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Millennials at risk of fraud over Instagram pet pictures: Santander

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A woman takes a selfie with a dog in San Jose on June 11, 2017.

Ezequiel Becerra | AFP | Getty Images

Millennials posting photos of their pets on social media platforms such as Instagram are putting themselves at risk of fraud and financial scams, according to a new survey.

Spanish bank Santander, in a survey, criticized celebrities for setting a bad example by oversharing online, claiming they were putting “impressionable young followers” at risk.

In June, Santander U.K. and OnePoll surveyed 2,000 British adults who use Instagram, publishing their findings on Monday.

Almost 90% of people under the age of 25 admitted to posting personal information — such as their age or pet’s name — on social media.

Meanwhile, one in 10 people in the same age range have shared the name of a pet on Instagram and used that name as a password, according to Santander.

The lender noted that more than a quarter of the Instagram accounts followed by under 25s belonged to celebrities, with its research showing that 40% of young adults were influenced by celebrity posts. A third of 18 to 24 year olds said they had used an actual celebrity Instagram post as inspiration for their own social media content.

Celebrity oversharing was setting a “particularly dangerous” trend, Santander warned. Publishing too much information could enable fraudsters to build up profiles of victims, which could be used to apply for financial products in their name, manipulate a victim into sharing more personal details, or transfer their money into another account.

The bank claimed it had uncovered “a selection of celebrities who are guilty of oversharing on Instagram.”

Some celebrities are renowned for posting photos of their pets, with many even opening separate accounts dedicated to them.

Lady Gaga’s French bulldog has its own verified account with 233,000 followers, while singer Taylor Swift – who has 119 million followers – regularly posts pictures of her pet cats.

Santander also criticized famous Instagram users for sharing their date of birth online.

British musician Ed Sheeran, who has more than 30 million Instagram followers, posted pictures on the social media site on his 28th birthday in February.

The research also found half of 18 to 24 year olds used the same password for multiple websites, with only 12% of under 25s regularly updating their login details for websites where they had shared personal details. A further 78% said they did not know how to protect themselves from identity theft.

Chris Ainsley, head of fraud strategy at Santander, said in a press release on Monday that oversharing can open people up to being targeted by criminals.

“Make sure you get the balance right and don’t give fraudsters an easy ride. Check your privacy settings are on, stay vigilant and consider what you’re giving away before hitting post,” he said.

How to reduce fraud risks online

Santander shared four tips to avoid dangerous oversharing on social media, which were collated by social media expert Jodie Cook.

  1. Keep your date of birth to yourself
    Cook advised Instagrammers to try not to share ages or dates of birth when posting pictures of birthday celebrations.
  2. Don’t overshare pet names
    “Posting pets pics and tagging their names might get the likes rolling in, but given how commonly they’re used for security questions, you might be oversharing just enough detail for fraudsters to take advantage,” Cook said in a press release Monday.
  3. Be mindful of family details
    When posting on social media, users should avoid giving away details like their middle name or their mother’s maiden name, as these are some of the most commonly used security questions.
  4. Childhood memories can land you in trouble
    “Whilst it may be tempting to reminisce about childhood memories online, avoid disclosing where you were born,” Cook said, noting that this information could be used to access your bank accounts.
  5. Keep sensitive documents out of sight
    It might seem obvious to keep bank cards and passports off of Instagram, but Cook urged social media users to check their pictures before posting. “Remember, out of sight, out of mind and out of trouble,” she said.

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US-UK trade deal within a year of Brexit will be tight, UK PM Johnson

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It will be tight to meet the United States’ desire to do a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain within a year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday.

Johnson, who took office last month, had his first bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump earlier on Sunday at the G7 meeting in France and the two discussed a range of issues including trade.

In interviews with British television media afterwards, Johnson said the United States wanted to do a deal within a year of Britain leaving the EU on Oct. 31.

“Years and years is an exaggeration, but to do it all within a year is going to be tight,” he told BBC TV.

Johnson also said the chances of Britain agreeing a Brexit deal with the EU were improving but it would be “touch and go”.

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Hong Kong police briefly turn water cannon on protesters, fire tear gas

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Protesters gather in Kwai Fong in Hong Kong on August 24, 2019.

LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA | AFP | Getty Images

Hong Kong police briefly fired water cannon and volleys of tear gas to force back brick-throwing protesters on Sunday after violent clashes a day earlier during which police also fired tear gas for the first time in more than a week.

At least one petrol bomb was thrown by protesters. The water cannon, which had not been used in years of anti-government protests, soon pulled away.

The Chinese-ruled city’s MTR rail operator suspended some services to try to prevent people gathering but protesters made it to a sports stadium in the vast container port of Kwai Chung, from where they marched to nearby Tsuen Wan.

Some dug up bricks from the pavement and wheeled them away to use as ammunition, others sprayed detergent on the road to make it slippery for the lines of police. Clashes spread in many directions.

Police had warned earlier they would launch a “dispersal operation” and told people to leave.

“Some radical protesters have removed railings … and set up barricades with water-filled barriers, bamboo sticks, traffic cones and other objects,” they said in a statement.

“Such acts neglect the safety of citizens and road users, paralysing traffic in the vicinity,” the statement said.

Activists threw petrol bombs and bricks on Saturday in the gritty industrial district of Kwun Tong, on the east of the Kowloon peninsula.

The vast majority marched peacefully on Sunday.

‘Last Chance’

M. Sung, a 53-year-old software engineer in a black mask emblematic of the many older, middle-class citizens at the march, said he had been at almost every protest and would keep coming.

“We know this is the last chance to fight for ‘one country, two systems’, otherwise the Chinese Communist Party will penetrate our home city and control everything,” he said.

“If we keep a strong mind, we can sustain this movement for justice and democracy. It won’t die,” Sung said.

Protesters say they are fighting the erosion of the “one country, two systems” arrangement under which the former British colony returned to China in 1997 with the promise of continued freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.

The protests, which started over a now-suspended extradition bill and evolved into demands for greater democracy, have rocked Hong Kong for three months and plunged the city into its biggest political crisis since the handover.

They also pose a direct challenge for Communist Party leaders in Beijing, who are eager to quell the unrest ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1.

Beijing has sent a clear warning that forceful intervention is possible, with paramilitary forces holding drills just over the border.

Transport to the airport appeared normal on Sunday, despite protesters’ plans for a day-long “stress test” of transport in the international aviation and financial hub.

Police said they strongly condemned protesters “breaching public peace” and that 19 men and 10 women had been arrested after Saturday’s violence. More than 700 have been arrested since the demonstrations began in June.

The neighbouring gambling territory of Macau, a former Portuguese colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1999, elected former legislature head Ho Iat Seng as its leader on Sunday – the sole approved candidate.

Ho, who has deep ties to China, is expected to cement Beijing’s control over the “special administrative region”, the same status given to Hong Kong, and distance it from the unrest there.

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At G-7, Trump says he is not happy about North Korea missile tests

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SAINT-JEAN-DE-LUZ, France — President Donald Trump said Sunday he was not happy after North Korea launched short-range ballistic missiles over the weekend.

“I’m not happy about it but again he’s not in violation of any agreement,” Trump said when asked about the recent string of tests from the North’s Kim Jong Un.

“I discussed long-range ballistic and that he cannot do and he hasn’t been doing it and he hasn’t been doing nuclear testing. He has done short-range, much more standard missiles, a lot of people are testing those missiles, not just him. We are in the world of missiles folks, whether you like it or not,” Trump said.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said North Korea’s test was in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

On Saturday, North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast, the South Korean military said, the latest in a series of launches in recent weeks amid stalled denuclearization talks.

North Korea, the only nation to have tested nuclear weapons this century, spent most of Trump’s first year in office perfecting its nuclear arsenal. The newest member of the world’s exclusive nuclear weapons club has stopped testing of its nukes for now as the U.S. and international community offer the possibility of relief from crippling economic sanctions.

Under the third-generation North Korean leader, the reclusive state has conducted its most powerful nuclear test, launched its first-ever intercontinental ballistic missile and threatened to send missiles into the waters near the U.S. territory of Guam.

Since 2011, Kim has fired more than 90 missiles and had four nuclear weapons tests, which is more than what his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather, Kim Il Sung, launched over a period of 27 years.

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