What can a computer hacker do with a personality profile of yours?



So I just read a pro tip about not taking online personality quizzes because they will be sold to people who might not have your best interest at heart such as marketing agencies (makes sense) and hackers. I just can’t imagine anything a hacker really could do with that. Or would want to?

In: Technology

Unless that quiz has a question about your credit card number in it, a hacker isn’t going to be interested in it.

There are a lot of questions that are asked that are similar to security questions asked by banks and other financial instructions.

Others ask things like do you prefer chicken or turkey. That can be used to target ads to you.

Most are harmless.

It’s not really hackers, it’s a form of social engineering. Perhaps it could be used to filter out susceptible targets for fraud, or just to be more effective at selling you stuff. It’s one thing for an advertiser to sell you stuff based on your likes/dislikes/recent search history/group memberships… but something else if they can tune the add to your triggers based on your personality profile.

Do you ever get that feeling that your social media service knows just what to sell you and when? As if it’s listening to you? That’s psychometrics.

In the UK and USA in 2016 massive micro targeting operations were run to sway voters by using psychometric data pulled from online quizzes to target voters in swing seats with adds designed around their triggers based on profiles including psychometrics. Brexit and Trump are extreme examples of what ‘hackers’ can do with personality profiles, Cambridge Analytica were the company employed to do this by Vote Leave in the UK.

So for now the horse has bolted, World Events have been steered and Leaders selected through exploitation of massive datasets of personality profiles.

Say an older, single, lonely lady. Say someone got all the info on her favorite flowers, perfect first date, and so forth. They could use this info to catfish this lady, convince her the hacker that she’s found Prince Charming, he just needs $600 ASAP. (And men could be just a susceptible)

A lot of the time, at least on fb, these quizzes ask for access to your profile. So now they have info of all these single, older people, and all of their favorite things. From there it’s just shotgunning messages out there and seeing who bites. Patricia Smith? Oh yes I prefer mountains to the beach wow what a coincidence that we have all this in common we must be soul mates. It’s the perfect mark because people’s logic centers seem to shut down when they get feelings, and they’ll be too ashamed of getting scammed (and heartbroken) to pursue charges.