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Author Archives: Adam Levin

  • Privacy and security

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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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. […]

  • How to Protect Your Credit When You Close a Credit CardFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance


    Even if you have a perfectly valid reason, believe it or not, simply closing a credit card could hurt your credit score. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. If you do decide to close a credit card account, here are three ways to minimize that damage and speed your credit score’s recovery. First, close the right card. Avoid closing the cards you’ve had the longest, with the highest credit […]

  • The worst credit mistake you could makeFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance


    Some credit mistakes aren’t so obvious. What’s worse, the biggest credit mistake — the one most people don’t even know they’re making — actually happens when people are trying to turn their credit score around. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. Closing a credit card account may seem like the best way to celebrate paying off a big, old debt, but consider this: Every credit card represents a component […]

  • Why You Must Pay Your Bills On TimeFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money


    The due date on your credit card is a deadline, not a guideline. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. The first rule of credit is to always make timely payments, since this is the biggest factor affecting your credit scores. Here’s what happens when you pay late: If you fail to pay your bill within 30 days, you will be reported as late to one or more credit bureaus. […]

  • How to Fraud-Proof Your HomeColumn, Data Security


    Summer is here. There will be barbecues. Sand will find its way into the strangest places. Your family, extended family, kids’ friends and friends of friends—even complete strangers—will sail in and out of your home. But that’s OK, because you’ve fraud-proofed your house…right? Identity theft is a truly democratic crime: Anyone can do it, anyone can become a victim; and sadly, it’s almost inevitable that everyone will be a victim. That said, there are ways […]

  • Why Maxing Out a Credit Card Hurts Your Credit ScoreFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money


    While there may be certain life crises that require you to charge a large amount — like a medical emergency or an unexpected auto repair — you must always keep an eye on your credit card balance and avoid hitting the limit. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute. If you’re forced to put an unexpected expense on your credit card, try to pay down the balance as quickly as […]