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Blogs and article by Adam K Levin about credit, identity theft, data security, and consumer protection.


  • Can You Stop Medical ID Theft After the Anthem Breach?Data Security, health care

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    Anthem, the second-largest health insurer in the U.S., was hit by a major data breach last week. The news broke Feb. 4, and the company posted a letter online from the president and CEO, Joseph R. Swedish. Two sentences from this letter are displayed in a large, blue box on the side of anthemfacts.com, the page created for updates on the situation: “Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack. Based on what […]

  • What the Anthem Hack Means For YouData Security, health care

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    The nation’s second-largest health insurer has suffered a cyberattack that might become the largest hacking headache ever for American consumers. Anthem Inc. announced Wednesday that computer criminals had infiltrated its systems and stolen a treasure trove of personal information. While the firm says no medical data or credit card information was targeted or stolen, hackers made off with names, birth dates, medical IDs/Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data. […]

  • Your Anonymous Credit Card Data Isn’t So AnonymousColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    A recent report in Science Magazine revealed the soft underbelly of what was once considered a well-armored use of “anonymized” consumer information. The study’s authors were able to successfully identify consumers based on several anonymized data sets—specifically, their credit card purchases. Using purchase metadata with no credit card numbers, names or any other simple identifiers, the report’s co-authors found they could track a specific person’s purchases using three factors: a receipt, an Instagram and a […]

  • Are Smart Homes a Privacy Risk?Lifehacking, Technology

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    Imagine the home of the future. While these smart homes may not be connected to transportation pods like in “The Jetsons” or have pizza hydrators like in “Back to the Future Part II,” one thing’s for sure: Abodes will be increasingly high-tech, relying on the Internet to function. The enhanced connectivity in smart homes could result in a rise in hacking risks. In 2015, things that were not Internet-enabled in the past — like thermometers and […]

  • Personal Loan

    6 Signs it May Be Time to Switch BanksFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance

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    With the new year under way, many of us have been trying to break bad habits and instill new ones in our lives for 2015. Perhaps you’re looking to increase positive relationships and influences while eliminating negative ones. While you’re assessing these positive moves, it’s a good idea to include your bank. That’s right, this can be a good time to look at how your bank is treating you. Check out the following signs it may be […]

  • The Simple Email Trick that Identity Thieves HateColumn, Blog, Identity Theft

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    “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity,” Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed in The Facebook Effect. Easy for him to say. Facebook has made a mint on data integrity—your personal information yoked to likes and dislikes sold to the highest bidder. But here’s some bad news for Zuck: When it comes to navigating a world filled with identity thieves, it pays to lack data integrity. There are more than a billion […]

  • Children and data

    Is Big Data Already Tracking Your Kindergartner?Privacy, Technology

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    You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees that America’s schools are in need of serious reform. And it’s an obvious leap to think technology is the fast lane to improvement. “Ed-tech” is where some of America’s thorniest issues collide, however. Big Brother. Marketing to kids. Privacy. Boondoggles. Attention deficit disorder. Teacher accountability. As a result, ed-tech is where a lot of early tech ideas go to die. The Los Angeles Unified School District has […]

  • How to Find and Close Your Old Online AccountsLifehacking, Personal Finance

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    I remember my first online accounts. I just wish I could find them. When I was a teenager, there was some blogging or profile site most people in my school had, and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was (I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Friendster, MySpace, Xanga or LiveJournal — I really have no idea). I do remember my page having a black background and lime green text, and there was […]

  • How Banks Want to Change Mobile Privacy LawsColumn, Banking, Blog

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    According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, it’s illegal to robocall a mobile phone number without permission. The American Bankers Association wants to change that, arguing that robocalls will help fight identity theft and other kinds of fraud. Opponents say that’s an overreach, one that will erode an important consumer protection. “Gee, I can’t talk right now. Why don’t you give me your home number and I’ll call you later.” That’s how Jerry Seinfeld memorably […]

  • Credit vs Debit

    What Happens If I Swipe My Debit Card as ‘Credit’?Consumer Protection, Personal Finance

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    It’s a question we’ve all heard when shopping: “Credit or debit?” It seems straightforward, just the cashier asking you what type of payment card you’re using, but there’s actually a lot more history to that question than you might think. Debit and credit transactions are processed differently: Here’s how MasterCard explained it in an emailed statement to Credit.com: When you use a debit card and your PIN (personal identification number), the transaction is completed in […]

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