Why K-12 Schools Are Prime Targets for Cybercriminals

Private companies and large government agencies aren’t the only organizations that need to prioritize cybersecurity. Kindergarten through 12th-grade schools are also targeted by cybercriminals with hacks, ransomware, phishing scams, data breaches and more. According to the K-12 Security Information Exchange, last year set a record of cyber incidents in schools, with 408 disclosed incidents. These [...]

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Here Are 4 Cybersecurity Tips to Keep Protected

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the theme for 2021 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” There’s never been a better time than right now to review the processes you have in place to avoid the latest cybersecurity risks lurking in the corners of our everyday digital lives. The top cybersecurity concerns for consumers regarding their [...]

Scam School: Bad Practices on Social Media Could Put Your Identity at Risk

With the increased global use of social media, there are more opportunities than ever for scammers to steal identities or perpetrate fraud online. It can even put your family at physical risk. For example, did you know that your status updates posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many other social media sites can be used [...]

How Independent Contractors Can Use Employee Identification Numbers to Help Prevent Identity Theft

If you’re a sole proprietor or independent contractor, there’s a good chance you’ve used your Social Security number (SSN) to conduct business. Whether you’re filing taxes, applying for a business credit card or other general business activities, sole proprietors often have to use a SSN when there isn’t an alternative. Unfortunately, using your SSN to [...]

Protect Your Personal Documents to Avoid Medical Identity Theft

Personal medical documents are valuable assets. Unfortunately, that means criminals are after those documents, too. Medical documents may contain personally identifiable information (PII) that includes your name, location, contact information, insurance policies, Social Security number and history of medical treatment. Criminals can use this information to open fraudulent accounts or even receive medical treatment using [...]

Are You a T-Mobile Data Breach Victim? Here Are 3 Steps You Can Take To Help Protect Yourself

T-Mobile’s massive data breach has affected 54 million customers. The breach, in many but not all cases, includes names, driver's license numbers, Social Security numbers (SSNs), and device identification (IMEI and IMSI) numbers for subscribers, former customers and prospective customers who may have been interested in T-Mobile service at one point. This most recent T-Mobile [...]

Back 2 School? Here’s Why Credit Monitoring is a Must-Have for College Students

As U.S. university and college students look to return back to campus this fall, chances are they have plenty on their mind going into the first post-pandemic semester. And perhaps one thing that is way down on their to-do list is to consider how vulnerable their identity is to cybercriminals. Truth be told: cybercrimes against [...]

Cloudstar Remains Compromised Following Ransomware Attack

Cloudstar, one of the title industry's primary cloud providers, remains compromised after a recent ransomware attack disrupted its services. The company also provides services to real estate, legal, insurance, financial services, petrochemical and the oil and gas industries. The Victim of a Ransomware Attack Here’s what happened, according to a notice on the Cloudstar website. [...]

5 Reasons Why Your Free Credit Report Isn’t Enough

With cybercrime on the rise, your personal information is at risk now more than ever. One of your best lines of defense is monitoring your credit. You’re able to check your free credit report annually from the three major credit bureaus. And there’s nothing wrong with using this free service to review your credit report. [...]

4 Tips on How to Mail a Paper Check Safely

Just about any type of payment you make can be done without paper checks these days. You can pay your bills through online portals, shop with credit cards or mobile payment apps and send money to your friends and family with Venmo or Zelle. But many people and businesses still rely on paper checks in [...]

‘A National Emergency’: Cloudstar Down After Ransomware Attack

If you are planning on closing on a home today, that may be difficult as a result of the latest ransomware attack. Its victim: Cloudstar, one of the title industry's primary cloud providers. The company also provides services to real estate, legal, insurance, financial services, petrochemical and oil and gas industries. Here’s What Happened On [...]

Watch Out for Scams Surrounding the New Child Tax Credit

This month, qualifying Americans are starting to receive monthly payments as part of an advance on the expanded 2021 child tax credit. This economic stimulus is intended to help families and the economy rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But millions of direct IRS payments can mean opportunities for scammers. Criminals are looking [...]

