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  • Why the IRS Should Push Tax Day to June 15

    Column Blog 

    The only way to stop tax refund fraud is to change the way the tax filing and refund system works, and while this may be a painful process for employers and taxpayers alike, it’s necessary. The Problem With Data Unless you’ve been hiding out in the Unabomber Suite at the Loon Lake Lodge, you know that data-related crimes are legion, but what you may not know is that data-related tax fraud specifically is increasing geometrically. […]

  • Empty pocket

    10 Financial Choices You’ll Regret in 10 Years

    Financial Literacy credit Personal Finance 

    Life is full of financial decisions, some simple, some complex, but all with the potential to make a real impact on your life. In a decade, your world can look quite a bit different than it is today – all because of these decisions. Today I’d like to focus on some financial choices you’re likely to regret in 10 years. I’d like to save you from the pain, the chaos and the heartache that occurs when […]

  • Hacker

    Forget Credit Cards — Hackers Want Your Uber Account

    Data Security Identity Theft Technology 

    Your Uber account is about 17 times more valuable to a hacker than your credit card credentials, according to a report security company Trend Micro compiled for CNBC. They found that stolen Uber credentials sell for an average of $3.78 per account on underground online marketplaces, while bundles of credit card data are sold for 22 cents, at most. Lots of accounts are more valuable than credit card info. PayPal accounts with a guaranteed balance […]

  • How Mega-Breaches Could Literally Kill You

    Column Blog 

    It was not very long ago that information shared with your doctor was sacrosanct, at the same remove from exposure as utterances made under the protection of an attorney-client relationship or pillow talk in a spousal bed. That may no longer be the case — and the fallout could be life-threatening. Unless you are living off the grid in a log cabin on Loon Lake, you have heard about the mega-breaches responsible for this paradigm […]

  • Homeowners

    How to Make Sure Your Taxes Are in Shape So You Can Buy a Home

    Financial Literacy Personal Finance Money 

    How’s your income? That’s the first question a lender is going to ask when you apply for a home loan. And, at some point during the application process, the lender will likely use your tax returns to validate your answer. Here is how your tax returns may play a role in your ability to obtain a mortgage. What Do Lenders Need to See? If you’re a full-time, salaried employee, paystubs and a W-2 will likely […]

  • Afraid woman

    Help! I Just Found Out I Have Bad Credit

    credit Personal Finance 

    If you’ve gone a long time without checking your credit (or if you’re checking it for the very first time), you may be in for a surprise. A whopping 56% of Americans had bad credit scores, per a survey from early 2015. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to panic if your score is below 600 (the generally accepted definition of subprime.) Instead, you can follow these simple steps in order to unearth what’s going on — […]

  • Will Someone Else Be Cashing Your Tax Refund This Year?

    Column Data Security Blog 

    Here is the IRS’s phone number: 800-829-1040. With an anticipated $21 billion in tax refund fraud this year, you might need it. And that figure doesn’t include losses from dodges like the IRS phone scam, which has been enjoying a renaissance of late. IRS phone frauds aren’t terribly difficult to detect. You get a call from the IRS saying you owe money and that you must pay immediately. The threat of police intervention may or […]

  • Financial info

    The 5 Most Important Numbers in Your Financial Life

    Personal Finance Money 

    There are a lot of numbers in finances, so it’s understandable that some of us get confused from time to time. That said, there are some numbers that are essential when it comes to understanding our overall financial health. To help you get a better handle on the state of your finances, here are the five numbers you should know. 1. How Much Money You Have Coming In This might seem like a no-brainer, but […]

  • Filing taxes

    Why You Should Be Careful Who You Pick to Do Your Taxes

    Financial Literacy Personal Finance Identity Theft 

    When you decide to work with a professional tax preparer, you’re trusting that person with your most sensitive personal information. As a quick Internet search for “tax preparer fraud” shows, those people abuse that information from time to time. For example, at the very end of 2015, a former tax preparer in Arkansas pleaded guilty to charges associated with a tax fraud and identity theft scheme that involved filing false tax returns using stolen names, […]

  • Why You Aren’t the Only One Who Knows the Answers to Your Security Questions

    Personal Finance 

    If you’re protecting important personal accounts with nothing more than a few security questions, it may be time for an upgrade. A study from Google recently compared the use of security questions to other account recovery methods like SMS (short text messages) and an alternative email address. It found that true or made-up responses to questions like, “What was your mother’s maiden name?” or specific answers to prompts such as “Favorite Superhero,” “First Car” or […]

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