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It may look harmless, but beware social media games, quizzes

Online quizzes could leave you susceptible to cyber theft and much worse.
Posted at 10:34 AM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 11:38:38-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If you've been on Facebook recently, you might have noticed some of your friends taking part in social media games or quizzes.

We're talking about those seemingly harmless posts like "what kind of food are you?"

Anyone who uses the internet at all is at risk of being hacked.

Dr. David Abarca. who specializes in internet security, tells us what kind of risk you are putting yourselves and others at when giving out information.

If you're on Facebook, there's a good chance you scroll past innocent enough looking quizzes.

"What kind of person are you, just random quizzes like what's your love match, just funny stuff,” said Desirae Cooper, a Del Mar student.

But the reason is anything but funny.

“There are 3.1 billion people on the internet and they all want to get into your cell phone,” Abarca said.

Whether on your phone or computer, every second you spend taking these quizzes, is a critical time that hackers have to steal your information, and that of others.

“While you may not be a hacker, if a hacker can gain access to your computer because you went and did something stupid, now they can use your computer and attack somebody else,” Abarca said.

Hackers can find birthdays, contacts, phone numbers, addresses, even visa data.

“Hours after taking this quiz, all of a sudden my cell phone shuts down because someone has hacked my phone," he said.

Individuals who are most susceptible to getting hacked range from ages 18 through 34, who are shown to be less suspecting than those who are older.

"Sometimes I'll get on and do it if I'm bored,” Cooper said.

“I think it's all just out of joke, and just boredness,” added Del Mar student Marty Gutierrez.

Abarca recommends to not only quit taking online quizzes, but also to unfriend anyone who shares their quiz results, since your information could be stolen through their actions.

“You don't realize it until it actually happens and you second-guess yourself about doing it but some people still actually do it though,” Gutierrez said.

CCPD officials say to avoid getting your identity stolen through cyber hackers, don’t give out your personal information. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.