Facebook users may want to receive messages from friends on their birthday - but sharing birth dates online is putting many of them at risk of fraud.
Nearly a third of social media users are sharing too much personal information online, making it easy for fraudsters to commit identity theft.
Research by Equifax has found that 30 per cent of Britons put their full name and date of birth on their social media profile page, which fraudsters can use to find out more information, such as their address.
"This then gives them enough detail to take over an identity and carry out criminal activities such as applying for a loan or credit card under the stolen identity," Equifax said.
Younger generations are the most willing to share their name and date of birth online, and although they are less likely targets because they are less wealthy, fraudsters are able to save the information for future use.
John Marsden, head of ID and fraud at Equifax, said: "People must act now to protect their finances for the long term. Cases of fraud are on the rise, with identity theft representing a major slice of fraudulent activity. More adults in the UK are engaging with social media than ever before, especially on their smartphones, and a high number are readily sharing their personal information on these platforms."