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

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"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]

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