BBB warns to ‘think twice’ before posting senior photos, photos of moms to social media

Business News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)– If you’re participating in social media quizzes, or reminiscing on old high school photos, those actions could put your identity in harms way. Scammers are mining your information from your posts and local IT specialists say to stop before it goes too far.

“That [information] can be used then to gain access to say your email, your bank account, anywhere else you might have those security questions of what is your mother’s maiden name?” said Ellie Ford a marketing coordinator with Facet Technologies, Inc.

Other posts going the sentimental route asking you to post your senior photo and the name of your high school. It’s all in support of 2020 seniors who are losing proms and graduations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s social engineering at its finest,” said Dave Johnson, president of Pearl Technology. “It seems so perfectly okay to join in on the fun, but hackers are combing through Facebook looking at people and figuring out what answers might be answers to security questions. Everybody’s at home or working from home, getting bored, and so you’re just that much more likely to jump in and play a game like this or reminisce.”

Peoria’s Better Business Bureau is aware of these scam efforts. It’s warning you to watch your private information like credit scores if you have shared posts similar to the ones mentioned.

“If you feel like you’ve compromised your information in some way, you just need to start paying a little more attention,” said Jessica Tharp, the president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau. “You can go back and pull down a post or edit a post if you feel like you’ve already done something like that. If the information has already been exposed, you just have to be on alert going forward. The reality is you’re sharing personal information and you don’t really know who really is on the other end of that quiz or who they’re sharing that information with.”

Another tip from IT specialists is to keep your social media accounts as private as possible. It’s also best to also change your passwords on a regular basis.

BBB has the following tips to keep you safe on social media:

Resist the temptation to play along. While it’s fun to see other’s posts, if you are uncomfortable participating, it is best to not do it.

Review your security settings. Check your security settings on all social media platforms to see what you are sharing and with whom you are sharing.

Change security questions/settings. If you are nervous about something you shared possibly opening you up to fraud, review and change your security settings for banking and other websites. 

For more information about privacy concerns online, see BBB’s scam alert on Facebook quizzes.

For tips for staying safe online, read BBB’s tips on staying cybersecure.

Report scams to BBB Scam Tracker.

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