Unfortunately, an ID fraudster can use your birthday as a jigsaw piece to steal your identity and conduct identity theft. That's reason enough to avoid posting your birthday on social media. However, there are other ways that an ID thief could use information about you just by knowing your name and date of birth.
If you have been the victim of ID theft, we recommend you contact the authorities immediately. They may be able to help prevent others from using your information in well-intended acts of kindness.
In addition, make sure you report any changes to your Social Security number to the Social Security Administration (SSA). You should do this even if no one has attempted to use your number yet. The SSA needs to know if your number is being used by anyone else so they can take action if needed.
Finally, change your password regularly -- and consider adding some random characters to make it harder for hackers to guess. It's also important not to share passwords for sensitive accounts like your financial institution or email providers. Instead, try using separate passwords for each account.
These are just some of the many things you can do to protect your identity.
Identity thieves like lurking on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and they will notice congratulations messages sent by friends and family on your birthday. Your date of birth is easily found online, so be sure to hide it from sight.
Finally, you should know that some scams specifically target people over 40 because financial institutions tend to stop sending you mail based on your date of birth. So if you get something in the mail from someone you don't know, it could be a scam trying to steal your money.
Fraudsters just need three pieces of information to steal your identity and gain access to your accounts, loans, credit cards, and mobile phones. The more details you give out about yourself online the greater the risk of your data being stolen. For example, if you share your date of birth then anyone can steal your identity.
Your date of birth is used by companies when they want to know if you're eligible for a product or service. It may also be used as part of our internal security measures. For example, when you make a purchase through PayPal or Google Wallet your date of birth is asked to verify that you are old enough to make such a decision.
In addition to these purposes, we may use your date of birth internally for research purposes. For example, we may study how often certain days of the year are used as passwords so we can improve our encryption methods.
We don't store your date of birth in its original form. Instead, we convert it into one-digit numbers for quick lookup and comparison. We do this because there are much fewer digits in a date of birth than in an email address or username, so we can match them quickly without storing all of those characters.
Surprisingly, a fraudster may utilize your birth date to take your identity. What can a fraudster do with your birth date? It's required on almost every official form, from government papers to financial records. Several internet services additionally utilize your birthplace as a secondary confirmation measure. If you have an account at one of these sites, then hackers could use this information to send spam or malicious websites your way.
Your birth date is used in many places for various reasons. For example, doctors and hospitals need your birth date to provide you with appropriate notices or reminders. Your birth date is also used by social security administrators when checking eligibility. Finally, banks and credit card companies require your birth date when it comes time to file claims or make other transactions related to your account.
Because of this reason alone, it is important for you to keep your birth date private. While there are ways to prevent your birth date from being stolen, for example by not listing it on any forms that are made available to the public, it cannot be verified once it has been revealed. Therefore, it is important to keep your birth date confidential so it cannot be used against you by others.
If you suspect that your birth date has been compromised, contact the company that issued you must legal documents (such as a driver's license) and ask them to change your birth date on all their records.