WebsiteCompass 9 What Data Miners Can Do Once data miners have harvested enough of your personal information, they could potentially do any of the following: • Steal your identity and get into your bank accounts. • Sell your information to someone else who wants to get into your bank account. • Remotely lock your accounts or take over your whole computer or phone and force you to pay a ransom to get access back. • Impersonate you and steal your tax refund. • Commit Social Security fraud, pretending to be you. The Big Picture Cyber criminals are skilled at using human psychology to trigger people into giving away information without even thinking about it. According to a Cyber Florida report, nearly 40% of social media users surveyed had completed a quiz or played a game that appeared in their feed in an average week. Some of those posts were undoubtedly designed to harvest data. It’s important to acknowledge that much of what you do each week—well beyond your answers to questions in Facebook memes—is being recorded and compiled. Do you have a rewards card with a grocery store? They’re watching what you purchase and when you shop. Every time you open an email, the person or business sending it could be tracking whether or not you open it. Social media platforms document the posts you read (or even linger on), what you react to, and whose posts you comment on. So what should you do the next time you see one of those Facebook memes with a “fun” question? Absolutely nothing. (See the sidebar to learn more.) 1https://techxplore.com/news/2021-09-just-forfun-facebook-quizzes-identity-thieves.html Do Not Respond to Memes withQuestions Doing nothing is the way to go when it comes to those Facebook memes that ask about the last kind of food you ate or your most recent purchase or anything along those lines. More specifically: • Don’t react to the meme post with a thumbs up or any response. • Don’t answer the question. • Don’t reply to another person’s comment on one of these posts. • If you see a friend post in response to one of these memes, talk to them in person about how these work, or call them or send a private message. Don’t reply back to their comment on the actual post, since that just helps these memes spread. • Don’t give data miners answers to your security questions. • Don’t give data miners your consumer data. By following these tips, you’ll protect your own information as well as help prevent your Facebook friends from being taken advantage of by data miners.