Sure, it’s a real confidence boost for that ego of yours seeing hundreds of happy birthday messages spout up onto your Facebook page, but it turns out you should probably take your date of birth off the social site ASAP.
Why? Well because cyber criminals apparently mine through social media to try and find as much information about you as possible – and having your birthday on social media sites is a jackpot win for a cyber thief.
Shockingly, cyber crime has risen by 57 per cent in the past 12 months, and a report by fraud experts, Cifas, claims that many scammers are preying on social media accounts for personal details, reports the Daily Star.
The most targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and the more you put on there – the more chance there is of being attacked.
So putting things like your name, address, email address, mobile number and date of birth somewhere where they are readily available is the same as swimming through shark infested waters with blood spurting out of your thigh.
A spokesperson for the Get Safe Online campaign, said:
Be wary of publishing any identifying information about yourself – either in your profile or in your posts – such as phone numbers, pictures of your home, workplace or school, your address or birthday.
The less data you give away the less chance you have of being hit by a cyber crime.
Apparently, last year alone, almost 150,000 people in the UK were a victim of cyber crime – costing the economy £193 billion.
Me personally, I’m off to live in a tent in a forest someplace without my phone, my laptop, or anything – just like Thoreau.
Cyber attackers won’t find me there!
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.