FBI: Think Twice Before Posting Your High School Photos on Social Media

#Classof2020 has been trending on social media, prompting people of all ages to post their high school photos. The problem: That info could help scammers solve password reset security questions.

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By Michael Kan

via PC Mag

This story originally appeared on PC Mag

The FBI is cautioning people to be careful when sharing high school photos of themselves on social media, as those posts could help hackers break into online accounts.

The FBI issued the warning as #Classof2020 has been trending on social media, which has prompted high school seniors to post photos of themselves, celebrating their upcoming graduations. To join in on the fun, adults have been posting old photos of their high school years as well.

The only problem? The same posts could help a scammer solve the security questions to retrieve or reset the password protecting your internet accounts. "Many people are including the name of their schools and mascots, and their graduation years. (However), all three are answers to common password retrieval security questions," the FBI's Pittsburgh and San Francisco field offices noted in the advisory.

The feds issue the warning after the watchdog group Better Business Bureau raised alarm bells about the #Classof2020 trend. "Watch out, scammers or hackers who surf through social media sites will see these #ClassOf2020 posts, and will now have the name of your high school and graduation year," the group said.

Caution should also be applied to other trending topics on social media, especially when it comes to naming your favorite things. "What most people forget is that some of these "favorite things' are commonly used passwords or security questions. If your social media privacy settings aren't high, you could be giving valuable information away for anyone to use," the Better Business Bureau added.

To stay safe, it's a good idea to make the security questions on your online accounts difficult for any stranger to guess. The FBI also recommends you turn on two-factor authentication for your most important internet accounts to prevent intrusions from hackers.

Michael Kan


Michael has been a PCMag reporter since October 2017. He previously covered tech news in China from 2010 to 2015, before moving to San Francisco to write about cybersecurity.

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