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Cyber expert warns of popular internet challenges like #10YearChallenge

Posted at 3:09 PM, Jan 21, 2019

If you’ve been on social media the last few weeks, you’ve likely seen your family and friends take part in the 10-Year Challenge. It’s when you find a picture of yourself from 2009 and edit it next to a picture of you now.

While the internet challenge is entertaining, experts say it’s distracting us from what is actually being done with the data.

Cyber expert Fred Kneip, with CyberGRX, says by posting a photo showing how you’ve aged, you're unwillingly allowing social media companies to improve their facial recognition algorithms, and even sell your information.

"To me, the bigger issue is how liberally people are sharing this information, putting it out there without thinking about where is it going, what's going to happen here and what could it be used for," Kneip says.

This new challenge is very similar to the popular Google Arts and Culture app, where users would upload a photo of themselves and Google would reveal what famous painting best resembled that photo.

"Every piece of information you give to an attacker makes their job easier," Kneip warns.

The cyber expert says not only should you be skeptical of what social media sites do with your information, but you should also be cautious of scammers. They could try phishing scams on you from the interests you post online, and one day, possibly use facial analytics to hack into your devices.

Facebook denies having a part in the 10-Year Challenge. The company did find themselves in hot water last year for selling information to a third party without users knowing.

"Facebook, Google, Twitter--all these are data companies collecting that information as much as they can and selling it to advertisers,” Kneip says. “And everything you give them makes the package they can go sell richer."

The 10-Year Challenge has reminded us to stop and think before we post, so when the next internet challenge comes around, we know it's not always fun and games.