A popular trend on Facebook in which users list ten concerts they have attended, but include one that is fake to see if friends can spot the fake, may compromise users’ online security, cybersecurity experts say.
By publishing these lists, Facebook users could be unwillingly giving out information to hackers, who can use the information to answer online security questions and then access accounts and passwords, BBC reported.
“I wouldn’t do it,” said Alan Woodward, a professor at the University of Surrey. “Think very carefully about what you are putting into the public domain.”
Professor Angela Sasse, director of the UK Research Institute in Science of Cybersecurity, says the trend itself is not the problem, but “rather that somebody thinks it is a good idea to use questions like that as security credentials.”
Experts say that even though the ten concerts list trend may not be something made up by criminals, users should still be on high alert and change privacy settings to “friends only” when participating in the trend.
“This is not something that cyber-criminals would concoct – but they are not stupid and they will see the potential in it,” Woodward said.
There are also other scams that are targeting Facebook users, such as a fake Mother’s Day coupon scheme in which users are tricked into thinking that they are receiving free $50-$75 coupons to retailers such as Lowe’s and Bed Bath and Beyond.
Both companies have issued statements warning users not to be duped by these fake coupons.
“Please be careful when responding to any pop-up ad either online or via social media; as, more often than not, the offer of gift cards or other prizes to customer’s in the guise of a specific company are set up to get your personal information for nefarious purposes,” Lowe’s Home Improvement said in a statement online.
“We know some of our customers are excited about this $75 offer circulating on Facebook. However, we all know some things are too good to be true!” Bed Bath and Beyond warned on their Facebook page. “We are sorry for any confusion and disappointment this fake coupon has caused.”