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  • Parents

    A Parent’s Guide to Stopping Child Identity Theft

    Column Blog Identity Theft 

    Mother’s Day and Father’s Day aren’t only boons to the greeting card business—for parents they provide a welcome break, a chance to sleep in and take it easy, and spend some quality time thinking about… child identity theft. Huh? OK, maybe you aren’t kicking back in your down-time and thinking about the finer points of child identity theft. But if you haven’t been paying much attention to the growing number of horror stories featuring starry-eyed […]

  • Could Your Mother’s Online Sharing Cost You Big Time?

    Column Blog Identity Theft 

    With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s quite natural to reflect upon the innumerable ways our mothers have made us the men and women we are today. But while lost in that reverie, consider this: In her love for you and your family, and her desire to share online your joys and accomplishments with friends and the world at large, could your mom be putting you in harm’s way? There are many ways our […]

  • Data Breaches: Why Assigning Blame Is a Zero-Sum Game

    Column Data Security Blog Personal Finance 

    Today’s data breaches are like a game of musical chairs: sooner or later, you’ll have to face the music. Last year was bad for data security: More than 800 million records containing sensitive consumer data were exposed. News of breaches keeps rolling in. Identity theft—which had been considered a crass scare tactic conjured up by creative marketing departments to sell solutions to a non-problem – has become the third certainty in life, alongside death and […]

  • The 4 Laziest Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

    Column Blog Personal Finance 

    There are people out there who expend a lot of energy in the quest for a totally meaningless perfect credit score, which I’ve written about elsewhere. Most people know it’s important to have good credit, but they don’t want to spend too much time worrying about it. The good news is that you can be pretty lazy and still improve your credit. The difference between having good credit (generally from 700-749) and bad credit (anything […]

  • Student Loans: Could Your Co-signer Kill Your Credit?

    student loans Blog 

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report by Rohit Chopra that highlighted an important issue in the student loan landscape. Student loans are going into default because a co-signer dies or files for bankruptcy, and it’s happening sometimes faster than borrowers can take action. Till death when you come apart? The CFPB reported receiving ongoing complaints from borrowers who find out upon the death of their co-signer (usually a parent or grandparent) that a […]

  • AOL: Hacked or Spoofed, It’s Time to Check Your Sent Folder

    Data Security Blog 

    The latest security alert online seems to be the work of a Walking Dead fan. Twitter is lighting up with users complaining that long-closed AOL accounts recently came back to life, with phishing emails spreading like a zombie epidemic. #AOLHacked is trending on Twitter as people are letting their followers know about the phishing emails, and venting their frustration. Hacked. Sorry. I didn't do it. #AOL #AOLHacked — Konii Thomas (@KoniiThomas) April 22, 2014 At […]

  • The HR Decision that Could Sink Your Business

    Column Blog 

    Your human resources department plays a vital role in how your company gets things done. It makes sure you are staffed properly, that benefits are administered and many other important obligations are met in a timely manner. Everyone knows the pitfalls of the HR department. If they recruit a bad player, it can hurt morale, but it won’t necessarily sink the ship. There is, however, an HR-related obligation that, if left unmet, can take a […]

  • The 5 Dumbest Credit Mistakes

    Column Blog Personal Finance 

    Several years ago, I watched in amazement when the CEO of a major identity theft protection firm, appeared in a series of commercials waving his Social Security card in the air, parading his Social Security number on a billboard through heavily populated urban areas and screaming his SSN through a bullhorn as a challenge to those who believed that he couldn’t protect it. As a result, he couldn’t protect it and became a 13-time victim […]

  • How to Remember All the Passwords You’re Resetting

    Column Blog 

    If you’re like most people, the news of the Heartbleed bug and how broadly its security flaw spread is worrisome enough. But the list of sites where you absolutely have to change your passwords looks daunting for anyone. You probably have to change passwords on your email, your Facebook, and maybe even your online dating profile, not to mention potentially countless online shopping sites (depending upon the depth and breadth of your need to shop […]

  • Why a Perfect Credit Score Doesn’t Matter

    Column Financial Literacy Blog 

    There are some people in life for whom an A on a report card was never good enough, who idly wondered why they were never above the 99th percentile on standardized tests and relentlessly beat themselves up whenever they came in second. In adulthood, some of those same people are relentlessly pursuing the highest possible FICO credit score – an 850. I’m here to tell those people to stop. The idea of “gaming” your already-excellent […]