Careless Twittering can lead to identity theft

I have a friend called Harry (not his real name, for reasons which will become obvious) and in the last week or so he’s had his very own experience of being on the sharp end of identity theft.

Someone has been going into banks in his home town and withdrawing cash over the counter from his account, obviously without his permission. This has happened on a few occasions now. In some cases as much as £500 has been taken from accounts which Harry rarely uses.

Of course, he’s been in touch with his bank (who say that yes they do have CCTV, but they only turn it on when they think something suspicious is happening..) and the police, and hopefully nothing more will be stolen.

But, understandably, he’s got a bee in his bonnet now about capturing the culprit and inflicting various degrees of torture with cheesewires, half a pound of lard and some old Barry Manilow LPs.

You can therefore imagine my surprise when Harry, who is a bright enough chap, posted the following on Twitter this morning:

Date of birth on Twitter

Yes, Harry has posted on Twitter that he is 34 today. Which means he’s just told the entire world his full date of birth is 19 February 1975.

I’ve had a word with Harry, and he’s deleted the Tweet now.. so don’t bother looking for it. There are, after all, plenty of other people revealing their full date of birth each and every day on Twitter who you can go and check out.. 🙁

Of course, this isn’t how Harry’s bank account got raided – but he’s kicking himself that he has been careless with his Twittering. And it shows you just how easily you can accidentally reveal a piece of personal information about yourself, even when you’re spending all your waking hours trying to work out who has stolen your identity.