Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: Politically-based identity theft, doing what comes naturally, moving to an “18-hour” city, combating ransomware and how to know if you’re not saving enough for retirement.

1. Could Your Campaign Contribution Expose You to Identity Theft?

[Credit.com] “Concern that hackers will compromise political campaign databases seems like a prudent response to the current information security landscape, yet disappointingly, at least for those of us in the data security community, the conversation between candidates about security has been largely focused on the “Great Wall of Mexico” and whether or not ISIS should be nuked.

The sheer amount of data collected about you for the purpose of securing your vote is mind-boggling. Also mind-boggling is what could happen to all that info should campaigns get hacked. This article lays out the risks and what should be done to counter them.

2. Making Your Personal Strengths Work for You

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Some of us relish the details of our finances. We enjoy checking our credit card bill each month. Keeping track of our investments is a pleasure. But, for others, the opposite is true. Our minds numb at lists of figures. Details drive us crazy. We can’t stand them, so our monthly statements stack up on a pile that we intend to go through ‘someday’ in the future.”

This article has two simple, but useful, bits of advice. The first is to recognize what we enjoy doing and do well. The second is to recognize what we’re not so good at, then learn to get better or, better yet, allocate it to someone who enjoys it more.

3. Why New Grads Should Consider These ‘18-Hour’ Cities

[Credit Sesame] “Once you’ve got your college degree in hand, the next step is figuring out where to launch your career. Cities like San Francisco and New York are obvious choices for grads who want to get ahead in the tech or finance industries, but they don’t come cheap.”

The term “18-hour” refers to places that are active most of the time, but not 24 hours a day like San Francisco and New York, which makes them more affordable. Cities recommended include Seattle, Dallas, Austin, Minneapolis, Nashville and more. See the article for average rents and other things that factor into the cost of living,

4. Ransomware: The Digital Extortion People Don’t Know About

[Debt.com] “Ransomware is dangerous software that allows an outside user to take control of a digital device and lock you out of it by using encryption. Unlike other malware, you may be able to recover your files … if you pay up.”

Ransomware has garnered headlines lately, with cybercrooks attacking corporations, hospitals and even police departments. Can they hold your digital files hostage? Not if you follow the simple advice in this story.

5. 10 Signs You Aren’t Saving Enough for Retirement

[Wise Bread] “Are you concerned that you aren’t saving enough for retirement? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, more than one-third of Americans haven’t started investing for retirement yet.”

Take it from someone mere months away from retirement age: There’s no way to know if you have enough.

This article suggests warning signs including not having specific goals, not knowing how much to set aside, not matching employer contributions, not seeking advice, not accounting for inflation and more. If these signs apply to you, don’t feel too bad. Many apply to me too.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and reactions in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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