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  • Why You Need To Know Your Credit Before A Job Search

    Financial Literacy Personal Finance 

    If you’re looking for work, you need to know what’s on your credit reports. Why? Because there’s a decent chance your future employer will be looking too. I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal Credit Minute. While some states limit which type of employers can check your credit, the practice is fairly common. Here are four things you need to know: 1. Employers must get your written permission to pull your credit […]

  • The Laziest Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

    Financial 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 Sites

    Data 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 Transactions

    Consumer 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 Two

    Lifehacking 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 Tips

    Data 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 Breakfast

    Personal 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 You

    Column 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 […]