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Jake Stroup

Jake\'s Identity Theft Blog

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Training Cuts Risk and Cost

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Mac McMillan checks in with some advice to business owners and executives... especially the execs. If your network is open to the internet, a phishing scam can penetrate where a security guard can't patrol. Every IT security expert will tell you the greatest threat to network security is the users themselves. They are the ones on the inside, handling your data.

Isn't it a good idea to make sure they're trained to recognize (and more importantly, not respond to) phishing attacks?

Keeping an Eye on Your Identity

Monday March 31, 2014

There is no 100% guaranteed fool-proof way to knowing if you might be a victim of identity theft, but there are some key things you can keep an eye out for that can tip you off.

(I promise, none of them have anything to do with Ouija boards.)

So, You Want to Fix Your Identity...

Monday March 31, 2014

Well, if you're wanting to fix your identity because you have been a victim of identity theft, there are a couple of steps you're going to have to take. (Yelling and hollering doesn't seem to help much, but it does seem to be the first step most identity theft victims take.) But once you've done that, you'll want to report the identity theft to the FTC and get a Fraud Affidavit... this is pretty much a universal step in the long road to recovery.

Keeping Tabs on Your Identity

Monday March 31, 2014

Sure, you can wait to find out at tax time whether or not you're a victim of social security identity theft (specifically employment fraud or tax fraud), but there are ways you can figure that out beforehand - if you know what you're looking for.

Of course, most of them have to do with letters coming from the Social Security Administration or the Internal Revenue Service, so they're pretty much a dead giveaway... "Oh, look, honey! We got a letter from the IRS! Wait... I'll read it... OH! We owe them $1.38 million in back taxes - for all those jobs we worked in Iowa, Mississippi, New York, Arizona, Michigan, Florida and Colorado."

More About Staying Ahead of Tax Fraud

Monday March 31, 2014

Well, I *did* say that the IRS has come up with some new ways to address identity theft. IRS Form 14039 is a perfect example.

Designed to actually report identity theft to the IRS, this form may actually help to prevent social security identity theft - specifically tax fraud - by giving the IRS a heads-up when you think you may be at risk.

Staying Ahead of Tax Fraud

Monday March 31, 2014

Reports of tax fraud have flooded the IRS for several years now, and each year the numbers seem to blow the previous year out of the water. This has led to our trusty Internal Revenue Service to come up with new ways to handle reporting and tracking.

On the bright side, though, the relaxed policies on illegal immigration have definitely created some new jobs at the IRS.

What, Precisely, IS Privacy, Anyway?

Monday March 31, 2014

You'd think that something as simple as the word "privacy" would be easy enough to define. From the English-geek standpoint, that may be true. But when you start looking at privacy law and personal information things can get a little blurry.

 

Getting Back to Basics

Monday March 31, 2014

For pretty much the past year I've been having all sorts of fun covering various privacy issues and the NSA scandals. So I thought it might be a good idea to cover some of the basics about what identity theft is as we roll into the tax season home stretch...

Growing a Data Breach... Just Add Time

Monday March 31, 2014

News about data breaches tends to grow as more information comes to light. But sometimes the full scope of a data breach doesn't make headlines, because the news isn't "fresh" anymore by the time a thorough investigation is done.

The upshot is that initial data breach reports can be very conservative, while the actuality can be worse by tenfold - or even more.

Going to School Presents Privacy Risks

Friday February 28, 2014

One of the most common places identity thieves find private information is in the educational system. From kindergarten through doctorate-level, schools consistently have vast numbers of records compromised, for any number of reasons.

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