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  • 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, […]

  • Massive Auburn Data Breach Ensnares Applicants, Students & Those Who Never Even Applied

    Identity Theft 

    Thousands of students who never even applied to Auburn University have had their personal information, including Social Security numbers, exposed due to a security flaw discovered March 2. Information about 364,012 current, former and prospective students was accessible online between Sept. 1, 2014, and March 2, 2015. “The exposure resulted from configuration issues with a new device installed to replace a broken server,” a statement on the university website reads. “After securing our server, we […]

  • Last-Minute Tax Filers: Beware of This Obamacare Scam

    Personal Finance 

    For all stripe of rip-off artist, tax season might as well be called open season. Scams are legion, and navigating a solution after the fact can be somewhere between maddening and negotiating an Iran deal that everyone likes. Last month the IRS issued a warning that received scant attention from the media, but nonetheless could impact millions of taxpayers this year — particularly targeting low-income, elderly and Spanish-speaking taxpayers. The scam takes advantage of the […]

  • Credit Card

    Switch to chip & sign credit cards still leaves users exposed

    credit Identity Theft 

    The way Americans spend money is on the verge of its biggest change in decades, but the drumbeat of doubters continues to get louder. New chip-enabled credit cards are slowly getting into consumers’ hands in advance of a looming deadline later this year. But a Walmart executive recently told CNN that U.S. chip cards are a “joke,” and a new report examining other countries’ changeovers suggests criminals around the globe merely switched tactics and kept […]

  • Will Your Next Debt Collector Be a Robot?

    Personal Finance 

    Are the days of debt collectors sitting in cubicles “dialing for dollars” numbered? Debt collection, like many sectors of the economy, is starting to go digital. So if the idea of talking with a debt collector automatically puts your stomach in knots, you may be in for a pleasant surprise: In the not-too-distant future, your debt collector may be a computer. William Lowe, director of operations for Gluu.org, a firm that writes and supports open source […]

  • Premera Breach

    (Video) Premera Warned By Government Weeks Before Hacking

    Government Video 

    Adam Levin spoke with the Willis Report about the Blue Cross Premera data breach, and the recent revelation that they were warned by the government that their data was vulnerable weeks before being hacked. “This was worse than Target,” Levin said “… this had all of your personal identifying information as well as medical claims information, so not only could you be subject every form of identity theft you could fantasize about, you could also […]

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