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April 15, 2016
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The only sure thing in the world of information security is that there is no such thing as a failsafe solution. It’s crucial not only to keep abreast of the latest threats out there, but to also act as though the mission is to find your way to safety from the middle of a lawless demilitarized zone that’s lousy with enemy snipers.

Sound extreme? Remember that Cold War classic “A Few Good Men” when Colonel Jessup (played by Jack...

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March 24, 2016
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Despite tales of highly sophisticated, fluid-fingered cyber ninjas working tirelessly to penetrate heretofore impenetrable, firewalled, super secure databases, many identity thieves actually have a pretty easy job getting what they need to make a killing. The number of people out there with tight personal cyber security is fairly limited — those who only go online via virtual private networks (VPNs) and communicate solely via encrypted email and messaging apps....

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March 19, 2016
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No matter how good or lucky the investor, no one beats the market 100% of the time—unless, of course, you are Bobby Axelrod. There is, however, an investment portfolio that is somewhat more predictable. It works along similar lines, but it is possible to exercise significantly more control over it than equities. I’m talking about your identity portfolio.

I’ve written elsewhere about your credit portfolio, which can be a wealth-...

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March 14, 2016
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Whether you love it, or it makes you want to move south of the border, Donald Trump’s Great Wall of Mexico is an idea whose time has come.

That said, the Republican presidential candidate has a few things wrong.

First, The Donald’s wall is misnamed. It should be called the Great Cyber Wall of America or the American Cyberdome or, at any rate, something denoting a digital information and...

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February 25, 2016
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Steve Jobs understood what people want. His insistence on making hard things easier — for instance, using a personal computer — was an essential part of the Apple success story. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been doing the same thing — but now the “hard thing” is privacy and encryption.

Apple has consistently...

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February 11, 2016
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Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow this year, which means spring is right around the corner. For the winter weary, however, summer is still too far away and the lure of blue-green seascapes under sunny skies is strong.

If you’ve decided to take the plunge, remember: Your vacation is supposed to be a time to unwind. Unfortunately, there are thieves who make a living off your relaxation—waiting for your guard to be...

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January 28, 2016
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The only way to stop tax refund fraud is to change the way the tax filing and refund system works, and while this may be a painful process for employers and taxpayers alike, it’s necessary.

The Problem With Data

Unless you’ve been hiding out in the Unabomber Suite at the Loon Lake Lodge, you know that data-related crimes are legion, but what you may not know is that data-related tax fraud specifically is...

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January 21, 2016
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It was not very long ago that information shared with your doctor was sacrosanct, at the same remove from exposure as utterances made under the protection of an attorney-client relationship or pillow talk in a spousal bed. That may no longer be the case — and the fallout could be life-threatening.

Unless you are living in a log cabin on Loon Lake and are off the grid, doubtless you have heard about the mega-breaches responsible for this paradigm shift....

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January 14, 2016
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Here is the IRS’s phone number: 800-829-1040. With an anticipated $21 billion in tax refund fraud this year, you might need it. And that figure doesn’t include losses from dodges like the IRS phone scam, which has been enjoying a renaissance of late.

IRS phone frauds aren’t terribly difficult to detect. You get a call from the IRS saying...

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January 11, 2016
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If you’re protecting important personal accounts with nothing more than a few security questions, it may be time for an upgrade.

A study from Google recently compared the use of security questions to other account recovery methods like SMS (short text messages) and an alternative...

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