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Personal Finance

  • Why You Must Pay Your Bills On TimeFinancial 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. […]

  • Mistake

    9 Impulse Purchases You Instantly RegretPersonal Finance


    A new survey conducted by Bankrate.com reported that a quarter of Americans had no savings to weather financial hard times. It didn’t matter if the respondents were relatively higher earners: Folks are spending pretty much what they make. Impulse purchases are definitely a culprit here, along with the refusal to make saving a priority. The world of retail is exceptionally good at keeping the Rainy Day Fund drier than the Mojave Desert on the Fourth […]

  • Post-Target Data Security: Culture Eats Strategy for BreakfastPersonal 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 […]

  • 4 Ways New Grads Are Vulnerable to Identity TheftPersonal Finance


    As new graduates climb down from the ivory tower (diploma in hand), many will be facing “real world” transactions for the first time, and they are at risk. Identity-related crimes, bad deals and credit score pitfalls pockmark the road ahead. And for those new grads who are thinking, “It can’t happen to me,” prepare to say “Hello” to reality. Data breaches and the identity theft cases that stem from them have become certainties in life, […]

  • Data Breaches: Why Assigning Blame Is a Zero-Sum GameColumn, Data Security, Blog, Personal Finance


    Today’s data breaches are like a game of musical chairs: sooner or later, you’ll have to face the music. Last year was bad for data security: More than 800 million records containing sensitive consumer data were exposed. News of breaches keeps rolling in. Identity theft—which had been considered a crass scare tactic conjured up by creative marketing departments to sell solutions to a non-problem – has become the third certainty in life, alongside death and […]

  • The 5 Dumbest Credit MistakesColumn, Blog, Personal Finance


    Several years ago, I watched in amazement when the CEO of a major identity theft protection firm, appeared in a series of commercials waving his Social Security card in the air, parading his Social Security number on a billboard through heavily populated urban areas and screaming his SSN through a bullhorn as a challenge to those who believed that he couldn’t protect it. As a result, he couldn’t protect it and became a 13-time victim […]

  • ATM Security: With End of Windows XP Updates Risk IncreasesBlog, Personal Finance


    ATM security has been in the news of late. Adam Levin spoke with Kate Rogers of Fox Business about the threat to ATM security following Microsoft’s announced discontinuation of updates to Windows XP, which is used on hundreds of thousands of machines around the world. What happens if banks don’t upgrade their Windows XP operating systems by the April 8 deadline? 2.2 million ATMs worldwide could be at risk of a cyber attack. Read the […]

  • Good Morning America: Capital One and the Fine PrintPress, Blog, Personal Finance


    Adam Levin talked to Susanna Kim at Good Morning America about Capital One terms of service that allow the company to come knocking at your door for payment. Check it out here.

  • 5 Things You’re Doing That Could Make Your Life HellLifehacking, Blog, Personal Finance


    Navigating your way through life is hard enough without those hopefully rare moments when you are stressed out or distracted and press the wrong button, take the wrong call, sign the wrong document, neglect to sign the right document or find another one of the countless ways we arrive at that “oops” moment that makes everything infinitely worse and has the potential to haunt you for years to come. (Just ask Carlos Danger.) Here are […]

  • Back From the Vomitorium: The Looting of the Mortgage Settlement AgreementPersonal Finance


    States are looting the Mortgage Settlement Fund, and the odds are good that you or someone you know is getting robbed — for the second time. According to recent reports, politicians, not bankers, are the culprits this time around — siphoning billions from that historic settlement and pumping it into their broken state budgets. Instead of “manning up” and changing their diet, they’re taking a cue from ancient Rome: After a quick trip to the […]