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Personal Finance

  • Credit Card

    Look to EMV chip cards for recent rise in digital credit, debit fraud attemptsPersonal Finance, Money


    Those fraud-fighting, chip-enabled credit cards seem to be everywhere now and—credit card fraud activity is up dramatically. That might actually be a good thing, however. Retail fraud attempts rose 31 percent during the holiday shopping season, compared to last year, according to fraud-fighting firm ACI Worldwide. The firm says 1 out of every 97 transactions was a fraudulent attempt during December. Related infographic: Fraudsters adjust to new EMV chip cards. “Over the 2016 holiday shopping […]

  • Donald Trump

    How to Prepare Your Money for a Trump PresidencyPersonal Finance


    After a volatile election, President-elect Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20. Consumers are divided over what this means for their finances — some are eager to bet big on American stocks, while others are considering hiding their cash under a mattress. To help you prepare for the changes ahead, we spoke with a handful of financial experts who shared their thoughts on investing with caution. ‘Dysfunctional Politics Aren’t New’  “We tend to […]

  • Ransomware

    5 Sure Signs Ransomware Attacks Are IntensifyingPersonal Finance


    Ransomware continues to pose a potent threat to individuals and, increasingly, to companies. What’s worse, all signs point to ransomware attacks escalating the rest of this year and into 2017. How bad is it? Arctic Wolf Networks has measured a 433 percent spike in ransomware attacks over the past year, and the FBI says victims paid up $209 million in the first quarter of 2016, up from $24 million in all of 2015. And that […]

  • tax scam

    How to Scam-Proof Your TaxesSwiped, Personal Finance, Identity Theft


    This may not be what you want to hear this week, but it is entirely possible the Internal Revenue Service already has your tax return for 2016. If this is news to you, and it turns out to be true in your case, you’ve been scammed. As a result, your refund could be sent to an identity thief in a few weeks, and it’s unlikely anything can stop that from happening. Unfortunately, tax refund fraud is a […]

  • Chinese hacker

    A Wisconsin Mom-and-Pop Shop Proves Any Small Business Could Fall Victim to Chinese HackersPersonal Finance


    There are Chinese take-out orders in PCs all over the world, but they’re not going through Seamless or any other food delivery service. These orders are aimed at cyber security vulnerabilities, and hackers are calling the shots. The goals vary, but the orders of attack could very well be coming from your company’s computer network. And it doesn’t matter if your organization is small, large or somewhere in between. Target famously got hacked not because […]

  • holiday debt

    Why You Should Treat Your Credit Card Like a Debit Card This Holiday Shopping SeasonPersonal Finance


    Black Friday has come and gone. Cyber Monday is behind us, too. But if you are like most consumers, there’s still a fair amount of holiday shopping to be done, and if you’re not careful it could be your financial undoing. According to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey, families plan to spend an average of $563 on gifts in 2016. It’s a slight dip from the previous year, but for our purposes, the number […]

  • Holiday budget

    6 Ways to Hack Your Holiday BillsPersonal Finance


    The holidays represent a celebration of faith and a fun time with family, yet they’re far from cheap. After buying for your kids, your relatives and holiday get-togethers galore, it’s easy to start the new year with an empty wallet. The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts the average consumer will spend $935.58 on holiday gifts this year. If you hope to spend less than average, it’s best to start planning now. While saving money over the holidays isn’t easy, it […]

  • checking account

    Do You Need a Checking Account to Have Good Credit?Personal Finance


    Since our credit scores are tied so heavily to our finances, you might be wondering if it’s essential to use a checking account at a bank or credit union to have a good credit score. This is a good question, especially if you handle most of your financial obligations using prepaid debit cards and money orders. The short answer here is no, according to Jeff Richardson, a spokesperson for VantageScore Solutions. “It’s probably a little […]

  • Settle debt

    3 Things to Do When Your Credit Card Balances Get Out of ControlPersonal Finance


    One of the key numbers in your financial life is your debt-to-credit ratio. It has a huge impact on your credit score, and on your budget. Basically, your debt-to-credit ratio is how much debt you carry versus how much credit you have available collectively and on individual revolving accounts, like a credit card. Like other ratios, this one can be expressed as a percentage. For instance, if you have a $5,000 credit limit and a […]

  • Election scam

    Watch out for These Last-Minute Election ScamsPersonal Finance, Identity Theft


    This year’s election has felt a lot more like hockey fight than an orderly Democratic process, much less the fabled one that makes America great. While there’s no ignoring the missing Chiclets from Uncle Sam’s hitherto perfect smile, talk of election irregularities isn’t exactly new. So, how worried should you be? In addition to the usual election scam warnings— the ones that actually affect people at a consumer level and need to be addressed every […]