FBI Warns About People Sharing Security Information on Social Media

The FBI issued a warning regarding a worrying social
media trend, with seemingly innocuous activities that would give possible
attackers information they could use to gain access to once-protected data and
accounts.

Remember all those security questions you were asked to
complete to set up an important online account, like the name of your pet or high-school?
The answers are just another obstacle put in front of a criminal who wants to access
your account, but learning the information is tricky for someone who’s not a
friend.

It turns out that some of that private data can be
retrieved from the people themselves, and one way to do that is to make it fun.
A new social media trend encourages people to share those details online, not
realizing the dangers of making that information public.

“The high school support photo trend encourages users to
share their high school photo to support the class of 2020,” says FBI in their advisory.
“Many people are including the name of their schools and mascots, and their
graduation years. All three are answers to common password retrieval security
questions.”

“Other examples include posting a picture of your first
car; answering questions about your best friend; providing the name of your
first pet; identifying your first concert, favorite restaurant, or favorite
teacher; and tagging your mother, which may reveal her maiden name.”

The FBI has also issued advice that should help users
stay safe. First of all, it’s important to set up multi-factor authentication
whenever possible. Secondly, and just as important, is to avoid sharing
important information online and ensure that the security settings for social
media don’t allow strangers to get that information.

Remember, security is an ongoing process, not just
something you set up and forget.

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