Identity Theft Takes a New Turn

by Terry Savage

If you think your finances are safer now that you use a chip card, think again. The latest Javelin Identity Fraud Study reports the number of identity fraud victims increased by 16 percent in 2016 to more than 15 million consumers. And the amount the thieves took grew by $1 billion to more than $16 billion in the past year.

A large part of the increase came from “card not present” fraud in the first year since chip cards became widely used. Fraudsters are resorting to more invasive ways of getting your identity details than simply counterfeiting mag stripe cards.

So-called “phishing” schemes have become far more sophisticated. Gone are the days of the misspellings and clumsy grammar that made fraud emails obvious. Fraudsters have gotten better at tricking you into clicking on a link in one of these emails. Once you do that on your computer or smartphone, these links deploy malware called “bots” to collect all your data, including PIN and CV authentication numbers as you shop online.

There’s also a growing trend of identity fraud crimes enabled by victims’ social media posts. Harmless items on your pages, including celebrations of your birthday, or a college graduation or reunion, give thieves information they use open new accounts in your name. Fraudulent new credit accounts for more than half the increase in identity theft crime last year.

So what should you be doing to guard your identity? Here are some suggestions, which mostly involve common sense and a commitment to regularly review your finances.

—Check online accounts regularly. Visit your bank or credit card website at least once a week to make sure that no withdrawals or unauthorized charges have been made. Yes, you’re protected from fraud, but there’s no way to avoid the hassle of getting a new account number when you’ve been attacked. At least you can minimize the trauma by catching fraudulent purchases immediately.

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FIGHT for Your RIGHT to be HAPPY

by Connie Podesta

For All Who Need It

When I wrote my book Redefining Happiness, I did so with so many people in mind. My clients. Audience members. Online followers. Friends. Family. Colleagues. I wrote it redefining-happiness-coverbecause I think in our sometimes crazy world we tend to put a lot of things on the top of our to-do lists and somehow happiness, joy, and celebration seemingly creep to the bottom more often than not. We get busy. Overwhelmed. Worked and worked some more. And here’s the crazy part – you won’t believe how many people feel GUILTY about being happy. About self-care. About having fun. About being “off the clock”. STOP.

Here’s the truth: There’s a lot that we CAN’T control in this world and the stress of that makes people so anxious and even fearful. My goal? Is to help people kick that stress to the curb and instead of fighting for their right to be SAD, or ANGRY, or WORRIED – they’ll instead FIGHT for their RIGHT to be HAPPY. Because I can tell you, as someone who speaks to thousands of people a year and who has counseled countless people as a therapist and human behavior expert – when you fight for your HAPPINESS as hard as you fight for status quo – your whole world changes. Your relationships improve. Your quality of life skyrockets. Your success level goes through the roof. It all starts with putting happiness first.

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Do’s and Don’ts for a Human and Humane Holiday Experience

by Joseph Michelli

Over twenty-five years ago I used to speak about managing the stress of the holidays. Those speeches were loosely based on the book Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Joy Back into the Season. In it the authors, Jo Robinson and Jean Staeheli, essentially focused on four main themes:

  • Prioritize gift-giving to those who truly need your gifts.
  • Engage in activities (across a well-paced holiday season – not just a day) that connect with your deepest personal values.
  • Seek to be a peacemaker among friends and family.
  • Commit to spiritual growth.

Over time, I’ve come to believe we don’t need to, and quite frankly can’t “Unplug the Christmas Machine” – that machine will run even if you or I were to find a way to unplug it.

I suspect our efforts would be better spent focusing on how to create humanity-rich experiences this time of year. To that end, I offer some thoughts which I’ll lovingly call “do’s and don’ts” for the season. These thoughts are targeted in the context of both business and personal life, as they relate to each of these relationships:

Customers

Team Members

Family and Friends

Customer Do’s and Don’ts:

Do: Smile. During the holiday crunch a smile and genuine graciousness can stand out and comfort customers.

Don’t: Confuse this Customer With the Last One. When the pace picks up, it’s easy to get into a groove where people blur into “transactions.” You may be doing your 50th identical transaction of the day, but that transaction involves a person and for that person, this is likely their only interaction with you today. Honor people – their visits and their business.

 

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Is America’s Military Losing Its Edge?

By Vikram Mansharamani

The United States spends more money on its military than any other country in the world. The American defense budget of almost $600 billion is more than four times that of China’s. In fact, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) notes the US spends almost as much as the next fourteen countries – combined.

But rather than simply leave the interpretation of this data to readers, IISS warns this large budget does not necessarily buy sustainable US military superiority.  In February of this year, John Chipman, director general of IISS, noted that the proliferation of military-relevant technologies has large strategic consequences that appear to be undermining Western might.

This point was driven home during a recent talk at the Harvard Kennedy School by former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy. She explicitly stated “our military technological edge…is no longer a given, because many of the technologies we rely on are becoming ubiquitous.”

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Every Moment Matters – Taking Your Conversations to the Next Level

by Stacey Hanke

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The mistake most individuals make in building relationships is assuming that influence is a one-time event. We sprint through life, running from meeting to meeting, shooting off email after email and ending our days wondering, “What just happened?”

I refer to every conversation as The Approach.  During every conversation you should ask yourself: “What do I need to do and say to influence this relationship three days, weeks, months and years from now?”

Think about every conversation having influence from a wider lens by asking these powerful questions:

  1. What perception do I leave with my listeners after every conversation?
  2. What questions can I ask my listeners to better understand where they are now with my topic compared to where I want them to be?
  3. How do my listeners prefer to communicate with me – face-to-face or a phone conversation, email or text? This question is critical to ask early in the relationship to honor your listeners’ time and to communicate through a medium that works best for them. You can’t take the relationship to the next level without frequent communication.

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Three Big Mistakes Leaders Make When Managing Millennials

by Geoff Colvin

And how to fix them.

Millennials have become the largest demographic in the workplace. But managers of all ages have struggled to find the best way to connect with a wave of twenty- and thirtysomethings who do most of their typing with their thumbs, work wearing earbuds, and claim they can hold meaningful conversations while monitoring five open browser windows. Many leaders have fallen back on stereotypes about the generation (see the previous sentence), only to find that they’re neither true nor useful in managing.

So now what?

It’s time for Managing Millennials 2.0, based on finer distinctions derived from years of experience and current data. Three helpful insights stand out:

 Different Generations Aren’t Different Species.

On many important dimensions, millennials are remarkably like Gen Xers and baby boomers. Contrary to stereotype, in a recent IBM IBM 0.59% survey only 18% of millennials said “managing my work/life balance” is one of their top two career goals, vs. 22% of Gen Xers and 21% of baby boomers. Millennial employees are less likely than Gen Xers to use personal social media accounts for work purposes, says the same research. And millennials’ preferred method of learning new work skills is—brace yourself—face-to-face contact.

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The Five Trends Shaping the Future of Cities

by Jack Uldrich

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The science fiction writer William Gibson once wrote: “The future is here. It just isn’t evenly distributed.” It’s a powerful insight because it implies that savvy business people, farsighted political leaders and even average citizens can discern the future if only they heed today’s emerging trends. Five current trends, in particular, appear poised to transform the cities of tomorrow.

In February, Amazon introduced “Echo,” a new artificially intelligent platform that allows users to access the Internet using nothing other their voice. That same month Facebook unveiled its new “Chatbot” platform which similarly uses artificial intelligence. The developments are noteworthy because soon schools, businesses and city hall will be able to create artificially intelligent agents that can serve students, customers, and citizens in a variety of accessible, affordable and innovative ways.

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