How Mother’s Day Facebook celebrations can lead to identity theft

Mother and babyA couple of weeks ago I explained why you shouldn’t reveal your Royal Wedding guest name. Now I have to warn you that celebrating Mother’s Day can lead to you giving away too much personal information about your children.

Here’s a message which has been passed around on Facebook for a few days:

In honor of Mother's Day...If you are a proud mother re post with the name, birth date, & birth weight of your child/children!

Mother's Day post on Facebook

See what they’ve done? They’ve told me the name of their children and their precise date of birth. And I’m not even friends with them, they’ve left their profiles open for the entire world to see because they haven’t followed best practice guidelines for Facebook privacy settings.

And – don’t forget – when you share a piece of information with everyone on Facebook, that actually means the entire internet for ever. This information by itself may not be enough to commit identity theft against your child, but it’s a stepping stone for fraudsters which can help them.

You shouldn’t post this kind of personal information onto the internet – tell people you love your children and are proud of them without revealing their full names or dates of birth.

If you use Facebook and want to learn more about threats, you should join the Sophos Facebook page where we have a thriving community of over 80,000 people.

Love Your Mother At ALL Costs?

Who was the one who held you in their arms when you let out your first cry in the world? Did you say “doctor?” Well, that may be true in some cases, but the more obvious answer is “mother.”

Dating back to ancient Greece, mankind held a festival worshiping Cybele, mother of the Greek gods. Mother’s Day is now celebrated around the world, mainly sometime in March, April, or May. The most common date is the second Sunday in May when, in most countries, mothers receive flowers and gifts in celebration of the day. How can spammers miss this special occasion when people are surfing the Internet to try and dig up a sweet surprise to express love and gratitude towards their mothers?

The following are Mother’s Day spam samples that Symantec has recently observed. There is a range of product spam, including flowers, watches, gift cards, and diet products. This latest spam campaign involved both dictionary and domain attack techniques, randomizing the URLs in the message body in attempts to bypass filters—all with alluring slogans and catchy photos. But be warned: if you enjoy online shopping but have been duped into filling out a phishing scam order form, you will most likely be leaking your own personal information.

From: Mother’s Day Gift
Subject:  Let mom sink her teeth into the impossibly delicious gift of berries – from $19.99

From: [Details Removed] Replicas
Subject:  HighQuality Replica Rolex, LouisVuitton, Breitling, Omega, soMuch More!

From: [Details Removed] Exclusive Offer
Subject:  Mother’s Day Exclusive! Flowers from $19.99

From: [Details Removed] Ultra Diet
Subject:  [Details Removed] Diet Drops! Mother’s Day Special!


Do you love your mother? I do! And, that’s what spammers take advantage of when this yearly event comes around. Shopping for the perfect gift for your lovely mother might give you a nice warm and fuzzy feeling, but you never know what spammers could do with your personal information and therefore you need to remain cautious. Deleting the spam email that is pouring into your inbox is nothing compared to unauthorized bills coming from out of nowhere. Moreover, are you able to handle the legal issues if your bank account is victimized by fraudsters?

Your mother loves you, and will always want you to stay out of trouble, so stay alert. Symantec security products can keep you clear of spam as well as malware and malicious attacks.

Love your mother, and love her safely!