Uh oh: That "10 concerts" Facebook trend could be compromising your online security
Looks like your friends’ taste in music isn’t the only thing that’s questionable about this week’s trending “10 concerts” Facebook meme. Just when you thought you thought you’d gained control over the internet and its nefarious ways by practicing good self-care online and avoiding anything hashtagged MAGA, “10 Concerts I’ve Been To, One Is A Lie” sang a sirens’ song and lulled you into trusting the worldwide web again. But according to privacy experts, the game may have played you by posing a threat to your online security.
The rules are simple enough: Facebook users share 10 concerts, nine of which they’ve actually seen and one they have not, in their status update. Then, friends attempt to identify the lie by replying in the comments, trying to one up each other in the musical version of the classic game, “Who’s the better friend?”.
But as The New York Times reported yesterday, you’re not the only one who’s learning something about your closest friends. Cybersecurity experts warn that trends like “10 Concerts” pose a mid-level threat to your online privacy by disclosing details about users’ backgrounds and preferences, such as age, musical tastes, and even religious affiliation. With that information at the tips of their fingers, vendors can target users specifically to sell anything from birthday cakes to Britney Spears’ new album to Bibles!
“You are expressing things about you, maybe in more subtle ways than you might think,” executive director of the National Security Alliance Michael Kaiser told The Times.
And that’s not all. Not only do your answers to trendy Facebook memes and quizzes allow anyone online access to your culture, upbringing, and identifying details, you may also be giving away answers to your online security questions, oftentimes the only thing standing between you and hackers wanting to do harm. “The first concert you ever attended,” perhaps?
“People always have to have their eyes wide open when they’re on the internet,” Kaiser said. “It’s the way of the world.”