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  • Student loan

    Private Student Loan Co-Signers Rarely Let Off the Hook, CFPB Finds

    Personal Finance 

    The CFPB also warned parents about other provisions of private student loans. Some lenders have a list of criteria that permanently bars co-signers from release, such as any request for loan forbearance. Meanwhile, many agreements call for “auto-default” if the co-signer dies or declares bankruptcy, meaning the student is required to repay the loan in full immediately. “Parents and grandparents put their financial futures on the line by co-signing private student loans to help family […]

  • Rep. Jim Langevin: What We Should Be Doing to Protect Our Kids’ Credit

    credit Identity Theft 

    An 18-year-old looking to purchase his first car. A young woman applying for the student loan that will put her through college. A foster youth aging out of the system and eager to get a place of his own. These are exciting milestones in the lives of young people, turning points that mark new beginnings and the start of independence. Now imagine you’ve reached this crossroads only to discover that your identity had been stolen. […]

  • Identity

    OPM breach lends urgency for new laws to protect individual privacy

    Privacy 

    When it comes to losing data to hackers, the federal government appears to have much more leeway than private corporations in deciding what to disclose—and when. That point has been driven home by developments in the breach of Uncle Sam’s human resources agency, the Office of Personnel Management. On Friday, as major news outlets wound down for the weekend, an unnamed U.S. official disclosed to The Associated Press that data thieves took records for up […]

  • Government Employees: Here’s What Hackers Can Do With Your SSNs

    Identity Theft 

    The largest union for government employees says the massive cyberattack on the government’s Office of Personnel Management was much worse than the Obama administration previously said it was, and every federal employee’s personally identifiable information has been compromised, the Associated Press reports. The OPM data includes information on most civilian federal employees, but not members of Congress or their staffs. In a letter sent to OPM, J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said […]

  • The Real Question We Should Be Asking After the Massive Government Hack

    Column Data Security Blog 

    True or False? There was no way the Office of Personnel Management could have prevented hackers from stealing the sensitive personal information of 4.1 million federal employees, past and present. If you guessed “False,” you’d be wrong. If you guessed, “True,” you’d also be wrong. The correct response is: “Ask a different question.” Serious data breaches keep happening because there is no black-and-white answer to the data breach quagmire. So what should we be doing? […]

  • More Americans Live Under Cloud of ‘Data Uncertainty’

    Privacy 

    From government surveillance and behavior-based advertising, to social media and search-engine tracking, there are plenty of ways for Americans to lose their privacy online. With such a long trail of digital crumbs that online users leave behind, are they even worried anymore about losing privacy, or is that par for the course in the digital age? Turns out, the majority of Americans still place high value on their privacy. Yet few are confident that the […]

  • 5 Ways the IRS Scammers Could Have Stolen All Those Tax Returns

    Column Blog 

    Last week, the Internal Revenue Service revealed that a group of organized criminals effectively walked through their front door and used an application on its “Get Transcript” site to pore over the past tax returns of more than 100,000 Americans. According to several news reports, the stolen information was deployed to commit tax fraud, with an estimated take of up to $50 million in bogus tax refunds before the IRS discovered the ploy. “We’re confident […]

  • Phishing

    The Most Trusted Brands Are Phishers’ Favorite Lures

    Identity Theft 

    Most of us don’t think twice about opening and maintaining multiple free email accounts where we live out our digital lives. And we’re getting more and more comfortable by the day at downloading and using mobile apps. Yet those behaviors can harm us. ThirdCertainty sat down with David Duncan, chief marketing officer for threat intelligence and security company Webroot, to discuss how cybercriminals are hustling to take advantage of our love of free Web mail services and […]

  • Credit Cards

    Why Kicking Debt Collectors Off of Your Credit Report Just Got Easier

    Personal Finance 

    Deborah is trying to clean up her credit so she can purchase a home. But it’s not proving easy. In particular, three collection accounts are causing major headaches. “One has listed a collections agency no longer in service, One collection agency will not return my calls. (left messages) and one has false info on it,” she writes on the Credit.com blog. Dealing with collection accounts on your credit reports can sometimes be a long, frustrating […]

  • 5 Ways Your Email Address Can Be Used Against You

    Column Blog 

    Email addresses are like opinions—nearly everyone has one. It is the most public piece of personal information you have besides your name. But what you may not know about your email address could hurt you. Your email may not seem like personally identifiable information at first blush, and for good reason. It is a requirement of everyday life. Asked for a list of sensitive personal information, I feel pretty certain that most people wouldn’t think […]

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