Why doing the "Most Used Words" Facebook quiz might not be the best idea.

Image: Supplied.

If you’ve been on Facebook in the last week, you probably would’ve noticed several of your friends sharing the same quiz; the “Most Used Words” quiz. Unsurprisingly, it’s an app designed to tell you the words you use most often and people are loving it, with over 17 million users giving it a go so far.

But while it’s certainly fascinating, is it safe?

Not according to Paul Bischoff of UK tech website Comparitech, who in an article published this week argued that in order to particpate, people were unwittingly giving away a whole lot of their personal details to a company they know nothing about.

And by private information, we’re talking access to your name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, entire friend list, everything you’ve ever posted on your timeline, all your uploaded and tagged photos, hometown and current city, everything you’ve ever liked, IP address and information about the device you’re using such as the language that it’s in. Scary stuff, right? (Watch: Kochie discussing the ups and downs of social media. Post continues after video.)

This is because, like many quizzes you see popping up on your newsfeed, it’s not actually owned or created by Facebook, but rather an outside company. In this case, the app was created by a Koreon start up called Vonvon.me.


According to Bischoff, the problems lie in the company’s privacy policy, which the majority of people are probably unlikely to read before playing the quiz. When you agree to the policy (which you do automatically by using the quiz), you give them permission to use “non-personally-identifying-information” even after you terminate your membership to the site, to store your information on servers all round the world including those who lack strong privacy laws and share it with third parties. (Forget most used words, how about the most common words that gross us out? Post continues after gallery.)

While you can alter the information the app is allowed to access in your app and privacy settings, many users who have done this said the app did not work for them.

In response to the claims, Vonvon CEO and founder Jongwha Kim released a statement clearing up any confusion about what information it takes and where it goes, assuring that your personal information is not going anywhere and any details it does use are purely for accurate quiz results.

“There are some false rumors that we are trying to capture people’s information so we can sell it to third parties. We don’t really get any meaningful information when people use our apps. And when they share it on their walls, it really doesn’t have much information about them,” Kim told tech website VentureBeat.

It's worth checking before you click. Image: iStock.

"People look at it as something fun. Most people just try to have a good time with it."

While it's certainly worrying, it's important to remember that this is not a problem exclusive to this particular app, but many apps, pop ups and add ons you see on social media.

If you're of the mind that you don't post anything of significance on social media anyway, then go for it - but if you are concerned or cautious about where your information is going, it's best to double check and modify your privacy settings and consider always reading the privacy policy before clicking 'ok'.

Did you do the quiz?