Stop Facebook Quizzes from Hacking Your Data

Facebook Quizzes Hacking

Facebook Quizzes Hacked Users’ Accounts – How to Shut them Off

Facebook sued two Ukrainians who allegedly developed online personality quizzes and then used them to steal personal information. The quizzes required people to download browser extensions to interact with the quiz. The browser extensions were malware which their Facebook profiles. The scam affected 63,000 Facebook users from2016 to 2018, most of which were in in Russia.
Selling your personal data is big business and that’s how many apps make money. Public personal data like name, gender, age and profile photos were scraped by the Ukrainian hackers. Private data like nonpublic lists of friends was also hacked without the user’s knowledge. Once access is established, hackers can easily lure in more victims and hack their data too.
The quizzes asked broad questions like “Do you have royal blood?”, “What animal are you?” or “What color are your eyes?”
Quizzes are especially popular on Facebook and seem like innocent entertainment. Users can but taking the quiz might mean you are giving away more about yourself than you originally thought, and may extend to your Friends, as well.

Taking Facebook Quizzes Could Put You at Risk for Identity Theft. To take the quizzes Facebook users (unknowingly) had to download a malicious browser extension that unknowingly ran in the background gleaning personal data and that hackers sell on the dark web. Facebook also accused the alleged hackers of targeting users with unauthorized advertisements, and claimed they even posed as users online.

How to Remove Malicious Apps from Your Facebook

Not all Facebook quizzes and apps are malicious or out to sell your data. However, Facebook users should routinely check to see if their Facebook account is connected to any apps or integrations. This holds true for all social media accounts where the user has the ability to visit adjust their privacy settings and revoke permissions of third-party apps. Those who use Facebook for work purposes may have productivity, smartphone, or analytical apps connected. Personal users are likely to have games connected to their Facebooks.

Online quizzes ask seemingly harmless and fun questions, but they also access they request opens a doorway for hackers to get at your account, data, or the information of your friends and family.

Not all social media quizzes and apps are shady, but it is always best to vet anything you download to open or download to any device. Even if an app seems to be legit, don’t share anything unnecessary. For example, there is no reason why any game needs to have access to your photos or any other app on the device.

Facebook Settings Apps
Facebook Settings Apps

How to Remove Malicious Apps from Your Facebook

If you’re concerned your Facebook may be connected to a malicious app, you can check your “Apps and Websites” settings in your Facebook to see what apps have permission to access your account. Settings for quizzes are in this section too. You can also review what information they have access to.

To Remove an App On desktop Facebook

  1. Open Facebook
  2. Click the down arrow in the upper right corner of Your Screen
  3. Choose Settings
  4. Choose Apps and Settings from the left menu

The list of active connected apps is shown on the screen. Check each one for what access.

Facebook Ap -Permissions
Facebook Ap -Permissions

The Facebook mobile app has a menu item for Settings & Privacy. There are also Privacy Shortcuts. Neither menu option lead me to where I could disconnect mobile apps so best to log into Facebook from the web and take care of malicious app from there.

On my account, I found I had a Blackberry Smartphone App. I used to have a Blackberry but that was before I had a Facebook. Not only that the app has permission to access a lot of information from my account including my friends and relationships. Actually, it has access to everything. Notifications were conveniently turned off, so I would never know this was running. And finally, the link to the feedback page was dead – as is Blackberry. I KNOW I’ve checked my settings before, so how long has this app been staking my account? I don’t know! But it’s gone now.

To Disconnect an App from Facebook

  1. Follow the above steps to get to your App and Settings Area
  2. Tick the box next to the active app to delete
  3. Tap the Delete button
Michelle - Profile Photo

Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers