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Do you have an "official" birthday?

(74 Posts)
madamecholet Sun 31-Jul-16 20:11:08

Whenever I am asked for my date of birth by anyone other than banks, credit card companies, etc I never give my real birth date, but use another date. It’s always the same date, but was chosen completely at random when I set up my first email account. I thought most people did this, but an article in today’s Sunday Times suggests that many people don’t realise the dangers of giving their real birth date to any online site that asks for it. I can’t give you a link, you need to subscribe to view the entire article online, but it reports that identity theft is currently a huge and growing problem and social networking sites, in particular, are a hunting ground for criminals.

I don’t do Facebook and I try not to give out too much personal information on internet forums or say anything online that would make it easy to identify me. Are other Gransnetters equally cautious; do you also have an “official” birthday – just like the Queengrin!

Liz46 Mon 01-Aug-16 10:32:53

Vissos, I hadn't thought about a 'sacrifice' mobile. Very few people know my mobile number but I ordered something online and the company insisted on having it so that they could text me about delivery. I then started getting texts about betting (something I never do) so they must have sold my number.

Anniechip Mon 01-Aug-16 11:01:36

Well I have learned a lot this morning! I have always given my real d o b and mobile number- never given my landline number though. Unless you have caller ID on landline you never know who is on the other end. At least with the mobile you can choose to answer! I always thought you had to be honest on these things or someone will have you for fraud!! How naive!!

BlueBelle Mon 01-Aug-16 11:07:53

I ve never used a different birthdate I guess it s out there ever since I went on the Internet hundreds of years ago so not much point in changing now

Lewlew Mon 01-Aug-16 11:17:01

I never give my mobile number as on my old one I ended up with scads of PPI or accident claim texts...ugh.

Except for trusted companies' delivery information when buying something, I always put a wrong digit in my landline.

Also, never use your mother's real maiden name. That's an ages old security question and many banks etc have dropped it now.

I feel very lucky having shopped online since 1999 and no problems. Use Paypal almost exclusively.

puppytoe Mon 01-Aug-16 11:19:26

I use a made up birthday on Facebook for privacy reasons. My sister noticed!!

henetha Mon 01-Aug-16 11:43:02

What a great idea. I shall do this from now on. And I like the phone number idea too.. Thank you.

Skweek1 Mon 01-Aug-16 11:43:22

Since there are 365 days in the year, and everyone is between 0-115 years of age, I'm quite happy to stick to my actual DOB. I am more concerned about potential pin-number theft, but only use sites I trust.

notanan Mon 01-Aug-16 11:46:01

yes I have always had an "online" birthday

Its actually a family members birthday so it's easy to remember (you often need to remember it to get back into stuff online) but if it was used maliciously it wouldn't match up to my name.

Skweek1 you never use your pin online anyway?

Funnygran Mon 01-Aug-16 11:54:59

The idea of a second birthday date sounds like a good idea, it's something I have never thought about. What I do hate is when I fill in a guarantee form for a product which then goes on to ask details of family income, number of cars, holidays etc. At this point I give up and hope the thing doesn't break down or that I am covered anyway by the place where I bought it. I already get lots of letters from companies when my car or house insurance is due so presumably my details have been passed on by my present insurer or from an internet search. Big Brother is always watching!

mcculloch29 Mon 01-Aug-16 11:58:27

I would be slightly more concerned about passwords, than about birthdates, though I take the point.
My passwords are very unusual, and rotated through various sites regularly.
I usually remember which one it is, as there is an order in which they are used (which isn't overly obvious).

Purpledaffodil Mon 01-Aug-16 12:15:13

DS1 put me on to an app called 1Password which gives you access to long encrypted passwords. You gain access to them via one password which he recommends as three random words eg purplepighair. Then you can cut and paste into the site you are using.
Incidentally I had the wrong date of birth on my passport for ten years. Their mistake, not mine. Didn't cause any problems and I travelled all over the world with it. Worrying really!

Christinefrance Mon 01-Aug-16 12:24:54

Didn't realise how naive I am about online security. Thanks for all the tips everyone. It's a bit scary though how vulnerable we are.

GadaboutGran Mon 01-Aug-16 12:45:11

Computerised systems won't accept my phone number which only has 10 digits.

sunseeker Mon 01-Aug-16 12:53:49

Friends keep sending me links to online quizzes, you have to log in via your facebook account, which gives them access to all your information. I never log into them and I have asked friends to stop sending them to me. I am always very careful about what information I put into a website or give out over the phone. I am particularly wary of the ones who say they are not trying to sell you anything but just doing a survey. I usually ask them how much they are going to pay me for doing the survey as they are going to make money selling the information - they hang up.

Bluecat Mon 01-Aug-16 13:01:10

I'm afraid I've never thought of doing any of these things. I'm very wary on the phone - when DH answers a cold call, I'm dancing round him, hissing "Don't tell them anything!" - but a bit of an innocent online. I'll be more careful in future.

madamecholet Mon 01-Aug-16 13:11:57

Something they mentioned in the article was not to accept friends requests on Facebook from a name you don’t recognise, as they will not only be able to see your dob, but, for instance, if your uncle is one of your Fb friends, his surname is likely to be your mother’s maiden name (although as Lewlew says, banks don’t seem to use that security question much these days).

Sunseeker, like you, I always ask the telephone surveys how much they will be paying for my time. They do seem to lose interest quite quickly then!grin

dirgni Mon 01-Aug-16 14:05:59

Great hints,have never really thought about it before. Many thanks

alternativeageing Mon 01-Aug-16 14:11:29

What a good idea. I have recently started using another date I can always remember so will do this for anything to do with the internet from now on! Thanks for the advice. As a blogger, I also have to have another age for some blogging sites as some of them don't seem to go any earlier than 1960! x

clareken Mon 01-Aug-16 15:44:19

Ramblingrose Companies House no longer shows the day in the dob just the month and year. Recent change though.

chelseababy Mon 01-Aug-16 15:56:37

My real area dialling code IS 01234

SparklyGrandma Mon 01-Aug-16 16:26:58

madamecholet, what a good idea. I used to receive 10s of calls weekly on my last landline so when I moved I stopped giving my landline number to companies. I made myself several years OLDER on facebook and twitter - funny, I never thought of going younger.

Companies, groups etc mostly sell our details onto others so its best to be careful. I may buy a £4.99 tescos mobile if I ever need a number for companies who insist on ordering online.

Be careful out there....

Linbrikat Mon 01-Aug-16 16:29:29

Just to be controversial (that's me!), I think people worry too much about these things. I'm a dedicated comper - I enter at least 100 online competitions every day. Most of these ask for details such as full name, full postal address, phone number, date of birth and of course email address. Apart from the odd junk phone call, I've never had any trouble as a result of giving out this information. Have to admit though, I usually knock 10 years off my age - not for security reasons but because I think they might not want to give prizes to old fogeys like me!

Aslemma Mon 01-Aug-16 16:41:47

I do have different e-mail addresses as I do a lot of competitions on line and this keeps the inevitable junk out of my main account. I have a few passwords, most of which are the English spellimg of Arabic words. I never give my landline number but only my mobile as I don't answer calls from withheld or unknown numbers. I do, however, have a 'comping' birthdate, not for security but bacause I have a strong suspicion that companies are looking for winners rather younger than me, so I knock quite a few years off. ?

Aslemma Mon 01-Aug-16 16:44:59

It seems others have the same idea as me regarding knocking a few (or even a lot) of years off our date of birth. ?

Granny23 Mon 01-Aug-16 16:59:15

My DH's Mother's surname, which he was given as a middle name happened to be the same as the town where he was born and the family lived. His grandfather (DM's DF) started a business under his own name, which my DH later inherited and ran. SO:

Mothers maiden name = XYZ
Middle name = XYZ
Place of Birth = XYZ
First School = XYZ Primary
Senior school = XYZ High School
Company name = XYZ, The Joiners

Easy to remember but caused some disbelief when he was asked for the full set of details.