You’re stuck at home, everything you love doing is closed and you’re bored, we get it. But don’t turn to Facebook quizzes to chew through the hours or you could face serious data privacy issues.

We have all seen them in our Facebook timeline (and other social media platforms). Those seemingly harmless quizzes designed to be shared around so we can have a chuckle with our friends and family.

Hidden data collection practices

Which superhero are you? What do the next five years hold for you? What kind of potato are you? The list goes on.

They can be great for a giggle and – on the surface – a fun way to stay connected in these isolated COVID-19 times we live in.

Unfortunately, these quizzes have an insidious side. Hackers are using these cute and quirky quizzes as fronts for data collection practices that can lead to data breaches and identity theft.

How hackers use quizzes to farm your personal information and breach your data privacy

Most of us are savvy enough to see a blatant scam when we see it. But just in case you were totally unaware (we won’t judge), never, ever give your sensitive data away on social media platforms.

Not to your bank, not to your employer, not to your partner, not to your government, not to that really hot Russian who sent a friend request last week.

No-one legitimate is going to ask for your sensitive data through social media channels, ever.

So, the quizzes that try and ask for your address, location, bank details etc. are thinly veiled attempts at cracking your data privacy at best.

But some of these quizzes are conning you into handing over important personal data in very sneaky ways.

The motivations of data theft

On the surface, sharable questions and answers about your pets, your friends, your teachers, your car and other things can seem fairly harmless. After all, you are not giving away anything specific, are you?

The thing is these questions are often the same ones used by your bank etc. as ways to protect your data privacy.

With this information, talented (if that is the right word) hackers can use algorithms to begin cracking your internet banking login details and other important accounts.

Data thieves can also use this data to begin assembling a profile designed to mimic you. The more data they compile, the more likely they are to be able to steal your identity.

Which means they can open lines of credit, take out loans and gain credit cards in your name.

When that happens, you will know exactly what kind of potato you are.