FBI: Social media trends could expose answers to security questions

Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 10:31 AM EDT
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Your social media pages may be flooded with old high school yearbook photos. It's the latest social media trend, but the FBI says it may lead to fraud.

FBI Charlotte is warning social media users to pay close attention to what they share online. They say the posts, which often includes where you went to high school, your school mascot and graduation year, can reveal answers to very common password security questions.

Other social media trends include posting your first car, answering questions about your best friend, first pet, favorite restaurant or favorite teacher. Some even involve tagging your mother, which could reveal her maiden name..

The FBI says to always be careful with what you share online and to ramp up your security settings with multi-factor authentication.

They suggest the following credentials before accessing an account:

- “Something you know” is your password or a set PIN you use to access an account. The PIN does not typically change.

- “Something you have” is a security token or app that provides a randomly generated number that rotates frequently. The token provider confirms that you—and only you—know that number. “Something you have” can include verification texts, emails, or calls that you must respond to before accessing an account.

- “Something you are” includes fingerprints, facial recognition, or voice recognition. This category of credentialing sounds a bit unnerving—but think about how you unlocked your smart phone this morning. You probably have used your fingerprints or face several times today just to check your email.

If you think you have fallen victim to this scam, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at

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