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Read this before you take a Facebook quiz again

Read this before you take a Facebook quiz again
© Pixindy | Dreamstime.com

We know it's tempting. You've seen that quiz going around that all your friends seem to be taking. It's a personality quiz, and that's right up your alley. But, wait a second. Before you take it, you might want to think twice.

Just recently, there was a scary survey going around on Facebook that wound up being a huge security threat. The survey was called "10 Concerts I've Been To," and the scammers were using it to learn the answer to users' login security questions. If you missed the full story, click here for all of the details.

Privacy is the name of the game

We get it. These quizzes are fun. We all enjoy taking them, but they can also have a negative effect on your privacy. Just like the example previously mentioned, developers of these Facebook quizzes could use them to access the details listed in your Facebook profile, including your religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, photos, groups you're part of, events you've attended and more.

Even if you're not a big quiz taker yourself, you probably have Facebook friends who are. And, in some cases, when your friends take or share a quiz the developers could gain access to the details in your profile. Now that's scary.

Hiding in plain sight

It's important to point out that, in most cases, people who take these Facebook quizzes actually give the developers permission to access this information without even knowing it.

Have you ever seen something like this pop up before you've downloaded a Facebook app, or taken a Facebook Quiz?

Harry Potter quiz

The thing is, some people get so excited about the quiz itself that they forget to read the fine print. If you look closely, just above the "Allow" button is a statement that says, "Allowing [quiz name] access will let it pull your profile information, photos, your friends' info, and other content that it requires to work." And just beneath the "Allow" button is a statement that says, "By proceeding, you are allowing [quiz name] to access your information and you are agreeing to the Facebook Terms of Use."

But how often do you stop to read through the Facebook Terms of Use? Or any disclosure statement, for that matter?

Beyond the disclaimers that are mentioned by the developers, Facebook also includes the following disclaimer on its Privacy Update page:

"When you use third-party apps, websites or other services that use, or are integrated with, our Services, they may receive information about what you post or share. For example, when you play a game with your Facebook friends or use the Facebook Comment or Share button on a website, the game developer or website may get information about your activities in the game or receive a comment or link that you share from their website on Facebook. In addition, when you download or use such third-party services, they can access your Public Profile, which includes your username or user ID, your age range and country/language, your list of friends, as well as any information that you share with them. Information collected by these apps, websites or integrated services is subject to their own terms and policies."

That last sentence is really scary. "Subject to their own terms and policies," is Facebook's way of warning you that third-party developers may have a different set of rules that they follow.

This is why it's extremely important that you always read that fine print to see exactly what it is you're agreeing to.

Next page: Keep reading for more reasons why these quizzes are risky.
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