Adam K. Levin- Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves
Increasingly, identity theft is a fact of life. We might once have hoped to protect ourselves from hackers with airtight passwords and aggressive spam folders, and those are good ideas as far as they go. But the truth is, there are people out there — a lot of them — who treat stealing your identity as a full-time job.
One such company is a nameless firm located in Russia, which has a trove of over a billion internet passwords. Another set up a website full of live streams of hacked web cameras, showing everything from people’s offices and lobbies to the feeds from baby monitors. Even purchases made in person are still logged by retailers like Target, who are famously vulnerable to hackers.
Adam Levin, a longtime consumer advocate and identity fraud expert, is your guide to this brave new world. By telling memorable stories and extracting the relevant lessons, he offers a strategy for dealing with these risks.
You may not be able to prevent identity theft, but you certainly shouldn’t wait until it happens to take action. Levin’s approach is defined by the three M’s: minimizing risk, monitoring your identity, and managing the damage. The book is also organized around the different problems caused by identity theft: financial, criminal, medical, familial, etc., enabling readers to dip into the sections most relevant to them.
Swiped is a practical, lively book that is essential to surviving the ever-changing world of online security. It is invaluable not only for preventing problems but helping cope when they arrive.
“Every two seconds. That was the pace at which Americans became victims of identity theft in 2013–and that’s just the cases we know about.” This is Adam Levin’s warning to readers inSwiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves. But his advice is not about how to keep your information completely hidden. He explains that if you’re in any way plugged into the commerce of daily life, your information is almost certainly already out there, and that it’s only a matter of time before identity thieves strike. His advice is for “realists”–people willing to acknowledge the inevitability and take practical measures to protect themselves.
While personal security can be a dry subject, Levin makes his case through intriguing anecdotes, like that of a teenage cashier (“Alex from Target”) who became world-famous overnight when a stranger posted his photo to Twitter, and disturbing stories of adult children whose parents destroyed their credit under their noses. He argues that the current underfunding of the IRS leaves gaping vulnerabilities in our system (a problem that’s estimated to lose the government $21 billion to identity thieves over the next five years). Most importantly, he offers straightforward advice that any layperson can use.
A founder and chairman of Identity Theft 911 and Credit.com, Levin has made informing and protecting consumers the focus of his career. As he stresses throughout Swiped, identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in the United States, and one that no one can afford to ignore”.
—Annie Atherton, Shelf-Awareness.com
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 Credit.com and serves as a spokesperson for both companies.
Adam K. Levin is a consumer advocate with more than 30 years of experience and is a nationally recognized expert on cybersecurity, privacy, identity theft, fraud, and personal finance. A former Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Mr. Levin is Chairman and founder of CyberScout and co-founder of Credit.com. Adam Levin is the author of Amazon Best Seller “Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves”. Mr. Levin’s mission is to educate consumers, businesses and lawmakers about identity management, privacy,credit and security issues. He is the security and credit expert for ABCNews.com and writes a weekly column that appears on ABC News, The Huffington Post, Yahoo!, AOL, MSN, and MarketWatch. He is a contributor for Inc. Magazine and The Hill and has written guest columns that have appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, The Hill, Bloomberg View, American Express Security Center, The National Cybersecurity Alliance blog, Entrepreneur, and WIRED. Mr. Levin is a frequent guest appearing on many programs including The Today Show, MSNBC News Nation and MSNBC Live, CBS Evening News, Good Morning America, CNBC Closing Bell, America’s News HQ on Fox News, Varney & Co. on Fox Business, Inside City Hall on NY1, Bloomberg Surveillance, The Willis Report on Fox Business, Fox & Friends, Fox Business After the Bell, ABC World News
Tonight, ABC News Nightline, Cavuto: Coast to Coast on Fox Business, Mornings with Maria on Fox Business, PBS Nightly Business Report and Al Jazeera, as well as radio appearances throughout the country, including NPR, ABC News Radio, Bloomberg Radio, Associated Press Radio, CBS News Radio, 1010 Wins, WTOP and SiriusXM, and features in The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune.
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