BBB: That Facebook quiz might be mining your personal information

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FILE – In this April 4, 2013 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook has dropped 13.5 percent after allegations a political consulting firm working for the Trump campaign got data inappropriately from millions of Facebook users. On Monday, March 26, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission […]

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning Rockford-area residents about potential Facebook scams which could steal your personal information, and suggests some social media spring cleaning.

The Cook County State’s Attorney has filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Facebook and the political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica after it was learned that the firm misued personal information from 50 million Facebook users.

The BBB cautions users against the use of social media quizzes, which are popular on Facebook, since taking a quiz might mean you are giving away more information about yourself than you think.

Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau says, “One of the primary missions of the BBB is to alert and protect consumers from potential fraud. We want all consumers to be aware that an organization as large and influential as Facebook could expose consumers to the dangers of data mining, a practice that can potentially open them up to scammers. We urge consumers to take all necessary efforts to protect themselves and their information online.”

Tips to avoid social media scams:

  • Be careful about what information you share through Facebook: Think twice before allowing outside apps and websites to setup an account for you, or to sign you in to your current account using Facebook.
  • For a quick spring cleaning, go to the Settings menu to see how many apps you have connected to your account; you can select which services you want to remove or disable via Apps, Website and Plugins > Edit.
  • Adjust privacy settings: Review your social media account’s privacy settings and be strict about what information you share
  • Make sure you know what information you are sharing: Turn off sharing options on Facebook and Messenger to avoid sharing personal information like cell phone contacts.
  • Remove personal details from your profile: Don’t share information like your phone number or home address on social media accounts.
  • Be skeptical: Before you take a quiz, figure out who created it. Is it a brand you trust?

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