Privacy Problems

Protecting From ID Theft

Leave your laptop unlocked, toss a bill full of sensitive financial info into the trash un-shredded, even just hit the submit button when using your credit card to buy online: You can stumble into the identity-theft trap at any time. Protecting yourself means making basic security steps a habit.

Protecting Against ID Theft

You shop, you swipe your card, you leave the store. Here’s what to know if your card information gets into the wrong hands.

Beware Scams at Tax Time

Identity theft runs rampant during tax season. Here’s what to know and how to protect yourself.

Identity thieves often swipe your bank or credit card account numbers, birth date information or Social Security Number (SSN) to steal from your accounts, open a new and phony account or make illegal purchases. In 2013, 13.1 million consumers suffered identity fraud – the second highest level on record, according to a survey by Javelin Strategy & Research.

How to Store Critical Info

Most of us make lists for groceries and weekend chores. Few write what’s likely the most important list of our lives and here’s what to put on it.

Call it a life book: a notebook – or just a piece of paper – containing pertinent information your loved one must know to take care of you or your family if you suffer a serious accident, illness, emergency or death.

To see the value, ask yourself how to answer these questions if something happens to your spouse or to another close family member:

Hidden Costs of Air Security

During this holiday season, millions of passengers endure airport security. In addition to the hassle, there is a little-noticed economic cost to this, which is a factor in steadily rising airfares.

How to Build Good Credit

You likely know the pivotal role good credit plays when you try to buy a house or a car. It’s likely too that you don’t buy houses and cars every day, so maintaining a credit rating seems like a back-burner need. Not so, and here’s how to keep your rating up.

Building and maintaining good credit helps create a solid financial foundation and eventually becomes a linchpin of your overall financial plan.

These steps help build credit:

Handling an IRS Notice

There’s death and taxes – then there’s the death-like chill when you get a tax notice from the Internal Revenue Service. Here’s how to keep your head.

Each year, the IRS sends innumerable notices to taxpayers for various reasons. Your first instinct might be panic, but take a minute and relax. Many notices involve small, easily resolved issues such as additional documentation or a miscalculation.

If you receive an IRS notice:

How to Thwart I.D. Thieves

Identity theft is an epidemic, sapping people’s bank accounts. How do you protect yourself? By being vigilant: monitoring your credit report, bank and card statements, then moving quickly to squelch illicit charges.

The indispensability and ubiquity of technological innovations give the bad guys an in. Making our lives simpler and more efficient, the Internet, smartphones and iPads are key to how we communicate and store information. So much so that people pay big bucks to go to special technology-free resorts for a break from the unrelenting onslaught of information.

Car Crashes and Identity Theft

The usual auto crash scams are forced rear-endings and fake injuries. A lesser-known danger: Putting too much information in a stranger’s hands post-accident, setting yourself up for identity theft.

Safeguards Against I.D. Theft

Someone just stole your name, your Social Security number, your credit card information. They ran up a big bill. What do you do? And how do you avoid it in the first place?

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