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  • Can Smart Cities Stop Hackers?

    Column Blog 

    A monster storm is on a collision course with New York City and an evacuation is under way. The streets are clogged, and then it happens. Every traffic light turns red. Within minutes, the world’s largest polished diamond, the Cullinan I, on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art from the collection of the British Crown Jewels, is whisked away by helicopter. While this may sound like the elevator pitch for an action film, the […]

  • 44K Cars Were Stolen Last Year Because People Left Keys in Them

    Personal Finance 

    Having your car stolen would be a terrible thing to experience, but apparently thousands of Americans aren’t thinking about that because they leave their keys in their vehicles — and then the cars get stolen. Sure, it may seem like a no-brainer to not leave your keys in an unattended vehicle, but people are increasingly making this mistake, according to an analysis from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. From 2012 through 2014, 126,603 vehicles were stolen […]

  • Is a Password Problem Making Credit Card Terminals Hackable?

    Identity Theft 

    You know how sometimes you sign up for something and you get a default password so you can access that new account? Apparently, that sort of system came under fire recently at a major cybersecurity conference in San Francisco. At RSA Conference 2015 USA, which ran April 20-24, researchers said that a major payment terminal vendor has been shipping systems with the same default password for more than 20 years, according to a report from […]

  • Mistake

    How Often Should I Check My Credit?

    credit 

    If you’ve ever taken care of a sick child, you’ve probably checked their temperature much more often than you would ordinarily — and you may be using an actual thermometer instead of gently touching a forehead or neck to get a rough idea of whether there’s a fever. But what do you do when the patient is your credit? It’s not as if you can check your credit a few hours after administering the “medicine” to […]

  • The Social Security Number is Dead. Long Live the Social Security Number?

    Column Blog 

    I am a senior citizen. While this distinction entitles me to a variety of perks like discounted movies and bus fare – as well as the occasional free doughnut (seriously) — it’s also a ticket to the identity theft lottery. Turning 50 gets you an invitation to AARP and turning 65 gets you a Medicare card. What’s this have to do with identity theft? Take a close look at a Medicare card. The identification number? […]

  • Cloud-based backups can leave taxes, other private data exposed

    Financial Literacy Data Security 

    It’s great that more folks are backing up their files using cloud-based services like Dropbox. While hackers and virus writers get all the headlines, I think hardware failure is really the biggest risk most consumers face. Cloud services have become such a part of the way we live, however, that we’ve gotten a little too casual about it.  That’s how tax returns end up lying around in public places for all to see. You’ve set […]

  • Empty pocket

    7 Things You Need to Know About the Statutes of Limitation for Debt

    Financial Literacy 

    If you have old unpaid debts, it can be helpful to know the statute of limitation that applies to those debts. If the statute of limitation (SOL) has expired, a debt is said to be “time-barred,” and a creditor or debt collector is not supposed to sue you to collect. Here are the seven most common questions we’ve received from readers about this topic. 1. How long is the statute of limitation for my debt? The […]

  • 3 Renter Gotchas

    Consumer Protection Identity Theft 

    It’s already hard enough to find an affordable home or apartment to rent (especially if you live in one of these cities). Rental prices are rising fast around the country, even in unexpected places like Kansas City and Portland. But as more people turn to online help to find a decent home, there are more scams and gotchas to worry about, too. First, let’s look at prices. Nationwide, rents are up about 3% in the […]

  • Should We Kill the Social Security Number?

    Column Blog 

    While tax season is still producing eye twitches around the nation, it’s time to face the music about tax-related identity theft. Experts project the 2014 tax year will be a bad one. The Anthem breach alone exposed 80 million Social Security numbers, and then was quickly followed by the Premera breach that exposed yet another 11 million Americans’ SSNs. The question now: Why are we still using Social Security numbers to identify taxpayers? From April […]

  • A year later, Heartbleed bug still hasn’t been squashed

    Data Security Technology 

    A recent report by cybersecurity management firm Venafi showing that a vast majority of the world’s largest companies remain vulnerable to attacks stemming from the Heartbleed flaw suggests that many have not grasped the full nature of the threat nor do they think the risk justifies the cost of remediating it. It’s been exactly one year since details of the OpenSSL flaw were first publicly disclosed. In the 12 months since then, numerous security researchers, […]

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