Tagged With identity theft

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It's easy to get caught up in the craziness of the holidays. You have parties to plan, cards to send, and gifts to buy, and that can be a lot to squeeze into just a few weeks. Don't let the stress cloud your better judgment. Watch out for these scams that prey on holiday shoppers.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Identity theft rates are on the rise, so you should always be vigilant of the threat, and that means taking the necessary steps to protect yourself. As author Adam Levin points out, you should be especially careful to secure your personal information during a big move.

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Dear Lifehacker, What can I do about someone giving out my phone number as their contact for financial matters? I keep getting phone calls looking for an old housemate from debt collectors. I tell them that this isn't his phone number, but they keep calling anyway. I don't want to change my phone number as I have had it for a very long time. Is them giving out my phone number illegal?

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Have you ever wondered how many laptops get stolen from airports each week? How about the average cost of replacing a swiped desktop or the number of people who experienced multiple ID thefts in the past year? This infographic from security provider Check Point looks at the impact of computer theft and compromised data as well as some of the steps you can take to limit your vulnerability.

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In recent times, Facebook has attempted to give its members a modicum of privacy protection via tighter security measures and improved user controls. However, a new study has revealed that even the most tightly guarded Facebook account can still reveal a wealth of information about its owner, including their political and religious views, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. You can lay the blame squarely on that little 'like' button.

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Raise your hand if you know everything you've stuffed into your wallet (no peeking!). No? Then it's time to do a wallet audit to make your life a lot less hellish if your wallet ever gets lost or stolen.

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Dear Lifehacker, I started getting emails from people accusing me of trolling their sites, and other messages letting me know someone was pretending to be me on some forum. I went to check, and sure enough there's someone using my name, and someone else claiming to have "outed" them as me, using my email address, my Facebook profile and my LinkedIn page! THIS IS DISTURBING! What can I do?

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According to a study conducted by computer security company Sophos, 41 to 46 percent of users they test-requested friendship with on Facebook accepted their invitation. The problem, as they see it: After becoming friends with people they don't know, they've got access to full dates of birth, email addresses, the places they went to school, the town in which they live, and a lot more—basically a whole lot of the things an identity theft would need to get the ball rolling.

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Identity theft and the loss of personal data often come across as peculiarly impersonal crimes committed by shadowy gangs from countries you never heard of in geography class. But while protecting against those threats with regular updates and solid anti-virus tools is important, you also need to think about how personal information can be abused by people you actually know.