If you are active on social media, you probably have seen quizzes on Facebook.
You may even have taken some of the Facebook quizzes yourself. They can be fun as you learn the answers to many questions.
How else can you find out:
- Which movie character is most like you?
- What’s the best city for you to live in?
- Who is your best friend on Facebook?
But when taking a Facebook quiz, you may be sharing more information than you get. When you answer the questions, you may be giving up access to your entire Facebook account, including your list of friends.
Most Used Words Quiz
Recently, a Korean company called Vonvon offered a Facebook quiz that showed the Most Used Words in your Facebook timeline. By taking the quiz, you could see the words used most on your timeline in a word cloud that you could then post on Facebook.
The quiz was taken and shared by over 17 million people on Facebook.
The website Comparitech posted an article comparing the “most used words” Facebook quiz to a privacy nightmare. The report explained that by using the Most Used Words quiz you are giving the Korean company rights to gain access to:
- Your name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, and other public information;
- Your entire friend list;
- Everything you ever posted on your timeline;
- All of your photographs and photos you are tagged in;
- Your education history;
- Your hometown and current city;
- Everything you have ever “liked”;
- Your IP address;
- And information about the device you are using, including browser and language.
If you did not agree to share this information, you could not take the Facebook quiz.
The article continued by explaining what Vonvon could do with all of the information it collected on you. The company could sell the information to third parties and use your information, even after you have ended your relationship with them.
Protecting Your Privacy on Facebook
Whether or not Vonvon sells Facebook information to third parties is not really the issue. Even if Vonvon does not sell your information, some other company could.
Businesses can receive permission to get even more information from you and to post on your Facebook timeline if you give them access to your account.
Do you change the permissions you give a company? If so, you may be limiting the ability for quizzes to work.
Think again before giving permission to access your Facebook account. Does the company really need that information? Is taking a quiz worth giving up your privacy?
You Don't Have to Give Up on Quizzes
You can still have fun taking quizzes without giving up your privacy on Facebook. Look for quizzes that do not ask for Facebook permissions.
For example, the Buzzfeed website has Facebook quizzes that ask you questions, letting you choose between several answers to learn information about yourself, such as Which City Do You Belong in Based on Your Favorite Color?
If a quiz does ask for permission to access your Facebook account, perhaps you should find a different quiz.
Cleaning Up Your Permissions
Take a few minutes now to clean up your permissions on Facebook. Go to the Facebook Apps Permissions page to see which apps have permission to access your Facebook account.
Click on the X icon to remove permissions for any app you're not using any more.
Click on the pencil icon to change permissions for that app. You can see what permissions the app has and change them to the way you want.
I’m Pete Musto.
Carolyn Nicander Mohr wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
quiz – n. a set of questions about a particular subject that people try to answer as a game or competition
character - n. a person in a play or movie
access - n. permission or the right to enter, get near, or make use of something or to have contact with someone
timeline - n. The place on Facebook where you can see your own posts, posts from friends and stories you're tagged in organized by the date they were posted
word cloud - n. an image of words used in a place, in which the size of each word shows how often that word is used
nightmare- n. a very bad or frightening experience or situation
profile - n. Your Facebook profile, is your collection of the photos, stories and experiences that tell your story
tag - n. a label attached to someone or something for the purpose of identification or to give other information
IP address - n. ta code made up of numbers separated by three dots that identifies a particular computer on the Internet
browser - n. a computer program that is used to find and look at information on the Internet
third party - n. someone who is not one of the two main people involved in a legal agreement but who is still affected by it in some way
respond - v. to do something as a reaction to something that has happened or been done
update - v. to change (something) by including the most recent information
app -. n. a computer program that performs a particular task
icon - n. a small picture on a computer screen that represents a program or function