MONEY
05/18/2018 04:05 pm ET Updated May 19, 2018

Stop! Don't Take This Royal Name Quiz

Scammers may be using Harry-and-Meghan mania to get your security info.

Online scammers who want to steal your identity are the uninvited guests to the royal wedding hoopla.

A “What’s your Royal Guest name?” quiz has been enjoying a healthy life on Facebook. The origins of the quiz are unknown, but some suspect it’s a not-so-cleverly designed effort to ferret out the answers to your online security questions. And even if that’s not what its creator intended, the information could still be used that way if it fell into the wrong hands.

The quiz asks for your “grandparent’s name,” the name of your first pet and the name of your street in order to determine your “royal guest” name. 

This is one version of the "royal guest name" quiz.
Screenshot
This is one version of the "royal guest name" quiz.

“Don’t do it,” said a professional white hat hacker who asked that HuffPost identify her only by her handle, Snow. She posted a copy of the quiz to her Twitter feed this week with an admonition.

Snow said that given the nature of what the quiz asks, filling it out could have serious consequences.

“It could be used to gain access to accounts (social media, banking, work email, etc) with potential for identity theft,” said Snow, who is paid by clients who want to better understand their security vulnerabilities.

Facebook spokesman Pete Voss told HuffPost the social media giant is “looking into” the quiz, which often prompts people to share their “royal guest names” publicly. 

He noted that Facebook does not use security questions as part of its login process, but security questions can be used to gain access to other online services. Breaches can be reported to Facebook’s reports page.

In response to recent controversies involving the unauthorized harvesting of personal data, Facebook has pledged greater online security for users. In its first community standards enforcement report, the social media giant said it disabled 583 million fake accounts in the first quarter of 2018, following the 694 million it disabled in the fourth quarter of 2017. 

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