BYOD? Here Are Possible Risks if You Are Bringing Your Own Device to Work

The shift to remote work during the pandemic brought with it a more relaxed approach to how employers view the idea of employees using their own devices. It is likely that as workers begin returning to the workplace, they may be able to keep using their own devices. While there are certainly some pros to [...]

Don’t Let Scammers Ruin Your Summer Vacation Plans

As vaccination rates rise, travel plans are starting to take hold again. Unfortunately, cybercriminals remain at the ready to ruin your good time. Whether it’s promising discounted trips or posting phony rental listings, scammers are working to get a cut of your hard-earned travel money. Whether you’re planning a trip to the beach or an [...]

Looking to Donate to Charity? Follow These Best Practices to Avoid Scams

Donating to charity is a worthy endeavor, and it can even convey some financial benefits at tax time if you itemize your deductions. But whether you’re donating to charity for the first time, or you’ve been supporting your favorite causes for years, it’s a good idea to ensure your donation is safe and the charity [...]

Audi Got Hacked: What Cybercrimals Do with Your Information and How to Protect It

Volkswagen Group of America has revealed a data breach impacting more than 3.3 million customers after a vendor exposed unsecured data online. The automaker said an unauthorized third party obtained personal information about customers and interested buyers from a vendor used for digital sales and marketing by its Audi Volkswagen brands and some U.S. and [...]

How to Spot an Employment Scam

Employment scammers try to trick job seekers using the same methods that real employers do – with job ads online, in newspapers and even on TV or radio. They may even reach out to individuals directly via email, phone or social media. These scammers dangle the carrot of employment, but they actually want to get [...]

Cybercrime is on the Rise – Here are Some Easy Ways to Protect Yourself

The recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations report shows that global cybercrime is on the rise. It’s a frightening prospect at first glance, but the good news is that the best line of defense may not be as complicated as you think. The Verizon report, which gathers information on 5,358 breaches from around the world, highlights [...]

3 Steps to Take if You Are the Victim of Unemployment Benefits Fraud

Although the pace of layoffs and new applications for unemployment benefits has slowed, fraud attempts have not. Scammers continue to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to file fraudulent unemployment claims, often using someone else’s identity. These schemes are widespread and affect most states. Last year, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than [...]

How to Protect Your Mail from Identity Theft

The mail contains some of the most sensitive information that you can have: your name, address, contact information, bank account number and routing number on mailed checks, financial statements and much more. Despite this vulnerability, unlocked mailboxes and easily-opened paper envelopes leave mail especially vulnerable to thieves. Criminals can use the information contained in your [...]

Account Takeover: What is it and How to Prevent It?

Account takeover is a form of identity theft in which a malicious third party gains access to or “takes over” an online account. In this guide, we define how account takeover happens, how it affects consumers and businesses and what you can do to help protect yourself from it.

Cryptocurrency Use Is on the Rise and So Are Crypto-Scams

There’s no doubt about it, cryptocurrency is increasingly entering into the main fray as a currency of choice. Also on the rise are cryptocurrency-related scams are also on the rise. Business Insider reports that the estimated number of global crypto users has passed 100 million - and boomers are now getting drawn to bitcoin too. [...]

How to Spot a Debt Collection Scam

When creditors sell your unpaid debt to a collection agency, the debt collector can reach out to you directly to try and collect what you owe. But criminals posing as legitimate debt collectors may also target you, using deception or intimidation to collect debts you don’t owe, or they have no authority to collect. If [...]

What is Credential Stuffing?

Hackers can use different techniques and methods to steal your passwords. One way they can use your stolen personal data is called credential stuffing. Read on to learn more about what credential stuffing entails and how you can help protect yourself. Credential Stuffing Defined Credential stuffing is a type of security breach in which hackers [...]

