Over the past few days, many people have been sharing their high school yearbook photos on social media as a tribute to the class of 2020, whose proms and graduations may be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, sharing such images can undermine your personal cybersecurity and privacy.
Many people share not only the photos, but also caption them with the name of the school from which they graduated and the year of their graduation – and such information can be misused by criminals for any one or more of multiple nefarious purposes including:
1. Directly answering authentication questions such as What year did you graduate? From what high school did you graduate?
2. Indirectly answering authentication questions such as What was the mascot of your high school? In what town did you go to high school? In what town/state did you grow up?
3. Assisting with social engineering attacks your family members, or against former classmates.
4. Helping criminals craft refined searches for personal details about yourself (or, potentially, about family members) – e.g., a search on “John Smith 1985 Bronx Science High School” is more likely to produce exploitable results than a search on “John Smith.”
If you already shared your class information on social media, consider taking it down, or at least setting the associated privacy settings to block public viewing of the post.
Also, think about whether you may have used the information in your post as the answer to an authentication challenge question anywhere; if you may have, change the relevant challenge answer/s ASAP.