Privacy Problems

Stopping Tax-Related ID Theft

Identity theft is rampant. You can become a victim not only after carelessly using passwords and your personal information but also if you’re in the wrong electronic place at the wrong time, such during Target stores’ data breach last holiday season. You have little information more sensitive than that you write – and sometimes send electronically – on your tax return.

Managing Your Passwords

We maintain online accounts for essentially everything – banking, investments, shopping, email and the list goes on. As much of this information is private and sensitive, you must take online security and password protection seriously.

Avoiding Tax Scams, ID Theft

Did the Internal Revenue Service reject your tax return? Maybe you screwed up. Maybe too someone else filed using your Social Security number (SSN) – a mushrooming scam you now must guard against.

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:

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