GREAT FALLS — It seems harmless and fun - but not everyone is comfortable with it. The Better Business Bureau says that many people are sharing their senior portraits, including the high school name and graduation year, to support the graduating class of 2020 (most of whom are at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic).
The BBB notes that scammers or hackers may surf through social media sites and see these #ClassOf2020 posts, and will now have the name of your high school and graduation year, which are common online security questions. All it takes is an internet search to reveal more information about you, such as family members, your real name, birthdate, or even where you live.
The BBB cautions everyone to be aware of what they are sharing. Even if you think it’s just going to your friends, it could also be going somewhere else.
Other recent viral personal list posts include all the cars you’ve owned (including makes/model years), favorite athletes, and top 10 favorite television shows.
What some people don't realize is that some of these “favorite things” are commonly used in passwords and/or security questions. If your social media privacy settings aren’t high, you could be giving valuable information away for anyone to use.
BBB provides the following tips to stay safe:
- Resist the temptation to play along. While it’s fun to see other’s posts, if you are uncomfortable participating, it is best to not do it.
- Review your security settings. Check your security settings on all social media platforms to see what you are sharing and with whom you are sharing. For instance, if you only want your Facebook friends to see a post, be sure to choose the Friends setting for the post. You can even specify which friends can see the post for more control over it.
- You can also go back to your previous posts and change the privacy settings for each one, if you'd like.
- Change security questions/settings. If you are nervous about something you shared possibly opening you up to fraud, review and change your security settings for banking and other websites.
For tips for staying safe online, read BBB's tips on staying cybersecure.