quiz.
Once you enable the app and accept its “permissions” it will proceed to mine your Facebook account and steal your personal information, your photos and even a digital copy of your Friends List.
The app (or the scammer behind it) will then use that stolen information to do all of the following (and often more):
1 – Use the information mined from your account (your real name, mailing address, phone number, and birthdate) to steal your identity.
Note: This is one important reason why you should remove that info from your profile immediately if any of it’s on there!
2 – Create a fake “clone” Facebook account in your name.
3 – Use that fake account to perpetrate various scams on the people on your Friends List.
4 – Install additional malicious apps on your account that you don’t even know about.
5 – Write posts on the Timeline of your real account and make it appear that they were written by you.
6 – Send fraudulent (and dangerous) instant messages to your Facebook friends.
And guess what? These activities could well go on for days, weeks or even months before you even find out about them (assuming that you ever do find out)!
Bottom line: If an invitation to participate in a quiz lands in your Newsfeed it would be best to simply delete the post and move on because interacting with it in any way could cause problems for both you and your friends.
And by the way, if you’ve ever participated in even one quiz on Facebook in the past and strange things are have been happening with your account, chances are there’s at least one malicious app enabled on it.
This post explains how to check to see if any malicious apps are enabled on your Facebook account and disable any that you happen to find.