iOS app Android app

Adam Levin
Adam K. Levin is a consumer advocate with more than 30 years experience in personal finance, privacy, real estate and government service. A former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Levin is Chairman and founder of IDT911, Chairman and co-founder of and serves as a spokesperson for both companies.

Entries by Adam Levin

Facebook "Most Used Words" App as Privacy Lesson

(1) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 7:34 PM

If you have an account on Facebook, you may have noticed posts featuring a nicely designed cloud comprised of the words your Facebook friends use most often. It's powered by an app from a company called Vonvon, and it's been getting a lot of attention this week from consumer privacy...

Read Post

How to Keep Your Smart Devices From Exposing Your Data

(5) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 7:00 AM

In 2015, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be purchased, an increase of 60% over the previous year. There will be 10 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet this year.

A couple of years ago, a survey found that three out of...

Read Post

The Invisible Victims of Identity Theft: Our Kids

(3) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 6:02 AM

Somewhere between 10 million and 16 million Americans get "got" by fraudsters working the seams of identity-related crime every year. The methods are many and various. There are, of course, the familiar scams and frauds, but one harder to detect area of exploitation is child identity theft.

So why...

Read Post

The New Internet Rule of Thumb: Don't Visit Sites Your Mom Wouldn't Want You to See

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2015 | 6:49 AM

An old Chinese proverb says: "There is only one beautiful child in the world, and every mother has it." But there are times when people test that mother-child connection, turning their "matron" saints into judge, jury and even warden. Increasingly, various stripes of online scoundrel can act as a catalyst...

Read Post

Identity Theft: A Real-World Version of 'The Walking Dead'

(4) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 10:18 AM

In the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead, it's a foregone conclusion that zombies happen, and they aren't picky. One real-world parallel of finding yourself surrounded by hungry zombies is the plague of identity theft. With more than 1 billion records "out there," it's just a matter of time before...

Read Post

The CIA Director Got Hacked Because of Data Breach Fatigue

(2) Comments | Posted October 22, 2015 | 6:47 PM

"He's supposed to be so high in the government. Head of CIA. He should be more clever." Those are the words of an alleged hacker from a self-styled "operation" called CWA--Crackas With Attitudes--in conversation with CNNMoney's Laurie Segall. The alleged hackers accessed sensitive information stashed in the private email...

Read Post

Physician Heal Thyself: Are Your Medical Records Safe?

(3) Comments | Posted October 19, 2015 | 10:39 AM

According to an article in Tech Times, healthcare providers in the U.S. may lose $305 billion in the next five years due to cyberattacks. One way those attacks keep happening: BYOD, or bring your device to work.

One definition of insanity, according to Einstein (and my chief content officer Michael...

Read Post

The Defense Question We Should Continue Debating: Cybersecurity

(1) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 7:31 AM

It doesn't matter if they are state-sponsored or live in their parents' basement. Hackers thrive in the shadows of our culture. Leaders hesitate to declare supremacy over them lest they get taught a very public lesson in humility. But, if a superpower uses those hackers to access a foreign...

Read Post

Does Your Airline Really Understand Data Security?

(3) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 9:28 AM

A friendly reminder to organizations in regular communication with the public: You never know who John Q. Public is; for example, it could be me--Adam K. Levin. (Not to be confused with the singer of the almost same name--Adam Levine.) But there are a bunch of Adam Levins, which is...

Read Post

How to Master Your Credit Scores Without a Trial By Fire

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 7:33 AM

I was visiting a house of worship last Sunday -- no, I didn't have to wear a name tag -- and while listening to Pastor Ryan (who coincidentally is also a lawyer) talk about the ways in which one can gain wisdom, the life lesson he discussed has applications far...

Read Post

How to Keep Scammers From Pulling an Identity Theft Double Whammy

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 8:52 AM

When it comes to data security and the real-life impact of identity theft, public awareness is at an all-time high. But there is still great confusion and ignorance about what it is, how it happens, and what can be done to avoid the pitfalls of life after a data...

Read Post

The Medical Identity Theft Apocalypse? Fear the Walking Files

(5) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 8:10 AM

Criminal cyber attacks on health care information repositories have increased 125 percent since 2010. With the announcement of the Excellus breach last week, the total number of big-headline medical information compromises reported in 2015 (such as Anthem, Primera, Carefirst) had crossed the mind-blowing demarcation line of 100 million files.


Read Post

16 Ways You May Be Exposing Yourself to Fraud

(8) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 10:37 AM

Stand in front of a mirror. There's the enemy. Fraud doesn't happen to you in a vacuum. Our personally identifying information (PII) doesn't just get magically swiped. We "swipe" our information all the time, and it's time to stop.

The world runs on information, and no amount wishful thinking...

Read Post

Don't Wait Until 2016 to Make a Credit Resolution

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2015 | 7:27 AM

I get a lot of puzzled looks when I start wishing people Happy New Year after Labor Day -- 2016 is four months away, after all. While the Jewish New Year is in two weeks, I'm not talking about that, either. (But since I mentioned it: Happy New Year to...

Read Post

Did You Make One of These 7 Back-to-School Shopping Mistakes?

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2015 | 9:08 AM

As kids across the country embark on that saddest of journeys back to school after a summer of fun, wondering where all the time went, many parents may be having a similar reaction to the frenzy of back-to-school shopping and where their money went.

While getting a child equipped for...

Read Post

Privacy Is Dead: What You Still Can Do to Protect Yourself

(4) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 7:19 AM

When it comes to cybersecurity, we are all in a state of emergency, but the real question is -- is anybody listening?

A recent poll commissioned by Intercede, a digital security company, asked more than 1,000 men and women between the ages of 16-35 (aka millennials) in...

Read Post

Life After Ashley Madison: How to Operate in a World Without Secrets

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 4:41 PM

The other cufflink dropped in the Ashley Madison hack Tuesday.

According to Wired, 9.7 gigabytes of Ashley Madison data were dumped on the dark web, and the collection appears to "include account details and log-ins for some 32 million users." Where we go from here is anyone's guess.

Read Post

The Socially Transmitted Disease That Has No Cure: Identity Theft

(7) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 7:38 AM

Whether you are new to college, single and dating or newly divorced (because you panicked and confessed when news of the Ashley Madison hack hit the media), I'll bet there is at least one socially transmitted disease you haven't started worrying about: identity theft.

If you use Facebook, you're...

Read Post

The Most Dangerous Identity Theft Threat

(6) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 7:47 AM

Last weekend, TheUpshot published the most dangerous identity theft threat: the non-expert's tendency to underestimate the magnitude of problem. The piece in question argued that the consequences of most identity theft have been exaggerated (by identity theft experts like me), and that, "only a tiny number of...

Read Post

Not So FAFSA: How to Avoid a Student Aid Scam

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 8:12 AM

As July melts into August, many college-age students are once again turning their thoughts (if they haven't done so already) to that beast of complexity, the FAFSA form - which students must fill out if they want to receive financial aid. While there are many reputable companies that help prepare...

Read Post