'Get to know me' social media trend could be goldmine for hackers, experts say

Samantha Chatman Image
Thursday, February 15, 2024
'Get to know me' social media trend is goldmine for hackers, FBI warns
The social media trend of answering "get to know me" questions in videos for followers is a goldmine for hackers using social engineering, the FBI warns.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The FBI has issued a warning about the "get to know me" trend on social media, where users answer a list of questions to help their followers learn more about them. Cybersecurity experts say those could be a goldmine for hackers.

The trend itself is pretty simple. Users provide fun facts that their followers may not have known about them. It starts with their name, their birthplace, height, their favorite song, their favorite color and food, and their pet's name.

Then the questions can get a little more personal, like how many children they have, what elementary school they went to, their favorite place to visit, or number of tattoos or piercings.

While the trend may seem harmless, the FBI said online fraudsters could have a field day with the answers and users need to be careful.

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People of all ages are taking part in the "get to know me" trend, including 22-year-old Madison Malone.

"I thought it was a simple get to know me trend just to share a few fun facts about myself," she said.

But FBI Special Agent Ali Sadiq said the information provided could be used against you.

"Putting out a lot of information unnecessarily just makes you a bigger target," he said. "You want to take measures to protect yourself and not make yourself the low hanging fruit and not make yourself an obvious victim."

Criminals use a technique called social engineering to exploit the information with little effort. A cyberthief uses human interactions on social media, like answers to a questionnaire, to piece together enough information to infiltrate someone's account.

For instance, the answers on a "get to know me" post may give clues to your passwords or answers to security questions, which would give criminals access to your personal or financial accounts.

Thieves can also use the "get to know me" answers against you by reaching out to people you know and using the information you've provided on social media to sound more like you.

"You need to assume that there are risks at every corner," Sadiq said. "Threat actors are out there constantly seeking targets of opportunity."

"You think it's simple fun when in reality, they're very personal questions that can be used against you later on," Malone said.

The FBI says it's a good idea to change your account passwords every few months, utilize two factor authentication, and try not to get too personal.