It all started as a practical joke, just because I realized that @therealrondo was not taken yet on Twitter. But it quickly snowballed. My original concept for the joke was simple: to build up as many followers in your name as possible and then make a crazy announcement.
It's no surprise that Illinois consumers expressed identity theft as their No. 2 complaint, right behind debt, according to the state attorney general's office.
Take your driver's license out of your wallet. Flip it over. Now look carefully at the back of it. There's no box to check for "Identity Donor." Yet when it comes to identity-related crimes, one of the greatest times of vulnerability is immediately after you die.
I promise you, generals have more things to do with their time, especially while overseas, than find a love interest back home. So stick to a few golden rules if ever one of these military Romeos comes a knockin':
Identity theft is a growing threat throughout the world. Thieves continue to create more advanced, sophisticated and unpredictable methods to steal valuable personal information. In 2012 alone, 16.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft. The risk is real, and everyone is a target.
Marc Goodman is a one-man Geek Squad who began his law enforcement career as a beat cop in Los Angeles and became the departmental computer expert. With a nose for wrongdoing and digital aptitude, Marc has served as the FBI's Futurist in Residence, Interpol advisor, lecturer and now author.
The refund process as it stands now makes sense only as the quaint relic of simpler times. It's the epitome of an analog approach getting trounced by our digital reality. Not to put too fine a point on it, I believe look-back compliance should go the way of the horse and buggy.
Imagine you were President, or Speaker of the House, and one day you woke up and discovered that you had an extra $5.8 billion dollars to spend. What would you do with the cash? A new aircraft carrier (or half of one, anyway)?
There's now a technology to replace almost everything in your wallet. Your cash, credit cards, and loyalty programs are all on their way to becoming obsolete.
In each of these instances, we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who consider the theft of our identity as their day job. We are also contributing our personal data to folks who are hoping to someday launch the equivalent of a denial of service attack on our economy to take us down.
The last several years have been good for criminal hackers and bad for consumers. From last year's unprecedented string of major retailer breaches to the massive JP Morgan hack and Sony's epic debacle, hackers have been almost unstoppable. So what should consumers expect for 2015?
Using purchase metadata with no credit card numbers, names or any other simple identifiers, the report's co-authors found they could track a specific person's purchases using three factors: a receipt, an Instagram and a Tweet about a new purchase or a Facebook post.
It may sound ridiculous at first, but a strategic deployment of the most common and visible form of personally identifiable information--the humble email address--might be enough to send a would-be identity thief packing to an easier mark.
While many experts are calling the efforts somewhat worthy, others are pointing out that they're both just a rehash of legislation previously proposed and rejected, and many are little more than voluntary codes of conduct with few sharp teeth to back them up.
In his recent words on the issue, Obama is dead right. But having spent the past decade focusing on these issues, I'm not ready to take a "Birdman" victory lap through the canyons of midtown Manhattan just yet.
I agree with some of the new federal initiatives to prevent identity theft and protect consumers' privacy. But they can only do so much. The pressure is now on financial institutions to provide the most secure technology available.