HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — While being in isolation or quarantine is helping slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s also increasing fads on social media, and while they are helping pass the time, scammers are using them to their advantage.
You may have seen high school graduation photos from your friends and family on social media. With many stuck at home, it’s the latest fad on Facebook.
Julia Cherry with the North Alabama Better Business Bureau says in this sensation, people are encouraged to share their senior portraits or photos from their senior year and then hashtag it with Class of 2020. She says it’s to show their support for this year’s graduating class that “unfortunately, has not been able to experience all of the senior year excitement that all of us maybe have.”
Generally, on these posts, personal facts are listed like your high school, where it’s located, the year you graduated, and maybe even sports you played or your high school mascot.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is that all of these are common security questions for when you have an account,” said Cherry. They can be back up questions when you forget your password, or additional questions when you are starting an account.
The BBB says a scammer can easily get access to your account or start working on ways to get access to your account with the personal information in the #Classof2020 post. The hashtag can be easily accessible on social media.
“When you do a hashtag on social media, you can search that specific hashtag on any social media platform, so anyone is able to look at this, especially if you don`t have your security settings high enough,” said Cherry.
It’s the same thing with the “My Firsts” fad where you post a list of your first, like first pet or first car.
But you don’t have to let this stop you from having fun with your friends and family on social media. You just need to be careful.
“We’re encouraging that you take out any personal information from it and just share your photo and hashtag it, if that’s what you’d like to do,” said Cherry. You can also put your account on private where only your friends can see your posts.
The Better Business Bureau says the last thing anyone needs during this unprecedented time is identity theft, so be careful when sharing your personal information.