Stop with the Surveys...Please!

With so many people sheltering in place and working from home, the hackers are out in full force. Not a day goes by without a new report of hacking activity, looking to take advantage of more people being at home.

Whether it's people just spending more time online than usual, or workers who have made a quick and unexpected pivot to working from home, there more targets of opportunity that ever...and the hackers know this.

A disturbing trend that I have noticed on social media platforms, especially Facebook, is people posting fun surveys and asking their friends to play along. I've posted about this risk before. Here's the problem, you are practically handing the hackers access to your private accounts. When you answer these surveys, you invariably provide enough information about you personally, that a hacker can put together a profile of you and in many cases, guess the answers to your password recovery security question.

Think about it. You fill out a survey that asks you what states and countries you have visited and which are your favorites. Then you answer another survey that asks you where your parents were born, what street you grew up on, what your first pets name was, etc. The hackers are using technology to assemble all the surveys you have been responded to and creating a pretty good dossier on you. Next, the hacker figures out what email addresses you use, where you bank, shop, etc. Then they go to those sites and either try guessing your username and password using information gathered from your surveys or they do a password reset request and guess what, they probably have the answers to your security questions to recover your password...from the survey responses you've freely provided online for all to see. Remember, the bad actors are leveraging technology to do this and you are providing them with all the information they may need to compromise your accounts or worse.

Please, just stop doing these online surveys and games. Tell your friends to stop to. If we want to prevent hackers from doing damage, we have to stop making it so easy for them.