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What you’re really giving away on social media

Almost a third of Australians share their birthdate on social media, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by Visa, found that while Australians are generally good at keeping safe online, they’re being put at risk of fraud due to sharing things they may not realise are risky.

Ian McKindley, Visa Australia and New Zealand’s director of country risk management, said Australians must pay more attention to their online security.

“Today’s cyber criminals can view social networking sites as rich and valuable sources of personal data. They use crafty schemes to loot your private information, and piece by piece they gather enough data to raid your identity and online accounts,” McKindley said.

“With the vast majority of Australians today owning a portable device and using social media, people must be aware of how to protect themselves against online fraud. The first line of defence is to be well informed,” he added.

Here are some tips on how to minimise risk and keep your information safe on social networking sites:

  • Get familiar with privacy and security settings – they can help you manage your information and sharing preferences
  • Don’t give away your birth date – information about your birthday like the day, year, and where you were born can help a scammer unlock your financial identity.
  • Be way about giving away answers to common security questions like your mother’s maiden name, high school, or hometown.
  • Post holiday photos after you get back – don’t let potential robbers know that your phone is empty.
  • Don’t provide password clues – your passwords should be unique and difficult to guess, so don’t make them your dog’s name or your favourite football team, because that information could be found on your social network profiles.
  • Don’t friend strangers – an obvious tip, but still an important one.

Visa has also launched a website to help Australians learn about different types of fraud and how to avoid them.

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Gina Baldassarre

Gina Baldassarre

Gina is a journalist at Dynamic Business. She enjoys learning to ice skate and collecting sappy inspirational quotes.

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