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Information Security TIP OF THE WEEK – Sharing Personal Information Helps Scam Artists


This week’s tip is a reminder about sharing personal information in social media. In this time of social distancing, we’ve been drawn to social media to stay connected. We are encouraged to share information about ourselves like pets’ names, the types of cars we own, and mothers’ maiden names, which are goldmines for criminals seeking answers to account security questions.

Even if you haven’t used personal information for security questions, sharing excessive information about yourself can allow attackers to craft targeted social engineering attacks against you.

People like to share things about themselves online for the same reasons they like to talk about themselves in real life. On the Internet, however, this information is potentially available to anyone in the world. Even if your profile information is only visible to people you’ve added as friends, there are many ways it could still end up on the open internet.

So if you get one of those “This looks like fun to learn more about each other” questionnaires, here are the answers to use:

  • First job – Stop
  • Current job – Sending
  • Dream job – Your
  • Favorite food – Potential
  • Favorite dog – Passwords
  • Favorite footwear – Or
  • Favorite chocolate bar – Memorable 
  • Favorite ice cream flavor – Data
  • Your vehicle color – To
  • Favorite holiday – People
  • Night owl or early bird? – Who 
  • Favorite day of the week – Collect
  • Tattoos? – This
  • Favorite color – For
  • Mother’s maiden name – Social
  • Father’s middle name –  Engineering

(Your mother’s maiden name better not be Social!)

Stay safe everyone!