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


  • ATM Hack

    At new eATMs, customers can get cash without a card—and so can hackersCybersecurity, Technology

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    More troubling evidence that banks and retailers push convenience on consumers to boost profits—while knowingly making it easier for criminals to steal—arose this week. Case in point: the terribly bungled rollout of newfangled “eATM” cash machines by Chase. Last year, you may recall, Chase promised to upgrade all its ATMs to this fun new technology. The so-called eATMs use smartphones instead of debit cards to authenticate users. Smartphones, indeed, are a very reliable way to […]

  • Unaffordable cities

    20 Cities That Are Quickly Becoming UnaffordableFinancial Literacy, Money

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    America’s housing market continued its staggering post-recession rise in 2016, as many regions surpassed their pre-recession-bubble highs. With interest rates finally rising, might some of those places be primed for a fall…or at least a pause? The list of U.S. areas that could be hurt most by rising mortgage costs is not your typical list of overheated housing markets, as some fast-growing, but still modestly-priced Midwestern towns could feel the pain first. Rising home values […]

  • donation scam

    5 Ways to Scam-Proof Your Charitable GivingConsumer Protection, Blog

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    The holiday season is a time for giving, but it is also a time to get ready to pay your taxes, and for those who are fortunate enough to have more than they need, it is time for some end-of-year charitable giving. Even if you don’t have a big surplus budget, you may want to balance out the holiday “gets” with some giving. The glut of holiday gifts, food and accessorized jollity make it unavoidable, […]

  • data breach

    3 Things to Consider After the Latest Yahoo BreachData Security, Technology

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    No payment card or banking information was compromised in the latest 1 billion-user breach at Yahoo, according to expert reports. But what if there had been? The truth is that for most users it would be annoying, but not the end of the world. So, why is this big news? First of all, Yahoo can now claim two of the biggest security breaches in history. It is noteworthy that such a distinction should be attributable […]

  • phone scams

    Phone Scams Reach Record 10.2 Billion. Here’s How to Protect YourselfConsumer Protection, Technology

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    Does it feel like you’ve had more than your fair share of robocalls this year? If so, you’re not alone. Phone scammers were extra busy in 2016, making a record 10.2 billion robocalls to Americans, offering them everything from fake cruises and gift cards to opportunities to support bogus charities, according to a new report from Hiya, a company providing caller ID and call-blocker apps. The same holds true for holiday scams, which saw an […]

  • cyber crime

    5 Shocking Indicators of a New Rise in Cyber CrimeData Security, Technology

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    When it comes to studies, surveys and reports sent my way that dissect various nuances of the cyber wild, my cup runneth over. So, I’ve assembled a small grouping of revelatory proof points that convey the rising maliciousness made possible by the way we’ve chosen to live our digital lives–and also highlight specific cyber exposures that concern me greatly. The worse is yet to come. Some 72 percent of the security pros heading to the […]

  • toxic work environment

    How to Protect Your Data Without Creating a Toxic EnvironmentData Security, Technology

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    There’s nothing quite like a company-wide directive to spread a sense of malaise at the office, especially when it’s about data security–worse yet if it comes in the wake of a data compromise. It is critical to approach the issue in a productive, non-threatening way. All the good intentions in the world can’t keep “information security” from instilling insecurity in the hearts of most employees. Call it “infosec,” as your company’s go-to insiders may be […]

  • Online political petition

    Are Those Online Political Petitions Safe?Politics, Identity Theft

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    Unless you live on a desert island with a volleyball named Wilson, you’ve probably seen more than a few political petitions in the wake of the 2016 election. The issues are as various as the people circulating them, which is why I began to wonder: Are they safe? The answer: Yes and no. It doesn’t matter the cause, or whether or not you agree with it, your level of exposure is the same. If you […]

  • Donald Trump

    What Could Happen to the CFPB Under President Trump?Consumer Protection

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    Since the day it was created, Republicans have talked about dismantling or defanging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). With the surprise election of Donald Trump as the next president, and continued Republican control of Congress, the GOP will certainly have that chance. It won’t be easy, however. The brainchild of then-Harvard bankruptcy professor Elizabeth Warren, the CFPB was created in the wake of the financial meltdown caused, in part, by consumer confusion and missteps […]

  • Cybersecurity jobs

    Unfilled jobs are the biggest threat to cybersecurityData Security, Cybersecurity, Technology

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    Automation, a deeper talent pool and more women can help close infosec gap When asked, “what is the biggest threat to internet security?” the majority of quick-fire answers can likely be represented by the flags of a handful of nation states. Yet examining the nature of the industry, it can easily be argued that the biggest risk internet security faces is the general inability to respond to and counter attacks launched by adversaries. Today, it […]

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