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Author Archives: Adam Levin

  • The Laziest Ways to Improve Your Credit ScoreFinancial Literacy, Lifehacking, Money


    You can be pretty lazy and still help your credit. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Credit can be confusing, overwhelming, and sometimes, downright depressing. Many people with credit problems never get help because they don’t know where to start, or they think it’s all just too difficult and they figure, why bother. But the reality is that there are some pretty simple rules you can live by to […]

  • Dangers of Posting Facts on Social Networking SitesData Security


    In the last decade, hackers have illegally accessed more than one billion consumer records. Sadly, many of us are making the job easier for them because of the way we use sites like Facebook and Twitter. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute With such an enormous treasure trove of data in the hands of fraudsters and identity thieves, do you really need to provide additional personal information to them […]

  • Credit Score

    What is a Good Credit Score?Financial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money


    The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. So a good credit score means you pay less for the money you borrow. But “good” or “good enough” can mean different things to different lenders I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Most credit scores – including the FICO score and the latest version of VantageScore – are on a scale of 301 to 850. Within that range there […]

  • Mastercard Zero Liability Policy Extended to PIN TransactionsConsumer Protection


    If you are worried about identity theft and you have a Mastercard, get ready for some good news. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Visa and Mastercard have had zero liability policies for consumers using credit cards for a while. That means if someone goes on a spending spree with your credit card, you’re protected. But they never extended that protection for fraudulent ATM withdrawals or PIN-based purchases. For […]

  • Vacation Safety Travel Tips – Part TwoLifehacking, Consumer Protection


    Don’t let the blissful distraction of a summer vacation turn into a stressful return to the real world. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. Thieves are banking on your head being in the clouds while you’re on vacation. Meanwhile, they’re picking your pockets or hijacking your documents and personal information. Here are a few ways to stay safe while you’re away. Put your wallet in your front pocket or […]

  • Home ownership

    Vacation Safety TipsData Security, Lifehacking


    After you’ve booked your transportation and hotel, what should you do to prevent your dream vacation from turning into a nightmare for your credit and your identity? I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute Here are some tips to keep identity thieves at bay while you’re away. Have a trusted family member or neighbor collect your mail every day. Put your newspaper delivery service on hold.  Set your lights on […]

  • Post-Target Data Security: Culture Eats Strategy for BreakfastPersonal Finance


    Peter Drucker, considered by some to be “the man who invented management,” usually gets credit for the phrase, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Target’s woes following its historic data breach last November proves how true it is. It seems clear at this point that the breach was disastrous for the company. First-quarter sales figures following the breach showed a 16% decline over the same period the year before, and Target’s stock has fallen 11% since […]

  • The Government Database That Could Know Everything About YouColumn, Blog


    Millions of Americans may soon become part of an expanded government database that would give two federal regulatory agencies an up-close and personal (perhaps too up-close and personal) view of their private financial lives that, if breached, could make for a really bad day for a whole lot of people. The seed for this proposed database expansion was buried in the 261-page Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008; a requirement that the Federal Housing […]

  • Cyber thief

    Cybercriminals Have Your Number, But Which One?Column, Blog


    The Star Wars Cantina of cybercriminals targeting your identity, healthcare, finances and privacy today might seem like a movie you’ve seen so many times you could lip sync the entire thing. Nevertheless, cybercrime and identity-related scams change faster than trending hashtags on Twitter, and the fact is nobody knows what’s going to happen next. Who would have thought Apple’s iCloud was vulnerable (much less to ransomware)? Or eBay? Data breaches are now the third certainty […]

  • 4 Ways New Grads Are Vulnerable to Identity TheftPersonal Finance


    As new graduates climb down from the ivory tower (diploma in hand), many will be facing “real world” transactions for the first time, and they are at risk. Identity-related crimes, bad deals and credit score pitfalls pockmark the road ahead. And for those new grads who are thinking, “It can’t happen to me,” prepare to say “Hello” to reality. Data breaches and the identity theft cases that stem from them have become certainties in life, […]