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BBB: Avoid sharing your senior photo on Facebook

In the wrong hands, even seemingly trivial details can be weaponized against you

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With coronavirus derailing everyone’s high school graduation plans, people are rallying behind the class of 2020 by sharing their senior photos on Facebook.

It might be tempting to join the trend, but experts recommend resisting that urge.

The Better Business Bureau warns that these posts make it easy for hackers to find the name of your high school and graduating class, which often are used in online security questions.

If that’s not alarming enough, then consider this: it only takes a few clicks of the mouse to track down other personal details about you, including your full name, date of birth and physical address.

It’s not just school details people should be careful about, either. As the BBB warning notes, trending lists like your work history or “10 things I hate that other people love” are gold mines for hackers.

Tom Stephens, president of the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida, said these social media challenges all seem like fun and games until your identity is stolen.

“A really good scammer can take that information — the year you graduated from high school, what high school you went to — and do some research and do a pretty good job at figuring out who you are and then use that information to build a fake idea or to do all sorts of stuff, basically,” Stephens said.

So, even sharing what seems like trivial information on social media could make you a target, especially if you haven’t set up secure privacy settings to conceal those details from search engines.

The bottom line? Less is more when it comes to what you post online.

Below is some advice from the BBB on how to safely navigate social media:

  • Resist the temptation to play along. Sure, it’s fun to see what other people reveal about themselves, but you don’t have to join in.
  • Take stock of your security settings. Check your security settings on social media platforms to see what you are sharing and who is able to see it.
  • Tweak your security settings. Worried about something you’ve already shared online? Adjust your security settings for banks and other sites.

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