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This article was published on May 6, 2021


PSA: Those ‘your porn name’ games are scams trying to get your personal info

Don't be dumb

PSA: Those ‘your porn name’ games are scams trying to get your personal info
Tristan Greene
Story by

Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him

Your porn name is the last five digits of your social security number, the name of the street your grew up on, and the month and year you opened your bank account.

Actually, based on the most commonly used names in porn, it’s probably either “Lee” or “Nikki.” But I digress.

The point is, those “your ______ name is…” games you see on social media are scams meant to help bad actors suss out your personal information.

They might seem innocuous at first, especially if you don’t mind answering them because you’re positive you’re not giving away your personal information. But, just like you wouldn’t direct a serial killer to your neighbor’s house, you shouldn’t participate in and share these scams because not everyone is as smart and awesome as you are.

And this isn’t a new meme by any means. This exact scam and others like it have been around since at least 2009.

You might be thinking “I’m not worried about privacy” because you don’t put your face or name online. But the people who want to steal your personal info aren’t generally concerned with what you look like as much as they are with how they can get into your accounts.

Our accounts contain breadcrumbs of information that, when put together, can give a total stranger enough information about us to circumvent the security measures that our email accounts, banks, and employers put in place to prevent infiltration.

The simple fact of the matter is that it’s just plain dumb to give out any personal information over the internet, especially in response to mass-scale information gathering campaigns.

The reason they use these gamified tactics is simple: you’re more likely to laugh and share them with your friends and followers than if the message was “ask your friends to give me their personal info.”

So don’t do it. Don’t share it. Don’t be dumb. And don’t help bad people rip off dumb people.

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