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Birthday Wishes Inadvertently Give Away Private Information Online

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A young woman blows out the candles on a birthday cake.

Said the University of Edinburgh's Dilara Kekulluoglu, “Date of birth was a good authentication because everyone had one, and it wasn’t that guessable if you’re not close to that person. But now, with the introduction of social media, it

Credit: Getty

Dilara Kekulluoglu and colleagues at the U.K.'s University of Edinburgh determined that birthday wishes on Twitter can inadvertently expose private data that could jeopardize recipients' online security.

The researchers found more than 18 million tweets mentioning "happy birthday" over a period of 45 days, of which 2.8 million directly mentioned a user, which could be tapped to learn an individual's birthday.

Banks and other organizations often use a customer’s date of birth to verify their identity.

Security experts advise people not to mention it on social media, and the data is even protected as personal under data protection laws in the U.K. and the E.U.

Said Kekulluoglu, "The information you leak and your networks leak, it's one point in the data chain that could get malicious people closer to your account."

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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