Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

You're going to want to delete your birthday from Facebook

fbbirthday.jpg

"You have 89 notifications"

"Chris and 56 other friends have written on your wall"

"FEEL THE FACEBOOK LOVE"

No, none of them actually remembered it was your birthday today. Facebook told them. They don't really care (apart from Chris maybe, but that's because you still own him a tenner). 

However much you might enjoy this annual glut of false digital love, revealing your birthday to the wider world might actually be leaving you open to some serious cyber security issues.

A new report from UK fraud prevention group Cifas suggests that online identity theft for under 35s has increased by 52 per cent in the last year - an increase owed in part to the amount of information this generation freely shares on their social media accounts.

"The likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online platforms are much more than just social media sites - they are now a hunting ground for identity thieves," explains Cifa CEO Simon Dukes. "We are urging people to check their privacy settings today and think twice about what they share." 

By sharing information, from your date of birth to images of your favourite pet, football club or names of relatives, you might be supplying a potential fraudster with all the information they need to break through security procedures you might have set up on various web services. They could be able to work out your date of birth and answers to potential security questions from information you've been readily splashing about online.

Mr Robot writer and tech consultant Kor Adana gave us a hint as to how to get around this issue though: lie. 

"I lie in my security answers. I just know from being on both ends of a hack before that security questions have been used to compromise accounts all too often. You have to remember what your lie is. If something asks my what my mother's maiden name is I'll just put this go-to lie in there that only I know and only I'll remember."

So - ditch leaving your birthday online, never use the same password on different sites and don't tell the world what your mum's maiden name is. Stay safe.

[Via: Cifas]

Related

snapchat.jpg

Snapchat is getting so popular, even your parents are on it

rexfeatures_5712355x.jpg

Mr Robot writer thinks this is the next major hack waiting to happen

hackers.jpg

This is what's going on in the war on hackers

Comments

More

Super Mario in Grand Theft Auto is weird and awesome

Who would've thought Mario would get into a knife fight in a park?

by Jamie Carson
18 Jan 2017

The only Vines worth preserving

The most important cultural artefacts of our time

by Tristan Cross
17 Jan 2017

Hurrah: The Nintendo Switch now has a price and release date

Here's everything you need to know about the new console

by Tom Fordy
13 Jan 2017

The best underwater photographs of 2016 are staggeringly beautiful

Aquatic snaps that made a splash

by Dave Fawbert
12 Jan 2017

Using Google Maps actually does ruin your sense of direction

"Make a U-turn where possible"

by Dave Fawbert
11 Jan 2017

Netflix releases 8-bit game featuring Narcos and Stranger Things

Goodbye, productivity.

by Emily Badiozzaman
10 Jan 2017

The original Game Boy is coming back

Time to dust off your Pokemon Red & Blue cartridges

by Jamie Carson
10 Jan 2017

Watch Steve Jobs launch first iPhone 10 years ago

Today marks 10 years since Steve Jobs presented the world with this iconic product, but it could have been so different

09 Jan 2017

The best gadgets to launch at the biggest tech conference in the world

Christmas 2017 can't come early enough

by Joe Ellison
05 Jan 2017

This is why hitting the snooze button is bad for your health

If you snooze, you really do lose

03 Jan 2017