Can Your Facebook Data Be Used to Hack Your Bank Accounts?

Trojan Horse by Marion E (sjsharktank on flickr)On Monday, Gabriel Saldana offered some social media privacy tips for stalking victims. His advice about quitting Facebook is on the mark, and not just for people victimized by stalkers. While Facebook is a popular gateway into a virtual world of friends, status updates, and likes, it may also serve as a social engineering Trojan horse for those seeking to do you harm.

Consider the following security questions that banks and other financial institutions often use to safeguard your account?

  • What is the name of the last high school you attended?
  • What is the name of your first employer?
  • What is your father’s birthday?
  • What was your high school mascot?
  • In what city was your father born?
  • What is your mother’s birthday?
  • What is the name of your first elementary school?
  • What’s the name of the street you grew up on?
  • In what city was your mother born?
  • What is your favorite hobby?
  • What was the model of your first car?

How many of these can be answered by clues from your Facebook info page or your LinkedIn profile? In this instance, TMI can really hurt, so double-check your privacy settings and make sure you are not compromising your security questions.