What is Shoulder Surfing?

Shoulder surfing is a type of identity theft practice where someone tries to steal confidential information by spying over their target's shoulder. The objective of shoulder surfing is to steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers or personal identification numbers (PINs) that can later be used to access accounts for financial gain.

Check Scams are on the Rise – Here’s How to Keep Safe

Check scams are staging a comeback as criminals continue to seize on the confusion the COVID-19 pandemic has created in people’s lives and finances. Recently, Wells Fargo sent a message to bank customers warning them to be on the lookout for check scammers. One age group in particular – the 18 to 24 group – [...]

Here Are Key Findings from the New FBI Internet Crime Report

This past year, most Americans were focused on the pandemic and dealing with the economic impact and disruptions to their daily life. At the same time, criminals took advantage of new economic programs, a distracted public and an increase in online activity to commit fraud in record numbers. The information released in the FBI 2020 [...]

Here Are the Top 3 Online Scams and How to Avoid Them

The recent Federal Bureau of Investigations Internet Crime Report shows that cybercrime has spiked, leaving hundreds of thousands of victims and costing more than $4 billion. The FBI received a record number of reports last year totaling 791,790, a 69% growth from 2019. Moreover, losses due to internet crime increased by $700 million, growing from [...]

What Do I Do if My Social Security Card is Stolen?

When your Social Security card is stolen, it can be a major cause for concern. The primary concern with a stolen Social Security card is identity theft. With just your Social Security number, identity thieves can wreak havoc in your name, negatively impacting your credit, finances and even commit crimes in your name. As soon [...]

What is Dark Web Monitoring?

Dark web monitoring is a service that scans the dark web for signs that your personal information is being used fraudulently. While the dark web serves many legitimate functions, the anonymity of it also attracts people who are buying and selling illegal goods and services – including stolen personal information. With so many data breaches [...]

Your New Stimulus Check Might Not Be Safe From Cybercriminals

COVID-19 brought on many unexpected consequences, including what some are calling the cyber pandemic. Cybersecurity threats soared to all new highs last year and continue to increase as many professionals move to remote work and Americans increase their online presence in an attempt to social distance. A New Threat Now, cybercriminals have their eye on [...]

How Can I Protect My Personal Information After a Data Breach?

On average there are three data breaches a day, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. So, that means your personal information might be at risk. If you’ve been notified you have been compromised in a data breach or suspect your personal information has been exposed, here are some concrete steps you can take to [...]

How Cybercriminals Use Stolen Personal Data for Tax Fraud

When an identity thief has purchased your personal information from a data breach, they can use it for all manner of malicious purposes. One common use is tax fraud. This means a criminal might have purchased your bank account details and tax documents online and then have authenticated access to your bank account. Then the [...]

How Cybercriminals Profit from a Data Breach

If you’re still under the impression that hacking is restricted to hoodie-wearing individuals in darkened rooms, then you might be vastly underestimating the scale of the data breach problem.   Last year alone more than 300 million consumers were impacted by data breaches, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Let’s break down how cybercriminals [...]

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Post a Photo of Your COVID-19 Vaccination Card Online

You may have noticed that nestled in with baby announcements, social-distancing birthday photos and dog snaps, social media posts are now also featuring people celebrating getting their COVID-19 vaccinations. It’s natural that after a year of living under pandemic restrictions people are eager to share their experiences with the shot. One thing you should avoid [...]

What is Identity Theft Insurance?

Identity theft insurance is a type of insurance policy that can help victims recover from losses caused by identity theft. It may be offered as a standalone policy, or as a benefit with other types of insurance or identity protection plans. Not all identity theft insurance policies offer the same level of coverage. If you’re [...]

Looking for Love Online? Be Aware of Scammers and Fraud

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are trying online dating for the first time. Unfortunately, scammers are looking to take advantage of that. Especially during Valentine’s Day and the season of love, singles looking to make that special love connection via an online dating app need to be particularly aware of online romance scams. MatchGroup, [...]

