3 On Your Side

Are Facebook quizzes safe?

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Experts say answering a personality test or taking a friend comparison quiz could be a trap by a hacker looking to grab as much information about you as they can. (Source: 3TV) Experts say answering a personality test or taking a friend comparison quiz could be a trap by a hacker looking to grab as much information about you as they can. (Source: 3TV)
Experts say hackers know that many people don't pay attention to permissions or privacy policies. (Source: 3TV) Experts say hackers know that many people don't pay attention to permissions or privacy policies. (Source: 3TV)
And as far as those quizzes are concerned, Ken Colburn says most of them are used by advertisers to gather information. (Source: 3TV) And as far as those quizzes are concerned, Ken Colburn says most of them are used by advertisers to gather information. (Source: 3TV)
"There are others, basically, if you click on the link and participate, they have the possibility of grabbing your login credentials so they can take over your account," Colburn said. (Source: 3TV) "There are others, basically, if you click on the link and participate, they have the possibility of grabbing your login credentials so they can take over your account," Colburn said. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

With more than 2 billion monthly users worldwide, there's little question Facebook is popular. You can communicate with friends and receive notifications.

However, what about those innocent-looking quizzes that come across Facebook and are they legit?

"The problem is that there are fun and games quizzes out there and then there are quizzes designed to divulge information that could compromise your Facebook account," Ken Colburn said.

Colburn is a technology expert with Data Doctors. He and the Better Business Bureau are warning folks about taking those quizzes.

“In general, you have to be really skeptical," he said.

According to Colburn, answering a personality test or taking a friend comparison quiz could be a trap by a hacker looking to grab as much information about you as they can.

"One would be to get you to give up some small personal information that maybe you don't think about could help them kind of build a case against you whether it's for ID theft or taking over one of your accounts," he said.

Colburn says hackers know that many people don't pay attention to permissions or privacy policies.

"It's best not to put any personal information in your profile that potentially can be used against you," he said.

And as far as those quizzes are concerned, Colburn says most of them are used by advertisers to gather information. But, it's nearly impossible to detect the real quizzes from the bad ones.

"There are others, basically, if you click on the link and participate, they have the possibility of grabbing your login credentials so they can take over your account," he said.

Colburn suggests going into your settings to see just how many companies you've actually given permission to access your personal profile. He says you may be surprised what you find.

"For the most part, there's no way to tell whether it's a malicious quiz or not because they all kind of look the same. In general, you got to be really skeptical," he said.

Another thing to keep you safe, don't accept friend requests from people you don't know.

A Facebook spokesperson sent 3 On Your Side the following statement and link regarding quizzes:

“I can tell you that security questions are commonly used to gain access to online services, and we encourage people to only share information that could not be used to gain unauthorized access through this security feature. It’s important to remember that when you share something publicly that information can be associated with you and can show up when someone does an online search. You’ll find an audience selector tool most places where you share on Facebook, and we encourage you to click the tool and select who you want to share something with.”

More information about how to choose audiences can be found on Facebook's website.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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