October 3, 2008
Read this before you register anywhere
A funny thing happened this week on Facebook. I saw a comment posted on Chris Penn‘s wall by Scott Monty which wished him a happy birthday. I scanned my friend’s birthdays, but didn’t see Chris on the list.
Without thinking much more about the missing birthday listing, I added a comment to Chris’ wall wishing him a happy b’day. Done deal, right?
It was only later through Chris’ own admission that he had conflicting birthdays on Facebook and MySpace. Coincidentally, both birthdays are actually incorrect. Chris blogged explaining his incorrect birth dates:
October 1, 1975 (for MySpacers) and October 21, 1975 (Facebookers) are relatively close to my birthday, but not in fact my birthdays. I use these online in lots of places because it’s convenient, easy to remember, and most importantly, it allows me to know which companies online have compromised my privacy.
Date of birth is one of the holy trinity of identity fraud. Name, date of birth, and social security number will get you VERY far as an identity thief. Combine it with an address, and you’ve got just about everything you need. It’s also a highly-prized piece of marketing data.
Food for thought, eh? Are you using your real birthday when you register for the hundreds of social network sites, blogs, microblogs and email services?
An interesting point was made about using incorrect answers when registering for email accounts (among other registration processes). It’s a great security measure to answer the security questions incorrectly, so only you truly know the answer.
What are you doing to enhance your online security?
This entry was posted in uncategorized and tagged in chris penn, Christopher S. Penn, email security, identity theft, indentity fraud, online security, Sarah Palin, scott monty, social network security, This Week In Tech, TWiT.