How to Help Avoid Tax Identity Theft

Every year, tax season presents a seasonal opportunity for criminals seeking monetary gain from identity theft. There are many ways that scammers may try to obtain personal information, but the end goal is to file a falsified tax return in the taxpayer’s name and claim a tax refund. The scheme may not be discovered until [...]

Suspected Second Cyberattack Linked to Flaws in SolarWinds Software

News agencies are reporting a possible second data breach using flaws in the SolarWinds software, this time with suspected Chinese hackers infiltrating U.S. payroll agency systems. Sources have disclosed another cybersecurity breach in the SolarWinds software that took place last year, affecting the National Finance Center, a federal payroll agency. Officials fear the breach might [...]

How to Help Protect Your Credit Health When You Missed a Bill Payment

Life is hectic and it’s easy to miss details sometimes, even when that detail happens to be a bill coming due. Making your payments on time can be tough when you’re having financial troubles or simply juggling a lot of responsibilities. It’s important to pay your bills on time to protect your credit health. Late [...]

Cybercrime and Fraud on the Rise During COVID-19 Pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, there’s been a direct correlation with the rise of online activity, data breaches and identity theft. As many Americans' personally identifiable information goes digital, it’s becoming increasingly vulnerable to hacks and theft by cybercriminals who profit from access to online accounts. This past year, in particular, internet services have experienced anywhere [...]

5 Data Breaches You May Have Missed

The news cycle has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the presidential election, nationwide protests and a whole lot more. With all that transpired over the last few months, and even with the SolarWinds cyberattack making headlines, it might be easy to forget that data breaches and hacks continue to expose the personal information of [...]

Don’t Fall Victim to COVID-19 Vaccine Phishing Schemes

As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to become available to more people, be aware of potential scams related to the vaccine. It’s important to stay vigilant to certain warning signs that can help you avoid being scammed. Two vaccines to prevent coronavirus infections have now been granted authorization for emergency use. Every day thousands of more [...]

4 Identity Theft Myths to Stop Believing

Identity theft has been around for a long time, and it continues to evolve and adapt with the times. With the variety of scams out there, it’s easy to get bogged down in rumors and half-truths. When it comes to identity theft, you need to avoid believing misinformation and spreading it to others. Here are [...]

2 Things You Can Do to Help Reach Your Credit Goals in the New Year

The start of a new year is a great time to reassess your financial health and implement habits that help positively impact your credit profile. Monitoring your credit report and identity is the best place to start your financial resolutions since it can have a ripple effect in other aspects of your life as the [...]

Here Are the Top-10 IdentityIQ Topics of the Year

This past year has been unlike any other. As we start a hopefully better 2021, we are taking a look back at the most searched and visited topics on the IdentityIQ blog during 2020. This list clearly shows that consumers are concerned about protecting their identity; paying down debt; learning how credit card debt impacts [...]

Here’s How the Recent SolarWinds Cyberattack on U.S. Agencies and Companies Affects You

Cybersecurity experts are still trying to determine the scale of damage wrought by a recent cyberattack using SolarWinds software on the U.S. government and Fortune 500 companies. The attack aimed at the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments as well as international companies continued for months until it was discovered by FireEye, a cybersecurity company that [...]

How Oversharing About Your Kids on Social Media Can Lead to Identity Theft

Every day, criminals scour the internet for personal information they can use to commit fraud and identity theft. In this digital age, individuals need to take steps to protect their privacy and information from fraudsters. This is as true for children as it is for adults, as kids can be victims of identity theft well [...]

Report: Russian Hackers Behind Cyberattack at U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments

The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are investigating a cyberattack by Russian-linked hackers that have infiltrated the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments. The cyberespionage campaign is being described at one of the largest hacks against U.S. government agencies in the last five years. Sources close to the investigation are reporting Russia is behind [...]

