Rockford's Independent Newspaper

BBB: Beware of scams associated with posting senior pictures on Facebook

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – It seems harmless and fun– a bunch of friends on Facebook or other social media are sharing their senior portraits, including the high school name and graduation year, to support the graduating class of 2020 many of whom are at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional office of the Better Business Bureau, says scammers and hackers may be surfing social media sites, looking for specific hashtags in order to rip people off.

“(They) now have the name of your high school and graduation year, which are common online security questions,” Horton said. “All it takes is an internet search to reveal more information about you, such as family members, your real name,
birth date, or even where you live.”

Better Business Bureau (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 most people forget is that some of these “favorite things” are commonly used
passwords or security questions. If your social media privacy settings aren’t high, you
could be giving valuable information away for anyone to use.

BBB has the following tips to keep you safe on social media:

  • Resist the temptation to play along.
  • While it’s fun to see other’s posts, if you are uncomfortable participating, it is best not to 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.
  • 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.
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