There is nothing worse than having your personal accounts hacked. I personally had this happen to me. Fortunately my credit card company notified me to let me know, and my card was immediately cancelled. I did not have to pay any charges, but I did have to change 15 accounts that used that credit card! That took me the better part of a day. Nothing is absolutely secure, but there are ways to make your accounts stronger to try to prevent someone stealing your accounts.
1.) Be cautious of phone pranks that convince you that they are your bank or other major institution and ask for your personal information.
2.) Be cautious of websites that have offers that are too good to be true and take you to another site for purchase.
3.) Update your computers security software annually.
4.) Use a strong and unique password and change you passwords frequently. Avoid using the same password for all of your accounts.
5.) Use encryption option when it is available to you for emails and online banking.
6.) Backup your devices so that if you get bad virus, they can be fully wiped and rebuilt from scratch.
7.) Purchase a special card or wallet that blocks the signal for someone to steal your credit card information for just being in proximity to you.
A great way to get more information about cyber security is SANS Securing The Human at http://www.sans.org/info/167527.
Be informed and safe with you cyber security!
April 15th is drawing near. That means you have to get your taxes in! Since none of us like to do it, I thought we could all use a chuckle with these fun facts:
I hate paying full price for things! I love discounts! I can only afford to shop as much as I would like if I get discounts. So here are some of my favorite sites to share with you! Please note these sites are my personal choice for shopping and are no way affiliated or sponsoring this blog. All of these sites are free to sign up.
www.BookBub.com This site provides discounted and free online books to read. You sign up online and they send you a daily email with offers. Most books are Free-$2.99.
www.BradsDeals.com This site provides a random selection of goods from clothing to furniture at the lowest possible online price available. Sign up online and they send daily emails with a selection of random deals for the day. Trust me when I tell you these are good prices! I have done my own searches to price compare.
www.Zulily.com This site features sales by brand. Mostly it showcases clothing, shoes and accessories for women and children. But sometimes home goods and furniture. Again, I can verify the great deals to be found on this site!
www.Choxi.com This site is features a random array of items at discounted prices. Even better everything has a flat $2 shipping fee. If you sign up, you will often receive emails with free shipping offers or discount coupons to use on your purchases.
www.Overstock.com This website has a great variety from home items to clothing and jewelry. This site has a great selection of items at discounted prices. Most items ship for free.
www.Hayneedle.com This site has a vast array of home items, furniture and décor. Great prices and most items ship for free. This site also builds up rewards to be used on future purchases for any purchases you make.
Enjoy your shopping experience!
It's depressing to think about death but I'm about to go there. That's because lately it seems like a lot of people I know are passing away. What's more, they were all relatively young and left behind family members and, I'm guessing, some pretty hefty medical bills.
It got my practical side thinking. How on earth are their families paying off their bills? Life insurance could be the answer. Life insurance can do all of the following:
The good news is life insurance is pretty affordable. The bad news is many policies require a health screening before you can enroll. That's why it's important to set up a policy before you develop serious health issues. When you do that the policy is a lot less expensive and is usually good for at least 10 years.
Before you set one up, think about your goals. Do you have coverage through your work? If so this will likely cover your funeral expenses. You might then just need coverage for any debts that may incur. Of course, you have to play a guessing game. It's tough to predict illnesses like cancer but when they occur they can be quite costly!
I suggest you find a policy that you can comfortably afford. If you're hoping to supplement your retirement then it should also be one that you can add money to and earn interest on. Some annuities even offer long term care riders which will help to defray the outrageous costs of a nursing home.
The bottom line is we, as humans, are fragile beings that can die at any moment. Instead of worrying about it set up a policy to give yourself peace of mind. Your family will thank you!
Love to shop? Tight on cash? Mystery shopping may be the answer. As crazy as it sounds, you can actually be paid to shop stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc. I have been doing it for over 14 years and highly recommend it! It not only helps me to stay within my budget but also allows me to dine at restaurants I would never consider otherwise.
How does it work? First you need to sign up with some reputable mystery shopping companies online. You have to be careful that you don't sign up for a scam. Below is a list of the companies I shop for that are safe:
When you sign up, they may ask you for your social security number. If you're not comfortable giving that out right away, you can enter all 9's.
When shops become available in your area they will send you an email with the details. If you're interested you let them know and then they assign you the shop. There are always explicit instructions to follow such as the date and time you should go, what you should buy, what questions you should ask staff, what photos you need to take, etc. When you get home from your shop you always have to fill out a report and submit it online. You are usually paid one to two months after a shop either by a check in the mail or through Paypal.
This is not a way to get rich or buy tons of items, but it is a way to earn some extra cash and have fun in the process. Below is a list of the typical types of companies that use mystery shopping to assess their employees and customer service:
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