How Multiple Credit Cards Can Affect Your Credit Score

To use a credit card for establishing credit, you need to have at least one open card that can be reported to the credit bureaus. But beyond that, there’s no definitive number of cards you need to have in your wallet for good credit. While your credit cards directly impact your credit, the number of [...]

Home Depot to Pay $17.5 Million for Data Breach Affecting 40 Million Customers

Home Depot officials have agreed to a $17.5 million settlement for a 2014 data breach that exposed the information of 40 million customers. The home improvement company reached the agreement with the attorney generals of 46 states and the District of Columbia. The settlement stems from a 2014 data breach where hackers were able to [...]

Fake Employer Scams Soar During Coronavirus Pandemic

As unemployment numbers continue to climb, so do fake employer scams that are preying on those searching for work. In fact, there have been triple-digit increases in fake employer scams that aim to gain access to personal and financial information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online human resources schemes where criminals pose as potential employers have [...]

As Holidays Approach, Be Aware of the Growing Threat of Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud and identity theft are exploding as thieves prey on consumers’ COVID-19 pandemic spending habits and desire for contactless shopping. With the holidays approaching, you need to be extra vigilant. According to the Federal Trade Commission, credit card fraud has been one of the fastest-growing forms of identity theft. Reports of credit card [...]

Don’t Let a Phishing Scam Ruin Your Holiday

The holidays no doubt can offer many of us some respite from this chaotic year.  However, the season also creates an opportunistic time for cybercriminals to take advantage of your good cheer and deliver some real damage to your personal finance credentials. Pandemic shopping habits mean more of us are going to be online during [...]

Credit Card Fraud Can Happen to Anyone – Even TV Personality Sharon Osborne and Rocker Husband Ozzy

Anyone can fall victim to credit card fraud.  Take television personality Sharon Osborne, for instance. “The Talk”  host recently shared with viewers she and rocker husband Ozzy were credit card fraud victims. Osbourne revealed, “Someone rang up charges and maxed out Ozzy's card and my card. I called through to the credit card company, and [...]

With Job Scams On the Rise During COVID-19, Here Are Tips on How to Help Avoid Falling Prey

Work-from-home jobs have always been a target of scammers. Now, amid the COVID-19 crisis, these jobs have become even larger targets. Complaints about scams for certain business and job-related opportunities have spiked this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau (BBB). This uptick comes as the United States [...]

How to Help Protect Minor Children from Synthetic Identity Theft

According to the Federal Reserve, synthetic identity theft is one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft in the country. Synthetic identity theft occurs when a criminal uses a combination of real and falsified data to create a fictional identity for financial gain and other fraud. Children are particularly appealing victims for synthetic identity [...]

Malware Attack Suspected in Barnes & Noble Data Breach

A malware attack is suspected in a recent Barnes & Noble data breach that exposed customer information. The attack also led to some customers not being able to access their e-reader Nook libraries and the temporary shutdown of cash registers at the bookstores’ physical locations. Barnes & Noble officials said the cyberattack took place earlier [...]

How to Help Protect a Deceased Loved One from Identity Theft

No one is completely safe from identity theft – not even after they die. In a form of identity theft known as “ghosting”, criminals can use a deceased person’s personal information to file false tax returns, claim Social Security benefits, open fraudulent loans and credit cards and more. Millions of deceased Americans have their identity [...]

Phishing Attacks Targeting Employee Credentials on the Rise During COVID-19

A recent report by cybersecurity company GreatHorn found that companies experience an average of 1,185 phishing attacks every month. Even though the success rate of these phishing attacks is at a deceivingly low 6%, it means 71 of those are still successful and in need of remediation. The report found that 15% of organizations are [...]

Shopify Data Breach Affects E-Commerce Merchants and Exposes Customer Information

E-commerce company Shopify recently disclosed the discovery of a data breach that affected customer data and transaction details for fewer than 200 merchants who use their platform. Shopify has reported the data breach to law enforcement including the FBI and other international agencies. According to the statement, two rogue employees on the customer support team [...]

