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  • 4 Big Problems With Social Security Numbers

    Government Blog Identity Theft 

    A Social Security number is like a skeleton key — able to unlock a kingdom of untold riches for identity thieves. It is the central piece of data needed to hijack our credit, steal our health insurance, use us as human shields and generally wreak havoc in our lives. And every day, two branches of the U.S. government — the executive and the legislative — put our identities and sometimes even our lives at risk […]

  • 9 Ways To Better Protect Your Identity When You Are Away From Home

    Identity Theft 

    I commissioned a poll last month to sample, among other things, people’s attitudes about identity theft. I was both surprised and disappointed to see that 4 of 10 people surveyed believe that the threat of identity theft is more a product of marketers selling identity monitoring and protection services than a real problem. The results in a follow up poll we took in the past two weeks are markedly different. Almost 70 percent of the […]

  • ‘The Best Form Of Consumer Protection? Self-Protection’

    Financial Literacy 

    We can debate — if you want — whether the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was necessary. (I think it was.) But there is absolutely no doubt that its director Richard Cordray has hit on a huge — but mostly overlooked — public policy problem. I’ll let him explain. “We must start with the importance of fostering broader recognition that educational and informational support in matters of personal finance are essential pillars of life […]

  • 5 Money Lessons Every New Graduate Needs to Know

    Financial Literacy Education Blog Personal Finance 

    Yes my friends, it’s that time of year again. No, not allergy season — graduation. That seminal moment in our lives when, in ceremonies of varying degrees of pomp and circumstance, our elders pass on the wisdom of the ages to those of us who are evolving from the shelter of the ivory tower to the stark reality of the “real world.” Tens of thousands of graduates will likely hear that Emerson nugget “Hitch your […]

  • Hate Universal Background Checks? Meet the Gun Score

    Government Blog 

    A sufficiently large minority of the U.S. Senate demonstrated their Orwellian allegiance to the gun lobby last week — or their fear of it — by blocking several commonsense measures that would have expanded background checks for gun buyers while imposing a ban on both assault-style rifles and high-capacity gun magazines. The knee-jerk “no” votes were so pervasive that a law imposing stricter penalties on gun traffickers (supported by the National Rifle Association) even got […]

  • Are Your Employees Accessing Or Stealing Your Company’s Private Information? Probably.

    Data Security 

    Here’s depressing news for all those who thought our corporate data was safe. It isn’t. And one of the biggest threats is coming from the inside. LogRhythm, a cyber threat defense firm, surveyed some 2,000 employees and found that 23% admitted to having looked at or taken confidential data from their workplace, with one in ten stating that they do it regularly. Think about those numbers for a second. Out of 2,000 employees, some 460 […]

  • OCC Ya! The Government Agency That Should Fine Itself

    Government Blog 

    This just in from the “It Couldn’t Possibly Get Any Worse” Department: The first wave of checks from the bungled foreclosure abuse settlement landed in mailboxes around the country this week, but when people tried to cash them, a number of them bounced. I don’t know about you, but if someone who worked for me screwed up something like a $3.6 billion payout, I’d fire them. Let’s face it. The biggest bank regulator in the […]

  • The Tax Form That Could Save Your Refund From Thieves

    Government Blog Personal Finance 

    The Bible tells us, “It is better to give than to receive.” Most Americans don’t feel that way on April 15. But when the Lord (a.k.a., an IRS algorithm) shines his countenance upon us and a portion of what we paid is returned in the form of a tax refund, it seems only fair that we actually get to spend that money. Unfortunately, this is not always how it works. In 2011, 1.5 million Americans […]

  • Debt

    The Biggest Credit Mistake People Make (Plus 3 Tips)

    Financial Literacy Blog Personal Finance Money 

    Some credit mistakes are obvious. Everybody knows the big one: Failing to pay your bills on time. If you’re looking to wreck your credit score, there’s no faster way. Some credit mistakes aren’t so obvious. What’s worse, the biggest secret credit mistake — the one most people don’t even know they’re making — actually happens when people are trying to turn their credit score around and be more financially responsible. That mistake is closing credit […]

  • Financial info

    Obama Proposes Credit Score Stimulus: Everyone Gets a Perfect 850

    Blog Humor 

    Flanked by leaders from the credit industry and Congress, President Barack Obama announced today that he has signed an executive order designed to open up the consumer credit markets and give a boost to the still anemic American economy. For a three-month period, every American will get a perfect credit score, and the federal government will guarantee all loans made as a result of this “score stimulus.” “This is perhaps the boldest public and private […]

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