Social media might be all the rage, but they've proven to get some people into trouble.

They also are things fraudulent people use to get information from unsuspecting persons so they can commit identify theft or take over an account.

Questions posed on social media may seem harmless enough, for instance, but they often are tools that identity thieves use to steal information. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, you should avoid answering questions such as these real-life examples:

  • “Who Remembers Their Childhood Phone Number? Share It Below!”
  • “Tag Your Mom If She’s the Best Mom in the World!”
  • “What’s Your Dragon Name? Find Out Below and Share It in the Comments!”

Information from the resource center says:

Think it through: does anyone really care if you can remember your very first phone number? Wouldn’t it be enough to simply answer yes or no, rather than proving it by typing it in the comments? The only people who genuinely care about this knowledge are people who are hoping to figure out the name of your hometown from the area code and call prefix.

Answering questions on social media give identify thieves information that they could then use to hack your account and gain additional personal information.

A report by The New York Times says that security questions are surprisingly insecure – such as asking for your mother’s maiden name – and that “answers to many of them are easily researched or guessed, yet they can be the sole barrier to someone gaining access to your account.”

An article by the New York Post suggests that users might consider faking answers to personal security questions to make it more difficult for accounts to be hacked.

Don’t make it any easier for fraudulent people to get information. The next time you see questions pop up on your Facebook feed, or other social media account, be smarter than the scammer and don’t answer the questions.

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