You might want to delete your birthday from Facebook today – here’s why

A new UK security report suggests that removing key personal information, such as your birthday, from your Facebook account could be a good idea as cases of identity fraud soar.

Cifas claims that the total number of identity fraud victims has risen 57 percent since last year, and that fraudsters are increasingly turning to social networks to mine valuable information on their marks.

This has resulted in a 52 percent increase in identity theft for 21 to 30-year-olds alone – a group that’s typically associated with heavy social network usage.

The more information that you readily provide on Facebook, Twitter, and the like, the more exposed you are.

According to the Cifas report, “86 per cent of all identity frauds in 2015 were perpetrated online” – and that doesn’t just mean that hacking was employed. Another far simpler method is using social media to piece together the details of a person’s identity.

Related: How to protect your home network from hackers

“The likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online platforms are much more than just social media sites,” says Cifas chief executive Simon Dukes. “They are now a hunting ground for identity thieves.”

“We are urging people to check their privacy settings today and think twice about what they share.”

Cifas is raising awareness of the dangers of oversharing on social networks with a new video entitled Data to Go. It shows how a quick and simple social network sweep can often reveal details such as a person’s phone number, email address, bank, job, home address, birthday, and even mother’s maiden name – all useful information to an identity thief.

Check out the Cifas website for more information on how to protect your online identity.

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