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Author Archives: Adam Levin


  • Here’s How the New Chip-and-PIN Credit Cards Could Be DOAColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    A recent Gallup survey found that 69% of Americans worry “frequently” or “occasionally” about having a credit card compromised by computer hackers. It’s not shocking. Consumers are becoming more educated on the topic, and financial institutions are beginning to do more to combat fraud, including introducing new types of credit cards. One example of the latter is chip-and-PIN technology, which everyone from consumers to the president has hailed for its ability to help prevent fraud. […]

  • A Free Retina Scan with Your Next Purchase?Column, Data Security, Blog

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    Increasingly, legions of sophisticated hackers are infiltrating the most state-of-the-art data security strategies out there. The recent data compromises at Kmart and JPMorgan are in no way similar, except they share a common enemy. And while free retina scanners are probably a stretch, biometrics – the use of your biological data like fingerprints — may well be the next “less hackable” thing. During what will doubtless be a relatively brief window of opportunity before biometrics […]

  • The Real JPMorgan Data Breach Danger Is Still on Its WayColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    The olive branch after the deluge of news about the JPMorgan data breach that exposed the personally identifiable information of 83 million customers was that no bank account information, or more sensitive personal information like Social Security numbers, had been compromised. What got lost in that torrent of stories was the fact that the information that did get exposed could unleash the mother of all phishing attacks. All signs point to phishing. The hackers wormed […]

  • How Your Job Search Could Threaten Your IdentityPersonal Finance

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    You finally landed a great job. Whether you were a new graduate, or among the long-term unemployed or under-employed, you put yourself out there and made it happen. But let’s say that you flipped a few stones on the job market that were best left unturned, and you got scammed somewhere along the way. It’s not an uncommon tale. Think of it this way: A scammer’s job is more difficult these days with so many […]

  • iOS 8 Wants to Get to Know You BetterColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    My phone is at rest on my desk, charging. I’ve enabled the new “Hey Siri” feature, which was part of the iOS 8 update. Now, the famous concierge feature that offers the world at the touch of a button is always-already on, listening (as long as it is plugged in). Somehow I’m feeling a bit less safe. “Hey Siri,” I say, and my phone blinks awake. “You’re creeping me out.” “After all I’ve done for […]

  • Privacy and security

    Is It Time for a Data Breach Disclosure Box?Column, Blog

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    The breach at Home Depot is only the most recent in a torrent of high-profile data compromises. Data and identity-related crimes are at record levels. Consumers are in uncharted territory, which raises a question: Is it time to do for data breaches and cybersecurity what the nutritional label did for food? I believe we need a Data Breach Disclosure Box, and that it can be a powerful consumer information and education tool. Once a cost […]

  • 3 Ways Your Kids Can Get You HackedPersonal Finance

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    Last month a story in the Wall Street Journal article sent a shudder down our collective parental spine. Google is planning to open Gmail and YouTube to kids under the age of 13. While the company will restrict this king’s ransom of new clicks to kid-friendly content, hackers could well have a field day. Lest we forget, we’re only as strong as the weakest link in our familial tech village. The trend—whether or not Google […]

  • The Lie That Could Keep You Safe From HackersColumn, Blog

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    The hack that created millions of morally challenged voyeurs—and, depending upon which celebrity they downloaded, child sex offenders—also provided us with a teachable moment. It exposed the use of security questions in online authentication as a quaint artifact of an antiquated Internet culture. We talk a lot about personally identifiable information (PII) in the data security business, but rarely do people realize exactly what that can include, and how much of that information is readily […]

  • 5 Reasons Not to Search for Those Nude Celebrity PhotosPersonal Finance

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    A not-so funny thing happened to the Internet over Labor Day weekend. It was nearly trampled to death in a digital stampede for nude celebrity photos including pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kate Upton, Rihanna and others. More than 100 celebrities “made” the list. How did the pictures wind up online? The best guess so far is that this was a very target attack on celebrity accounts and not the result […]

  • How to Stop a Debt CollectorFinancial Literacy, Consumer Protection, Personal Finance

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    If you get a call from out of the blue from a collection agency, be careful. It could be a scam. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. Consumers across the country are getting calls from debt collectors – sometimes for debts they don’t even owe. The collector may know alot about you – where you work, your bank account info or social security number. Don’t let that fool you. […]

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