They’re Gonna Get You, Suckas!

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Dear Facebook & “Inter-web” Users

I know it seems like innocent fun, but Social Media sites and pages like Facebook are a disaster for IT Security. Very often there are group pages that Appear to be are asking questions to share parts of your life story with a similar community (regional, generational, etc.) for fun and bonding.  However, what they are actually doing is getting you to divulge personal info to be used against you.

In the IT world of Information Security its called Social Engeering: “the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes”.  This incudes approaches such as Pretexting, Phishing, Trojan Horses, Tailgaiting, Road Apples, Quid Pro Quo offerings, etc.  Most of it involves a seemingly innocent, kind, or benevolent requests that prey upon your curiosity, generosity, or lonliness and desire for connection.

These questions are designed to get you to reveal key parts of personal data. By no coincidence whatsoever, this data is often used to answer Security Questions for accounts such as banks, credit cards, loans, insurance, etc (either online or phone). Classic examples are:

  • Your first pets name
  • Where you were born
  • Name of 1st school attended
  • When you got married, or age marrying
  • Location of first apartment/house
  • Where your 1st child was born

Please, anyone or anything asking for personal information online isn’t a fun game, its an attempt to seem innocent and fun so they can collect and compile your data.

Protect yourself – just say no.