I have been made aware that there are a number of ‘online surveys’ floating around that people have filled in. These surveys tend to be the ‘let your friends get to know you better’ type survey that when they first appeared on the net were fun, friendly and totally innocent and harmless. However, lately these types of surveys have been used to garner information that looks innocent but can be used to gain access to other people’s accounts, bank details and all sorts of things that you may not at first realise.
Be careful which information you give to anyone. Your mother’s maiden name for example is a classic security question that you’ll be asked if you want to do anything with your bank account. But it’s extremely easy for an online ‘phishing’ type survey to extract that information from you. Coupled with questions like ‘What starsign are you?’, ‘When is your birthday?’ and ‘Do you keep pets, if so do you have any special little names for them?’ and before you know it some unscrupulous person has enough information to call your bank and pretend to be you.
Whilst this isn’t happening much, I would ask everyone to bear this in mind when filling out online surveys or talking with anyone online. Do not give out ANY personally identifying information to anyone, unless you’ve met them personally, drink or eat out with them regularly, in person, and generally have an offline, in person relationship with them too. Even then you might want to be careful giving information online to them since if you’ve an offline relationship with them, you might as well wait and give them the info offline when you can see it’s them.