Taking Homework From Strangers

man with mask
Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash

You see them every day on Facebook. Math quizzes, spot the N in a field of M’s, alleged grammar challenges, all daring you to prove you’re not a moron. It’s like being assigned homework by strangers.

So who are these people? I’ll give you a hint. One of my Facebook friends, who often responds to these kinds of posts, has been hacked five times. Not a coincidence. Among his quiz responses he gave away; His mother’s maiden name, the first concert he went to and his first pet’s name. Yep, those were the answers to his account’s security questions.

Not all of these questions are put out by hackers. Some are just trying to target their marketing at you. Others are making and selling lists of users who are easily manipulated. Not many are doing them just because they’re fun.

Yes, I know, your good friend shared the puzzle, or you saw their response in your feed. If you follow the share path back to the original, it was probably a harmless sounding account. But, researching the owners often reveals a different story. Hackers, spammers, cults, political hate groups, and many other nefarious folks are after your digital souls.

So please don’t respond or share these posts unless you know for sure the “original” poster can be trusted.