How That 10 Concerts Meme Makes You Vulnerable to Hackers
Whether you braved a stadium full of screaming fans to see Justin Timberlake or got elbowed in the face during a Green Day show, few memories are as lasting as your first concert experience. But even though it's fun to remember (or let's face it, make fun of) the bands you saw live as a kid or teen, you should probably avoid reminiscing about them on Facebook if you don’t want to fall vulnerable to hackers, USA Today points out.
If you've been on social media in the past week, you’ve probably seen the popular "10 concerts" meme, in which Facebook users list 10 music shows: nine they've actually attended, and one that they didn't. As their friends puzzle out which of these shows is the fake one, the guessing game often turns into a walk down memory lane as everyone shares their own unforgettable performances. Sometimes, participants also pair their lists with notes in which they recall their first or favorite concerts.
Your first concert doesn't need to be a closely guarded secret (unless it really is that humiliating), but you shouldn't ever reveal it online: As you may recall, it's the answer to a common security question—"What was your first concert?"—used by banks and other institutions to prevent digital intruders from accessing your accounts.
"If I'm a hacker, I'm taking full advantage of this," Fatemeh Khatibloo, an analyst with Forrester Research, told USA Today. "Don't make those kinds of answers about your life public."
If you’ve participated in the "10 concerts" meme, consider deleting your post, or only sharing it with a few trustworthy friends. That said, going forward, it's a good idea to re-think the way you answer these types of security questions. In addition to the first band you saw live, other questions ask for easily searchable info, including your mother’s maiden name and the name of the street you grew up on. Protect yourself by answering with lies—example, say your mom’s maiden name is Dumbledore, or you were raised on Diagon Alley—or to be extra-safe, use a a password manager to generate a random string of numbers, letters, and symbols to use as your password.
[h/t USA Today]