What are the dangers hidden in questionnaires on Facebook

Polls on Facebook were introduced in 2017 and are used by users and pages, but they hide problems for privacy

If you often use Facebook, but also other social to tell the truth, you will surely have come across a poll at least once. Also available in Italy since the end of 2017, surveys little by little have become more and more widespread on both pages and profiles. And the reason is simple: they can be used for absolutely legitimate purposes, such as market surveys, but also to find out completely illegitimate.

A good part of the surveys you see on Facebook, in fact, has much more than an ulterior motive, especially if it was published by pages of dubious reliability. In some cases, responding to a well-conceived survey exposes us to very serious risks, even if we may not realize it. Unfortunately, Facebook has no control over these lists of questions and allows anyone to ask anything to their "friends" of the profile or "fans" of the page. And if we answer the wrong survey we are the ones at risk, and a lot too: from identity theft to losing all our money in the bank account.

Facebook surveys: watch out for suspicious questions

If a well-known shoe company that we follow on Facebook asks us if we prefer casual or dressy styles, loafers or boots, if we prefer low or high sneakers, there's not much to worry about: at worst they're profiling our tastes, to send us advertisements for products more similar to our tastes. The problem arises when a semi-unknown shoe company starts asking us what our pet's name is, what's the first city we lived in, what color we prefer, what's our favorite band. All of these questions, in fact, look a lot like the security questions we get asked when we forget the password to our most important accounts.

Facebook polls: watch out for suspicious pages

If a well-known and reputable medical research institute asks us questions about our physical or mental health, there's not much to worry about: it's probably an informal study of the page's users to understand what kind of informative articles might interest us most. Once the survey is over, the answers will be collected together and an average will be made to adjust the social editorial plan and please the followers. But if the same questions are asked by a semi-unknown page with questionable reliability (like the thousands and thousands of pages on "personal growth" or "mental development"), then there is more of a problem.

The less you answer, the safer you are

In light of all this, at best those who answer surveys from unreliable pages risk being bombarded with advertising about products, books and services that are probably just attempts at mental manipulation. At worst, they risk having their bank account emptied. For this reason, the golden rule is always the same: do not give anyone information about your interests or your life. And if we really want to answer it, then before doing so it is better to stop and ask yourself a question: could my answer to one or more questions in this survey help someone to harm me?