Phishing and Malware Attacks Most Common Techniques for Credential Theft

Every day we use our personal information for access to online accounts, smart devices and other resources. This happens so frequently that the sensitivity of credential information can be taken for granted. A recent study by password management company LastPass found that a staggering 61 percent of business users reuse the same passwords for multiple [...]

One of Largest IT Staffing Agencies in U.S. Reports Data Breach

A ransomware attack has exposed the commercial and personal employee data of Artech Information Systems, one of the largest IT staffing agencies in the nation. The data breach occurred Jan. 5 – 8 after a bad actor gained access to company servers through an employee user account. Company officials said Social Security numbers, medical information, [...]

Former Uber Executive Charged in Data Breach Cover Up

A former Uber executive has been charged with covering up a data breach affecting 57 million app users and drivers. Joe Sullivan, Uber’s former chief security officer, is facing obstruction of justice and other charges stemming from a 2016 data breach. The breach occurred when two men hacked a third-party server to steal the personal [...]

How to Help Protect Your Medical Records from Cybercriminals

Medical records are a prime target for cybercriminals, and data breaches are a frequent occurrence in the health care industry. These records are valuable because they may contain a large variety of personal information, including your name, address, insurance information, Social Security number (SSN) and medical history. Medical records can be used to commit many [...]

How Teletherapy Can Help Gig Workers & Others

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought a lot of uncertainty into the lives of many Americans. Over the span of just a few months, the number of unemployed individuals rose by 14 million. In response, many people have turned to the “gig economy” for supplemental income. The Labor Market The gig economy refers to the share [...]

Google and Amazon Customers Top List of Brand Phishing Targets

Scammers are now targeting Google and Amazon customers the most frequently with brand phishing attacks, according to a new report. A recent study by security company Check Point found that Google and Amazon customers tie for the most phishing attempts aiming to steal their personal information at 13% of total attacks during the second quarter [...]

How to Prepare for the End of Student Loan Forbearance During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act temporarily placed federal student loans in forbearance, pausing payments and interest accrual through Sept. 30 of this year. Without further federal intervention, payments resume in a few short months. While it’s possible the forbearance might be extended, borrowers should start preparing to resume payments this October. If [...]

FTC Warning of Cryptocurrency Scams After Twitter Hacks

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a warning on a popular new cryptocurrency scam that tricks victims into sending money. The FTC warning comes after high-profile celebrities’ and national leaders’ Twitter accounts were hacked earlier this month with scammers sending out fake tweets telling followers to send money using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Victims ranged [...]

Student Credit Cards Can Help Students Establish Credit

This fall, college students are returning to school or logging on from a distance during a time of deep economic insecurity. While the coronavirus pandemic may have devastated some job opportunities, there are still ways for college students to work on establishing financial independence before they graduate. Having a strong credit history can help students [...]

MGM Resorts Data Breach Might Have Impacted More Than 200 Million Guests

An MGM Resorts data breach that exposed the personal information of hotel guests, including high-profile celebrities and business leaders, has affected millions more guests than originally thought, according to new reports. The MGM Resorts data breach was first reported early last year with more than 10.6 million guests affected. However, this month, a hacker placed [...]

Cybercriminals Targeting Healthcare Industry Along with Coronavirus-Related Scams

As headlines focus on coronavirus-related scams, the related healthcare industry also continues to be a top target for cybercriminals. This year alone more than 3 million patient records have been exposed. Here are the top-five healthcare data breaches so far this year. 1. Health Share of Oregon More than 654,000 patients had their records breached [...]

4 Credit Moves to Make When You Move Back in With Your Parents

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, a record 32 million adult Americans lived with their parents or grandparents as of April. The pandemic is one likely culprit, but other factors – including housing costs and high student debt – have contributed to this phenomenon for years. Moving back in with your parents may [...]

