The FBI and BBB warn posting a senior year photo and the name of the school is an easy way for scammers to learn the answer to a common password retrieval question.
WASHINGTON — As many students graduate across the United States, agencies are warning of potential scams tied to sharing senior year pictures on social media.
The Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, office of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Better Business Bureau said posting a senior year photo and the name of the school is an easy way for scammers to learn the answer to a common password retrieval question.
Some are sharing their senior portraits to support the graduating class of 2021. Along with the posts, some are including the hashtag #Classof2021, as well as identifying details about the poster like the year they graduated.
“Better Business Bureau 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,” the Better Business Bureau said in April. “What most people forget is that some of these ‘favorite things’ are commonly used passwords or security questions.”
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The BBB said if someone’s social media privacy settings aren’t high, then they could be giving away valuable information for anyone to use.
How can someone protect themselves? The nonprofit organization offered several tips to help stay safe while using social media like “resisting the temptation to play along,” review the social media’s security settings and change the social media account’s security questions.
Senior photos aren’t the first time hackers have tried to gather personal information from social media users, BBB warns. Other viral posts asking for personal information like what kind of car people own, favorite athletes and top 10 television shows can also be used.
“Stay safe online and don’t give crooks the information they’re looking for,” the Pittsburgh FBI office said.