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Data Security

The latest on data breaches and cybersecurity and data security by Adam K Levin.


  • Are You Your Own Worst Enemy When It Comes to Identity Theft?Column, Data Security, Blog

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    The other day a reporter asked me who’s to blame for the growing epidemic of identity-related tax fraud. I almost replied, “the government and the bad guys,” but I caught myself before committing to that inaccuracy. “We’re all to blame,” I said. I believe that breaches, and the identity theft that flows from them, have become the third certainty in life, right behind death and taxes. While it may seem like hyperbole, more than 1 […]

  • Can You Stop Medical ID Theft After the Anthem Breach?Data Security, health care

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    Anthem, the second-largest health insurer in the U.S., was hit by a major data breach last week. The news broke Feb. 4, and the company posted a letter online from the president and CEO, Joseph R. Swedish. Two sentences from this letter are displayed in a large, blue box on the side of anthemfacts.com, the page created for updates on the situation: “Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack. Based on what […]

  • What the Anthem Hack Means For YouData Security, health care

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    The nation’s second-largest health insurer has suffered a cyberattack that might become the largest hacking headache ever for American consumers. Anthem Inc. announced Wednesday that computer criminals had infiltrated its systems and stolen a treasure trove of personal information. While the firm says no medical data or credit card information was targeted or stolen, hackers made off with names, birth dates, medical IDs/Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data. […]

  • Your Anonymous Credit Card Data Isn’t So AnonymousColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    A recent report in Science Magazine revealed the soft underbelly of what was once considered a well-armored use of “anonymized” consumer information. The study’s authors were able to successfully identify consumers based on several anonymized data sets—specifically, their credit card purchases. Using purchase metadata with no credit card numbers, names or any other simple identifiers, the report’s co-authors found they could track a specific person’s purchases using three factors: a receipt, an Instagram and a […]

  • Debt Collection Scams On the RiseData Security, Identity Theft

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    Fake debt collection scams are on the rise, and now rank among the top complaints scammed consumers file around the country, the National Consumers League says. The consumer advocacy organization issued a special warning about the scams, which generally involve a cold call from a would-be criminal trying to intimidate the recipient into paying for an alleged debt. Some are from disreputable debt collectors, others are fake IRS tax bill scams. Callers often claim the potential […]

  • Obama’s Cybersecurity Plan: Do As I Say, Not As I DoColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    “If we’re going to be connected, then we need to be protected,” President Obama proclaimed at the Federal Trade Commission on Monday. In wide-ranging remarks, the president expressed what should be a self-evident truth, but is not yet a reality in the new digital age: “As Americans, we shouldn’t have to forfeit our basic privacy when we go online to do our business.” He is dead right. But having spent the past decade focusing on […]

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    It’s Tax Season. Do You Know Where Your Mail Is?Column, Data Security, Blog

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    During the holiday season a missed or stolen package can be aggravating, which is doubtless why you eagerly watched for deliveries all December, calling the nanosecond you suspected a problem. Unfortunately, many employers don’t send tracking numbers when the packet of vital documents marked “Important Tax Information Enclosed” hits the mail destined for your home address. We receive some of the most sensitive, potentially damaging mail deliveries of the year during these post-holiday months, and […]

  • Is Your Christmas Present Spying On You?Column, Data Security, Blog, Technology

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    T’was the night after Christmas, when all through the house Every stripe of device with no need of a mouse Sent oodles of data to that Cloud in the Air While their owners slept soundly, with nary a care… When it comes to gifts from the Internet of Things department, there’s no jolly guy in a white-trimmed red suit with a bag full of presents, no magic reindeer clip-clopping on the roof. In fact, it’s […]

  • The Most Important Lessons You Can Learn From the Sony HackColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    Angelina Jolie may have been all thorns when she ran into Sony’s Amy Pascal last week after the hacker group Guardians of Peace leaked the co-chair’s email rant about the “Maleficent” star, but while the gossip mill grinds and the spin doctors do their best to stop the bleeding at the company, the real lesson here revolves around a question of corporate culture. It is important not to understate what happened. While I doubt the […]

  • 5 Big Privacy Predictions for 2015Column, Data Security, Blog

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    It seems like there were more companies that had privacy-related problems in 2014 than didn’t. And the lucky ones that didn’t “get got” were separated by only one or two degrees from those that did. As we look ahead to 2015, I see a mix of old privacy concerns along with a few emerging dangers. Breaches are the new normal. Sony Pictures, the U.S. Postal Service, Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, Goodwill, Staples, eBay, P.F. Chang’s, […]

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