Tips on Bringing in Additional Income During COVID-19

There’s no surprise that COVID-19 has impacted people and businesses in all kinds of negative ways within the past couple of months. Unemployment rates have risen quickly, and many businesses have had to close due to inactivity. To help those looking for additional income, here is a list of survey-taking jobs that are easy to [...]

Report: Data Breaches Cost Public Companies on Average $116 Million

How expensive is a data breach for a big company? A recent report by Audit Analytics provides insight to this question in a study that sampled 639 cybersecurity breach incidents at public companies in the last nine years. The report, “Trends in Cybersecurity Breach Disclosures,” found the cost of a data breach directly relates to the life cycle of an incident and on the sensitivity of the compromised customer information. According to the study, the longer the life [...]

What to Do with Credit Card Travel Rewards During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has canceled travel plans across the globe, and it’s likely to disrupt normal travel for some time. For the time being, there’s a good chance your vacation plans are canceled, and you’ll be stuck at home instead. If you have a travel rewards credit card, you may be wondering how to get [...]

Mortgage Lenders Tighten Borrowing Requirements in Response to Coronavirus

The coronavirus continues to upset the economy, and the housing market is no exception. As of last month, around 4 million homeowners have already requested mortgage forbearance with their lenders through the CARES Act forbearance program. Mortgage lenders are responding to the economic uncertainty by tightening credit requirements and making borrowers jump through more hoops [...]

Study: More Than Half of Online Users Still Using Same Password for Multiple Accounts

As social life continues to move into the online sphere, it becomes increasingly important to monitor and protect our online data. The average consumer has more than 27 online accounts and that number approaches 100 for millennials with only a handful of passwords being shared throughout all of them. Given that passwords are the first line of defense to protect personally identifiable [...]

Donating to Charity? Follow These Best Practices to Avoid Fraud

Whether you’re giving money to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic or supporting political activism, donating to charity is a worthy endeavor. If you’re donating to charity for the first time or you’ve been supporting your favorite causes for years, it’s a good idea to ensure your donation is safe and the charity [...]

Bank of America Discloses Payroll Protection Program Data Breach

Business clients applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans with Bank of America may have had their personal and business information exposed in a data breach, according to a letter the bank sent to affected customers. The data breach occurred on April 22 as Bank of America uploaded customers’ PPP loan applications to the Small [...]

Hacktivist Group Anonymous Attacks Minneapolis Police Department Website, Claims Data Breach

The hacktivist group Anonymous has taken credit for a cyberattack that took down the Minneapolis Police Department website to protest the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Before the cyberattack, hacktivist group members allegedly released a video on Facebook saying they were targeting the police department in order to seek justice for Floyd. [...]

Finding an Easy-to-Use Budget and Bill Tracker App Can Help Save Money

The coronavirus pandemic has left us with many unknowns, including concerns over our personal financial future. In fact, if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to budget for an emergency savings fund to plan for the unexpected. One way to make sure your financial future, including an emergency savings fund, is on [...]

How to Avoid Unemployment Benefits Scams During Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has created astonishing unemployment numbers, with nearly 39 million Americans applying for unemployment benefits since mid-March. States have struggled to keep up with the demand for unemployment benefits, resulting in glitches and long wait times to process applications and receive benefits. This dramatic increase in activity has provided scammers an opportunity to [...]

Memorial Day Celebration Includes 25% of Credit and ID Theft Protection for Military and Veterans

This Memorial Day we celebrate active duty and veteran military members for the sacrifices they’ve made for our country with 25% off IdentityIQ credit report and identity theft monitoring services. These services are especially important as active duty and veteran military members are a group at highest risk for identity theft. Because of long deployments [...]

Glitch Causes Data Breach for New Illinois COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment System

Illinois residents filing for coronavirus-related unemployment using the state’s new online system might have had their personal information exposed. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, D,  announced the Illinois Department of Employment Security experienced a system “glitch” after launching this week. The system, a new online portal, has been set up for contractors and self-employed residents filing for [...]

