Birthdates, Presents and Passwords
When should you provide your date of birth? More importantly, when shouldn't you.
I had a number of discussions yesterday about what to do when you are asked to provide your date of birth. Apart from when required to for a legal reason (such as entering into an employment contract), we are asked far too many times for this bit of information about ourselves.
Are you over a certain age, eg 18?
I am, or I am not. If I say I am then why ask for anything further? If I am not, well, providing services to children is a separate topic. Let’s just stick with the fact that I am currently over 18, and that is unlikely to change. Having told you that I am, then why do you want my exact date of birth? Tell me the reason why, what you will be doing with it including whom you will share it with, then I will consider giving it to you.
You want to send me a birthday present!
One of the discussions yesterday was with someone who happily gives a date every time she is asked, but not the correct one. She has embraced the fact that her birthday is an opportunity for companies to try and maintain her brand loyalty by sending her a little something. So she makes sure she has a birthday every month and gets sent presents accordingly. Vouchers for cakes, money to spend in store, and even bottles of Prosecco. Genius! (And yes, she does have to cater for the emails that she gets as a result, but this is easily done with simple email rules.)
Do not use your birthdate in any of your passwords nor as your PIN.
If you need to be convinced, take a look at the video on the subject that was doing the rounds (again) on social media. I shared it on LinkedIn. And that was someone finding out by just asking questions.