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  • Data Breaches: Why Assigning Blame Is a Zero-Sum GameColumn, Data Security, Blog, Personal Finance

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    Today’s data breaches are like a game of musical chairs: sooner or later, you’ll have to face the music. Last year was bad for data security: More than 800 million records containing sensitive consumer data were exposed. News of breaches keeps rolling in. Identity theft—which had been considered a crass scare tactic conjured up by creative marketing departments to sell solutions to a non-problem – has become the third certainty in life, alongside death and […]

  • The 4 Laziest Ways to Improve Your Credit ScoreColumn, Blog, Personal Finance

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    There are people out there who expend a lot of energy in the quest for a totally meaningless perfect credit score, which I’ve written about elsewhere. Most people know it’s important to have good credit, but they don’t want to spend too much time worrying about it. The good news is that you can be pretty lazy and still improve your credit. The difference between having good credit (generally from 700-749) and bad credit (anything […]

  • Student Loans: Could Your Co-signer Kill Your Credit?student loans, Blog

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    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report by Rohit Chopra that highlighted an important issue in the student loan landscape. Student loans are going into default because a co-signer dies or files for bankruptcy, and it’s happening sometimes faster than borrowers can take action. Till death when you come apart? The CFPB reported receiving ongoing complaints from borrowers who find out upon the death of their co-signer (usually a parent or grandparent) that a […]

  • AOL: Hacked or Spoofed, It’s Time to Check Your Sent FolderData Security, Blog

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    The latest security alert online seems to be the work of a Walking Dead fan. Twitter is lighting up with users complaining that long-closed AOL accounts recently came back to life, with phishing emails spreading like a zombie epidemic. #AOLHacked is trending on Twitter as people are letting their followers know about the phishing emails, and venting their frustration. Hacked. Sorry. I didn't do it. #AOL #AOLHacked — Konii Thomas (@KoniiThomas) April 22, 2014 At […]

  • The HR Decision that Could Sink Your BusinessColumn, Blog

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    Your human resources department plays a vital role in how your company gets things done. It makes sure you are staffed properly, that benefits are administered and many other important obligations are met in a timely manner. Everyone knows the pitfalls of the HR department. If they recruit a bad player, it can hurt morale, but it won’t necessarily sink the ship. There is, however, an HR-related obligation that, if left unmet, can take a […]

  • The 5 Dumbest Credit MistakesColumn, Blog, Personal Finance

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    Several years ago, I watched in amazement when the CEO of a major identity theft protection firm, appeared in a series of commercials waving his Social Security card in the air, parading his Social Security number on a billboard through heavily populated urban areas and screaming his SSN through a bullhorn as a challenge to those who believed that he couldn’t protect it. As a result, he couldn’t protect it and became a 13-time victim […]

  • The Heartbleed Bug: Changing Your Passwords Isn’t EnoughPress

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    The Heartbleed bug has sent a shockwave through the Internet, as millions of users try to take stock of all of the accounts they’ve ever created and figure out how to change their passwords. Too bad their passwords are just the beginning of the problem. Given the reach of Heartbleed and how long the bug existed, it’s hard to even say how much data unscrupulous hackers could’ve gotten their hands on and, because of how […]

  • How to Remember All the Passwords You’re ResettingColumn, Blog

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    If you’re like most people, the news of the Heartbleed bug and how broadly its security flaw spread is worrisome enough. But the list of sites where you absolutely have to change your passwords looks daunting for anyone. You probably have to change passwords on your email, your Facebook, and maybe even your online dating profile, not to mention potentially countless online shopping sites (depending upon the depth and breadth of your need to shop […]

  • Why a Perfect Credit Score Doesn’t MatterColumn, Financial Literacy, Blog

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    There are some people in life for whom an A on a report card was never good enough, who idly wondered why they were never above the 99th percentile on standardized tests and relentlessly beat themselves up whenever they came in second. In adulthood, some of those same people are relentlessly pursuing the highest possible FICO credit score – an 850. I’m here to tell those people to stop. The idea of “gaming” your already-excellent […]

  • Why You Are Vulnerable To Tax Identity TheftColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    A few weeks ago, a friend of mine – let’s call her Mallory – got an unsettling call from her accountant. The accountant had been preparing Mallory’s taxes, hit “Send” to e-file the finished return, and it was rejected. Someone had already filed a tax return using Mallory’s Social Security number. She’d been a victim of tax identity theft. The accountant called the IRS, but they wouldn’t talk to her. Mallory called and was directed […]

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