Is your personal information on the dark web? Here's how Northea - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Is your personal information on the dark web? Here's how Northeast Ohioans can find out

OHIO (WOIO) -

Have you ever taken one of those quizzes or personality tests on Facebook?

Sure, they can be fun and might seem harmless, but experts warn there could be hidden dangers in finding out which Golden Girl or Disney character you are.

"What seems fairly innocuous could be pretty dangerous in terms of the information you're sharing unwittingly," said Rob Griffin, Experian's Director of Consumer Education.

Griffin said social media users who want to protect their personal information should avoid those online quizzes.

"They call them clickbait for a reason. When you click on a quiz for example, they may ask you for access to you contacts or to your photos or to your friends list, and they can then use that information in ways that you may not want them to," he said.

A 2017 study on identity fraud found social media users have a 46 percent higher risk of account takeover fraud.

When you give quizzes and other applications access to your accounts, your personal information could be sold to advertising companies. You could also be handing sensitive information over to scammers.

By granting access to your profile, you could be giving them your first and last name, where you live, email address, phone number, friends list, and all of your photos. They could also find out the name of the high school you attended, which could give savvy cyber thieves the answer to one of your login security questions.

Griffin suggests social media users regularly audit their privacy settings to see which third-party apps and website have access to account information.

He says it is also important to monitor your credit.

"Get that credit report. Know what's in it. Have a monitoring service," says Griffin. "Many times they're free so you may not have to pay for it at all. Take advantage of the tools that are there."

The three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, will give you a free credit report each year.

Experian also offers a free dark web scan that can detect if your social security number, email or phone number have been compromised. The one-time scan looks back to 2006 and searches over 600,000 web pages for your personal information.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly