New research by Equifax has found that 33% of people in the UK put their full name and date of birth on their social media profile page, and fraudsters are able to use that information to connect that information to the address.
And why is this important? Well, to put it simply, you only need 3 pieces of information to apply for a credit card, get a mortgage, or buy a new car – name, address and date of birth. Those are the primary elements that banks use to pull a credit check on you.
Facebook has become a repository of publically available information that fraudsters are using to be able to commit identity theft by applying for credit in your name. Before Facebook, it was substantially harder to get details such as a consumer’s date of birth, and so the fraudsters had a much harder time of it.
The date of birth is a crucial part of identification as it’s the only detail that never changes. And once it’s posted online, it’s out there. John Marsden Equifax
Millennial’s Share Too Much
The problem is substantially worse for young people. Everyone loves waking up on their birthday and seeing all their friends post them a nice Birthday message. To make sure people know your birthday so you can get those nice messages, Facebook makes you show your birthday.
And Millenials apparently love those birthday messages more than most because over 50% of them share their date of birth on Facebook. This places them at higher risk of identity theft.
How do you protect yourself. It’s pretty simple. Check your privacy settings. Don’t share information with anyone outside your network and don’t share your date of birth on Facebook for crying out loud.
Thanks for reading!