FBI and Cybersecurity Agency Issue Warning China is Hacking Organizations and Companies Working on COVID-19 Research

The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have issued a warning that China is attempting to hack the networks of U.S. organizations, pharmaceutical companies and health care professionals working on coronavirus research and vaccines. The federal agencies called research institutions, companies and others working on the COVID-19 response “prime targets” for Chinese cyberattacks. Federal [...]

How Early Detection Can Minimize the Damage Done by Identity Theft, Especially During COVID-19

Protecting your identity is an essential aspect of maintaining healthy credit and financial security. This is especially true in the age of COVID-19 scams, data breaches, cybersecurity threats and identity theft, when becoming a victim of fraud can do lasting damage to your credit and finances. The longer that identity theft continues unnoticed, the greater [...]

Zoom Acquires Startup with Encryption Expertise as it Aims to Increase Security During COVID-19 Pandemic

Zoom has acquired Keybase, a social networking service startup with encryption expertise, as part of the videoconferencing service’s plan to increase security during the coronavirus pandemic. Zoom CEO Eric Yuan recently announced the acquisition, calling it “another milestone in Zoom’s 90-day plan to further strengthen the security of our video communications platform.” Zoom did not [...]

Coronavirus Researchers Targeted in Cyberattacks

Cybercriminals are targeting research labs working on COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. Three research firms have recently experienced data breaches, including the Wuhan lab at the epicenter of the pandemic. Hackers attacked the Wuhan Institute of Virology to gain access to employee email credentials. The credentials have been leaked online. The Wuhan Institute of Virology attack [...]

Beware of Scammers Using Coronavirus Website Domain Names

Scammers have been registering coronavirus-related domain website names daily in order to commit fraud, according to new reports. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals have been registering malicious sites with names that include “coronavirus” and “COVID-19”. They also are using combinations of the pandemic names and the word “vaccine”. Reports are showing malicious [...]

Missing Your Stimulus Check? Another Option Might Help

Many Americans are depending on stimulus check payments to help them through unemployment, decreased hours and other financial hardships during the coronavirus pandemic. While the IRS has begun distributing stimulus check payments, there are still about 60 million people who are eligible for stimulus payments who have yet to receive their checks. What can you [...]

Small Business Association Data Breach Exposes Data of Nearly 8,000 Emergency Loan Applicants

A data breach in the Small Business Association (SBA) loan application portal may have exposed the personal information of thousands of businesses last month as they submitted emergency loan applications during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials recently announced. The SBA has seen a large influx of applications from struggling businesses seeking emergency loans due to the [...]

Hackers Preying on Pandemic: 5 Common Sense Tools to Protect Yourself

With hackers and scammers going to unprecedented lengths to steal information during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to know about tools you can use to help make it more difficult for criminals to access your information. While data security and identity theft are complicated issues, taking steps to reduce your exposure doesn’t have to be. [...]

FTC Reports $9 Million in Losses from Coronavirus Scams

From fake coronavirus vaccines to scammers targeting stimulus checks and small businesses seeking financial assistance, fraud involving COVID-19 fears is rampant. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported from January to April 15 it has received more than 18,000 complaints regarding coronavirus-related scams with about $9 million in losses. The complaints include sellers claiming to have [...]

Scammers Targeting Small Businesses Seeking Financial Assistance During Coronavirus Pandemic

Scammers are preying on small business owners looking for financial assistance to help survive the shutdowns during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Office of Inspector General has reported an increase in grant and loan frauds and phishing email scams falsely claiming to be a part of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) economic stimulus programs. [...]

4 Tips for a Smarter Emergency Savings Fund

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, having an emergency savings fund is important for handling unexpected expenses. From job loss to reduced income to other unplanned issues, it is important to save up a few months’ worth of expenses to weather financial storms. Building a strong emergency savings fund takes more than slipping a [...]

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