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


  • 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 […]

  • Obama’s Cybersecurity Plan: Do As I Say, Not As I DoColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    “If we’re going to be connected, then we need to be protected,” President Obama proclaimed at the Federal Trade Commission on Monday. In wide-ranging remarks, the president expressed what should be a self-evident truth, but is not yet a reality in the new digital age: “As Americans, we shouldn’t have to forfeit our basic privacy when we go online to do our business.” He is dead right. But having spent the past decade focusing on […]

  • How Serious is the US CentCom Twitter Hack?Press, Government, Politics, Blog, Technology

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    While President Obama was announcing his initiative to boost cyber security, the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and Youtube accounts were hacked by a pro-ISIS group. How concerned should we be? Has Cyber War replaced the Cold War? Adam Levin discussed this on the Willis Report this week – see the interview below:

  • social media hack

    It’s Tax Season. Do You Know Where Your Mail Is?Column, Data Security, Blog

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    During the holiday season a missed or stolen package can be aggravating, which is doubtless why you eagerly watched for deliveries all December, calling the nanosecond you suspected a problem. Unfortunately, many employers don’t send tracking numbers when the packet of vital documents marked “Important Tax Information Enclosed” hits the mail destined for your home address. We receive some of the most sensitive, potentially damaging mail deliveries of the year during these post-holiday months, and […]

  • How the Sony Hack Is Changing the Way I WorkTechnology

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      If the past two years have revealed anything, it’s that every conceivable mode of communication comes with its share of serious privacy and security issues. Email can be hijacked, mail servers can be breached and malware can turn your smartphone into a peepshow. Wikileaks revealed that even our phone conversations are at risk. That said, don’t panic! It’s highly unlikely anyone is listening to your phone calls. (OK, it’s possible, but you’d have to […]

  • Is Your Christmas Present Spying On You?Column, Data Security, Blog, Technology

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    T’was the night after Christmas, when all through the house Every stripe of device with no need of a mouse Sent oodles of data to that Cloud in the Air While their owners slept soundly, with nary a care… When it comes to gifts from the Internet of Things department, there’s no jolly guy in a white-trimmed red suit with a bag full of presents, no magic reindeer clip-clopping on the roof. In fact, it’s […]

  • The Most Important Lessons You Can Learn From the Sony HackColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    Angelina Jolie may have been all thorns when she ran into Sony’s Amy Pascal last week after the hacker group Guardians of Peace leaked the co-chair’s email rant about the “Maleficent” star, but while the gossip mill grinds and the spin doctors do their best to stop the bleeding at the company, the real lesson here revolves around a question of corporate culture. It is important not to understate what happened. While I doubt the […]

  • 5 Big Privacy Predictions for 2015Column, Data Security, Blog

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    It seems like there were more companies that had privacy-related problems in 2014 than didn’t. And the lucky ones that didn’t “get got” were separated by only one or two degrees from those that did. As we look ahead to 2015, I see a mix of old privacy concerns along with a few emerging dangers. Breaches are the new normal. Sony Pictures, the U.S. Postal Service, Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, Goodwill, Staples, eBay, P.F. Chang’s, […]

  • I Ate Thanksgiving Dinner With My Identity Thief for 19 YearsColumn, Blog, Identity Theft

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    Nineteen a minute: That’s how quickly people become identity theft victims in the U.S. Estimates vary, but somewhere between 10 and 16 million Americans are defrauded each year in this way. Thanksgiving can be an awkward time of year for some victims, since family members account for more than 30% of the identity thieves. Axton Betz-Hamilton knows this firsthand. Raised in a middle-class home—her mother Pamela was a tax preparer, her dad a department manager […]

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