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Facebook “10 Concerts” Meme Could Reveal More Than You Thought

Facebook "10 Concerts" Meme Could Reveal
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* Popular game on Facebook asks users to guess fake concert from real ones
* Experts say meme could be mid-level threat to online privacy
* Be careful about revealing too much information

By now, you’ve probably seen the game going around on Facebook that asks friends to list ten concerts — nine that they’ve been to, and one that’s a dupe. Users take turns commenting on which one they think is a lie. While it might seem like fun and games to start, you should be aware of just how much you’re revealing when participating in these online memes.

A new report from the New York Times says the post — “10 Concerts I’ve Been To, One is a Lie” — could be a mid-level threat to your online privacy and security. Experts say depending on how much you write, it could reveal too much about your background and preferences, opening you up to unwanted attention from marketers — and potentially, a cyber attack.

How it works isn’t as complicated as you might think. The “concert” guessing game is a seemingly fun and frivolous meme that’s gone viral on Facebook, similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge or a #ThrowbackThursday post on Instagram. But privacy experts say you could be accidentally revealing answers to popular security questions that you might be asked on a banking site, for example, to verify your identity.

“Name the first concert you attended” is often used as a security question. Worse still, if you’re posting a throwback pic (#TBT), you may be unknowingly telling hackers about the school you went to, the neighborhood you lived in and your best friends’ names from when you were young. All of these questions often come up when verifying someone’s password online.

At the very least, the “10 Concerts” tag is revealing information about your age, musical tastes, neighborhood and potentially income level — all of which would be desirable to marketers hoping to target ads.

Of course, not every website relies on a security question about a person’s first concert, but it’s important to remain aware and vigilant when participating in these games online.

As one expert tells the Times, “You are expressing things about you, maybe in more subtle ways than you might think.”