Synopses & Reviews
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.
In this alarming book Levin a consumer advocate and founder of the consulting agency Identity Theft 911 warns about the prominent dangers of identity fraud in the increasingly digital world. Levin details the numerous ways in which individuals can "get got" citing several real world examples such as the ramifications of a seemingly harmless photo of a Target employee that went viral after a customer tweeted it. He explains how information is ripe for the swiping by criminals who make stealing identities their full time job. Levin's proactive and (mostly) practical approach to combating what he considers the inevitable includes the "Three Ms": minimize your exposure monitor your accounts and manage the damage. He breaks down common types of identity theft sources—credit card scams data breaches social media posts healthcare fraud and even so called "smart TVs"—and concludes that "when it comes to the security of our data we are all in the same state of emergency." Appendices make up nearly one fourth of the book with true stories of fraud and a glossary of scams. If Levin's objective was to convince readers they will become victims of identity theft mission accomplished. This isn't as much a solution based handbook as it is a primer on the potential dangers and what's at stake. (Nov.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
About the Author
Adam Levin is a consumer advocate with more than 30 yearsand#8217; 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 Identity Theft 911, Chairman and co-founder of Credit.com and serves as a spokesperson for both companies. An expert on personal finance, credit, identity management, fraud and privacy, he writes a weekly column which appears on Huffington Post and ABCNews.com. He is a frequent guest on television, and has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business News, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, CBS Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight and scores of radio stations throughout the country. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.