Online quiz may reveal more than expected

Sandra Guile

After the recent revelation that Cambridge Analytica allegedly mined personal information from more than 50 million Facebook users using online surveys, Better Business Bureau reminds people that what they share online can be used for illegal or unethical purposes.

Social media quizzes seem innocent enough — they may have questions about your favorite movie, first pet or most embarrassing memory. But, taking the quiz might mean that you’re giving away more about your personal life — and your friends’ personal lives — than you originally thought.

If you answer honestly, hackers can use the information you share to guess the passwords to your social accounts and gain access to important personal information — both yours and your friends’ and family.

However, the latest news shows that it isn’t just scammers who are interested in your quiz answers. It turns out, your personal information is big business for retailers tailoring their marketing message to consumers.

Keep in mind that not all social media quizzes are about unprincipled data collection, but the profile data, quiz answers and more can be used to used to steal your money or let a scammer pretend to be you in order to steal someone else’s money. Even seemingly innocent information can be used to build a profile on you that can be sold to anyone trying to influence purchase behavior.

Tips to Keep Your Personal Information Personal

Be skeptical: Before you take a quiz, figure out who created it. Is it a brand you trust?

Be Strict: Adjust the privacy settings on your social media accounts and resist sharing personal information.

Be Safe: Remove personal details such as your phone number and home address from your profiles.

Be Secure: Don’t accept friend or follow requests from people you’re unfamiliar with.

Additional cybersecurity resources are available for both businesses and consumers on

Sandra Guile

Sandra Guile is the community outreach specialist for BBB. She can be emailed at [email protected]

Sandra Guile is the community outreach specialist for BBB. She can be emailed at [email protected]