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  • Privacy

    Will We Ever Stop Bugging Ourselves?

    Privacy Technology 

    We live in an age of hackers. They are employed by our government and deployed by foreign powers. They are freelancers with goals ranging from netting big consulting fees in exchange for the discovery of potentially damaging vulnerabilities before they make the evening news, to sending a message, to righting a perceived wrong, to outright criminal activity. While the various hacker camps are different, they present the same conundrum to all of us: Is anything […]

  • Get Ready For the Medical ID Fraud Crisis

    health care Identity Theft 

    It is a documented fact that unscrupulous healthcare professionals – and dishonest patients – file more than $77 billion worth of fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims on an annual basis. Meanwhile, cyber criminals have been busy the past two years pilfering medical ID data for tens of millions of citizens, as well as business records from hundreds, if not thousands, of healthcare service providers and insurers. These two malevolent forces are on a collision course. […]

  • Saks Fifth Avenue confirms data of high-net-worth individuals was exposed online

    Data Security Identity Theft 

    Here’s yet another reminder that you should always have some “burner” email address accounts handy for interactions with e-commerce websites. I’ve confirmed that shoppers at Saks Fifth Avenue who had asked the firm for notifications when sold-out items were available had their personal information exposed by the firm. Some 80,000 email addresses and/or phone numbers were exposed, along with other personal nuggets—hints at where the victims worked, and what items they ordered, for example. The […]

  • vacation scam

    How to Enjoy Your Vacation Without Getting Scammed

    Consumer Protection Identity Theft 

    Spring has begun, which means open season on travelers who aren’t well-versed in the various scams waiting for them on the seamier side of paradise. While the scams abound, being forewarned is forearmed. Here are some typical scams that can ruin your vacation, drawn from my book Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Filled with Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves. 1. Asocial Media? One seldom publicized use of social media (at least in […]

  • Cyber attack

    Silence isn’t golden: Information sharing is key to combating cyber attacks

    Data Security Cybersecurity 

    Cybersecurity continues to bolster the focus of national—and global—attention, with cybersecurity professionals gaining significant strides against international cyber crime. Most recently, two Russian intelligence officers and two criminal hackers were charged in a Yahoo data breach incident, which started in January 2014 and involved 500 million compromised Yahoo accounts. The U.S. Department of Justice and FBI are calling the indictments a victory for information sharing and encourage other companies to report breaches to the federal […]

  • credit card phone

    Here’s What to Do the Next Time a Business Asks for Your Credit Card by Phone or Email

    Cybersecurity Personal Finance 

    Recently, I was booking a hotel reservation for a family member and in the process was asked to provide certain information. It was a simple third-party credit card authorization. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty. Beyond the fact that I am professionally paranoid — I wrote a book about it — there are so many ways for your information to wind up in the wrong hands, especially your credit card information. When we provide our […]

  • pacemaker

    Will hackers turn your lifesaving device into a life-threatening one?

    health care Technology 

    What seemed like a farfetched scenario out of Hollywood four years ago is now yet another reality that security experts have been warning about. In the screen version, the U.S. vice president is assassinated on the TV show “Homeland” after a hacker takes control of his pacemaker and stops his heart—making it look like a heart attack. In real life, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released a safety warning that St. Jude Medical […]

  • healthcare

    What GOP Health Care Means for Your Wallet

    Government Personal Finance 

    Will you be better or worse off if Republicans pass their version of health care reform? That’s the burning question for most Americans as they watch the arm wrestling going on in Washington, D.C. As with the health care debate itself, there are no easy answers. The bill being debated right now, the American Health Care Act working its way through the House of Representatives, offers strong hints about what health insurance will look like when […]

  • CIA

    How bad is recent WikiLeaks document spill about CIA? Look beyond headlines

    Data Security Government 

    WikiLeaks got everyone’s attention again last week, with dire headlines proclaiming the entire American government spook infrastructure had just been decimated by the secret-smashing site. Julian Assange, true to form, has shared a little leaked data and promised a whole lot more. (“Less than 1%” has been shared, the site said in a tweet). The cache of stolen documents it published does have a media-friendly name, however: Vault7.Hold on to your hyperbole: There’s a lot […]

  • phishing attack

    The Vice President Got Phished — Are You Next?

    Government Cybersecurity 

    America got mail this weekend, about 30 emails, according to reports. They were written as recently as last year by then-Governor Mike Pence and sent from his personal AOL account. While this is a political story, it is not about politics. It’s about a nationwide problem. The emails, released to the Indianapolis Star in response to a public records request, include state business. The revelation is that Pence used his private email account to conduct […]

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