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Author Archives: Adam Levin


  • The Data Breach Factor So Many Companies Forget: EmotionColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    Smart business people know that they must secure their systems to withstand the most determined and persistent real-world, as well as cyber, attacks. They must minimize their risk of exposure by deploying the most sophisticated security and anti-malware software, using outside firms to frequently penetration-test their cyber defenses, continuously training their employees to comply with the most stringent security protocols, investigating every vendor and installing state-of-the-art physical security equipment. They must obsessively monitor all of […]

  • The Debt Tax: What Owing Money Costs YouColumn, Financial Literacy, Blog

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    If you’re carrying debts — from student loans, credit cards, a car note or a mortgage — you could probably tell me roughly how much you owe and at what interest rates you owe it. Thanks to the CARD Act, those of us who carry credit card debt now see how long it will take to pay it off on our monthly statements. It’s likely, however, that most folks don’t realize that by spending money […]

  • Stanford’s $4 Million Data Breach Settlement Proves You Are Your VendorData Security, Blog

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    My alma mater, Stanford University, is awaiting final judicial approval of a $4 million settlement in a class action suit over its 2011 data breach. Each of the 20,000 class members — whose confidential medical records were left up online for almost a year — will receive $100 and Stanford Hospital & Clinics will fund a $500,000 educational program to help prevent similar breaches in the future. The question, however, is who the program will […]

  • IRS Warns Of Largest-Ever Phone Scam Targeting TaxpayersBlog, Identity Theft

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    There’s nothing that strikes fear into the hearts of men (and women) like a call from the IRS — and this tax season, that’s what a new group of identity thieves counted on to bilk taxpayers out of over $1 million and counting. In this new scam, which is so serious that the Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration issued a warning about on Thursday, thieves contact individuals by phone and demand immediate payment for […]

  • Your Identity Thief Might Be Hiding In Your Family TreeColumn, Blog, Identity Theft

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    Most people assume identity thieves are super-sophisticated hackers sitting in front of banks of blinking computer screens. The more vigilant among us might be shredding every document in sight, jealously guarding sensitive information from unknown callers or online “frenemies” and installing the most sophisticated firewalls and security software on our mobile devices and computers. But sometimes you really never see it coming and the identity thief who ruined your credit and turned your life upside […]

  • Could BYOD Leave Your Small Business DOA?Column, Data Security, Blog

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    There is a line of thinking among many of my small-business colleagues that allowing employees to supply their own computers and phones – known as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD – is both convenient and a great way to save money. Whenever I hear that from anyone, the first thing I ask is if they require these employees to take the appropriate steps to secure these personal machines. If their answer is, “huh?” I […]

  • Medical Identity Theft: Does The Healthcare Industry Think It’s Too Big For Its Breaches?Column, Blog

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    If recent disclosures regarding the massive wave of breaches suffered by retailing icons Target, Neiman-Marcus and Sally Beauty haven’t scared you enough, try to wrap your brain around the new Ponemon Institute Patient Privacy and Data Security study. The study has found a 100% increase in criminal attacks on health care organizations since 2010. But if that weren’t enough, they also found something far more disturbing. “Despite concerns about employee negligence and the use of […]

  • Medical history

    100 Percent Increase in Criminal Attacks on Healthcare EntitiesData Security, Blog

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    The Ponemon Institute released a report today that includes some alarming news: Criminal attacks on healthcare organizations increased by an eye-popping 100 percent since 2010. With a continued ad-hoc approach to security at many organizations and millions of patients signing up for healthcare made possible by the Affordable Care Act, cybercriminals have been presented with an irresistible opportunity for potential crimes. 91 organizations were included in the study—11 more than last time around. The take-away: […]

  • Verizon Wireless Scam: What You Need to Know (WATCH)Blog, Technology

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    I appeared on CBS News last night to talk about a new scam. Verizon Wireless subscribers are getting calls from a spoofed Verizon support line. There is no way to tell that you are not talking to Verizon. Caller ID says you are. The scammers had a web site (it has since been shut down), but if you look at the URL, the address points to Verizon54.com. Yet another example of the ingenuity out there, […]

  • 5 Ways to Keep Your Passport SafeColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    If you’ve had to go get a new passport lately, you have learned (like me) it’s no longer the easiest thing to prove that you’re you. If you’re a first-timer, you must show up in person with a birth certificate, at least one government-issued ID (two if it’s out of state), photocopies, forms and fees, and then wait your turn. If you lose your passport while traveling abroad, you’ve got to show up at an […]

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