The Debt Tax: What Owing Money Costs You

Managing Debt

The Debt Tax: What Owing Money Costs You

The Debt Tax: What Owing Money Costs You

If you’re carrying debts — from student loans, credit cards, a car note or a mortgage — you could probably tell me roughly how much you owe and at what interest rates you owe it. Thanks to the CARD Act, those of us who carry credit card debt now see how long it will take… Read More

When Your Identity Thief Is… Mom

Identity Theft

When Your Identity Thief Is… Mom

When Your Identity Thief Is… Mom

Most people assume identity thieves are super-sophisticated hackers sitting in front of banks of blinking computer screens. The more vigilant among us might be shredding every document in sight, jealously guarding sensitive information from unknown callers or online “frenemies” and installing the most sophisticated firewalls and security software on our mobile devices and computers. But… Read More

BYOD: The Most Dangerous Acronym in Business

Managing Debt

BYOD: The Most Dangerous Acronym in Business

BYOD: The Most Dangerous Acronym in Business

There is a line of thinking among many of my small-business colleagues that allowing employees to supply their own computers and phones – known as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD – is both convenient and a great way to save money. Whenever I hear that from anyone, the first thing I ask is if… Read More

Forget the Target Breach: Medical ID Theft Is Even Scarier

Identity Theft

Forget the Target Breach: Medical ID Theft Is Even Scarier

Forget the Target Breach: Medical ID Theft Is Even Scarier

If recent disclosures regarding the massive wave of breaches suffered by retailing icons Target, Neiman-Marcus and Sally Beauty haven’t scared you enough, try to wrap your brain around the new Ponemon Institute Patient Privacy and Data Security study. The study has found a 100% increase in criminal attacks on health care organizations since 2010. But if… Read More

5 Ways to Keep Your Passport Safe

Identity Theft

5 Ways to Keep Your Passport Safe

5 Ways to Keep Your Passport Safe

If you’ve had to go get a new passport lately, you have learned (like me) it’s no longer the easiest thing to prove that you’re you. If you’re a first-timer, you must show up in person with a birth certificate, at least one government-issued ID (two if it’s out of state), photocopies, forms and fees,… Read More

5 Ways Oversharing Can Lead to Identity Theft

Identity Theft

5 Ways Oversharing Can Lead to Identity Theft

5 Ways Oversharing Can Lead to Identity Theft

Everybody knows there are certain things you can’t share on the Internet without the risk of serious consequences — photos of yourself in compromising positions, intimate details of your travel plans, or what you really think of your boss, for instance. But there are other morsels of information we share with regularity and without considering… Read More

4 Things Your Doctor Doesn’t Need to Know

Identity Theft

4 Things Your Doctor Doesn’t Need to Know

4 Things Your Doctor Doesn’t Need to Know

Watch an episode of SVU, Law & Order or CSI on TV, and you’re bound to hear about doctor-patient confidentiality in hushed, almost reverent terms. Go to a new doctor’s office and, amidst all the other paperwork, you’ll be asked to sign a form enumerating your federally-mandated medical privacy rights. Call a hospital to check… Read More

The 4-Letter Word That Can Ruin Your Credit

Credit Score

The 4-Letter Word That Can Ruin Your Credit

The 4-Letter Word That Can Ruin Your Credit

Four-letter words can ruin a lot of things in life – a nice family dinner, a job interview, your relationship with your mother. But there’s one four-letter word that can wreak such havoc on your life that you won’t be able to live in the place you want, drive the car you prefer or even… Read More

Why There Will Be Another Major Data Breach

Identity Theft

Why There Will Be Another Major Data Breach

Why There Will Be Another Major Data Breach

The storm of consumer-focused data breaches started off as intermittent downpours — Choicepoint, TJ Maxx, SONY, LinkedIn, Twitter, Adobe Systems — and is now a torrent: Target, Neiman Marcus, Kickstarter, White Lodging, the Sands Casino, and now everyone who’s attended or worked at the University of Maryland since 1998. In each case, hackers weren’t after… Read More

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