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  • The Hidden Dangers in Your Kid’s Backpack

    Column Data Security Blog 

    Whether you’re scanning the surf to protect your little ones from a rogue jellyfish, lazing at home on a stay-cation or carting kids to camp, you’re probably already thinking about your back-to-school to-do lists. While you’re out there searching for the perfect backpack for your child, the more important consideration than style, size and color should be – what can happen if a dishonest person gets a hold of it? The things your child carries […]

  • QUIZ: What’s Your ID IQ?

    Column Blog Personal Finance 

    The first step when it comes to identity theft is admitting you have a problem. Knowing your ID IQ is a good place to start. You’ve probably seen those red-and-white buttons that warble when swatted, “That was easy!” However, on the battlefield of identity theft awareness, nothing is easy. People know it’s a threat, but try getting anyone to pay attention to the ever-evolving threats that are out there and perhaps you will understand why […]

  • At 3 Years Old, the CFPB Gives Americans a Soapbox

    Column Blog 

    America’s newest federal agency just turned 3 years old, and it continues to be the preferred punching bag for everyone from the American Bankers Association to politicians like Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who once famously and proudly proclaimed that, “Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.” The CFPB, on the other hand, sees itself as a playing-field leveler. Consider its latest offering: a public narrative-focused Consumer Complaint Database where anyone can tell […]

  • 5 Ways Your Kids Can Bust Your Summer Budget

    Column Personal Finance 

    If you’re a parent, summertime can mean trips to the beach (along with parking fees, ice cream runs, boardwalk arcade games, funnel cakes, cotton candy, gaily painted hermit crabs, etc.), setting up camp on some far-away stunning vista (and all the must-have sundries and amenities) and, of course, hours of mindless — not necessarily inexpensive — entertainment. If you’re not vigilant, you may discover that your bank account has withered like an unwatered rose in […]

  • How to Stop a Debt Collector

    Financial 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 Card

    Financial 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 make

    Financial 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 Time

    Financial 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 Home

    Column 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 […]