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  • Home ownership

    Vacation Safety TipsData Security, Lifehacking

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    After you’ve booked your transportation and hotel, what should you do to prevent your dream vacation from turning into a nightmare for your credit and your identity? I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute Here are some tips to keep identity thieves at bay while you’re away. Have a trusted family member or neighbor collect your mail every day. Put your newspaper delivery service on hold.  Set your lights on […]

  • Post-Target Data Security: Culture Eats Strategy for BreakfastPersonal Finance

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    Peter Drucker, considered by some to be “the man who invented management,” usually gets credit for the phrase, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Target’s woes following its historic data breach last November proves how true it is. It seems clear at this point that the breach was disastrous for the company. First-quarter sales figures following the breach showed a 16% decline over the same period the year before, and Target’s stock has fallen 11% since […]

  • The Government Database That Could Know Everything About YouColumn, Blog

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    Millions of Americans may soon become part of an expanded government database that would give two federal regulatory agencies an up-close and personal (perhaps too up-close and personal) view of their private financial lives that, if breached, could make for a really bad day for a whole lot of people. The seed for this proposed database expansion was buried in the 261-page Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008; a requirement that the Federal Housing […]

  • Cyber thief

    Cybercriminals Have Your Number, But Which One?Column, Blog

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    The Star Wars Cantina of cybercriminals targeting your identity, healthcare, finances and privacy today might seem like a movie you’ve seen so many times you could lip sync the entire thing. Nevertheless, cybercrime and identity-related scams change faster than trending hashtags on Twitter, and the fact is nobody knows what’s going to happen next. Who would have thought Apple’s iCloud was vulnerable (much less to ransomware)? Or eBay? Data breaches are now the third certainty […]

  • 4 Ways New Grads Are Vulnerable to Identity TheftPersonal Finance

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    As new graduates climb down from the ivory tower (diploma in hand), many will be facing “real world” transactions for the first time, and they are at risk. Identity-related crimes, bad deals and credit score pitfalls pockmark the road ahead. And for those new grads who are thinking, “It can’t happen to me,” prepare to say “Hello” to reality. Data breaches and the identity theft cases that stem from them have become certainties in life, […]

  • 3 Student Loan Strategies that Won’t Get You Out of DebtColumn, student loans

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    Class of 2014, the time has come to find a job and start paying down your student loans. Like many young graduates, you probably don’t feel like embracing this particular change. If that’s the case, I’d like to suggest you at least consider shaking its hand. Commencement season is here, which means a torrent of speeches about risk-taking and being bold on life’s journey — with a laugh line here and there about the student […]

  • Could a Bad Credit Score Make You Homeless?Column, Press, Blog

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    A landlord in San Francisco recently wrote letters to tenants that said if their FICO credit score was below 725 or they made less than $100,000 a year, they would have to move out. A media dust-up ensued and the landlord retracted the letter. While this is an extreme case, it just goes to show that good credit is increasingly linked to your ability to secure housing. Tight Market for U.S. Rentals The National Low […]

  • Privacy and security

    Data Security: Can Corporations Protect Us From Hackers?Column, Data Security, Blog

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    Gregg Steinhafel’s ouster at Target this week was a major C-Suite casualty in corporate America’s war on hackers. Sales took a major nosedive after the retailer’s big data security breach hit the news last December, with fourth-quarter profits down 46%. So what’s a CEO to do? First of all, if it seems a little overblown to blame Target’s poor performance of late solely on the breach, I’d tend to agree with you. There was the […]

  • Parents

    A Parent’s Guide to Stopping Child Identity TheftColumn, Blog, Identity Theft

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    Mother’s Day and Father’s Day aren’t only boons to the greeting card business—for parents they provide a welcome break, a chance to sleep in and take it easy, and spend some quality time thinking about… child identity theft. Huh? OK, maybe you aren’t kicking back in your down-time and thinking about the finer points of child identity theft. But if you haven’t been paying much attention to the growing number of horror stories featuring starry-eyed […]

  • Could Your Mother’s Online Sharing Cost You Big Time?Column, Blog, Identity Theft

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    With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s quite natural to reflect upon the innumerable ways our mothers have made us the men and women we are today. But while lost in that reverie, consider this: In her love for you and your family, and her desire to share online your joys and accomplishments with friends and the world at large, could your mom be putting you in harm’s way? There are many ways our […]

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