You can take steps to protect yourself from identity fraud:
*Keep your confidential information private. Your bank or credit card company won't call or e-mail to ask for your account information. They already have it.
*Keep an inventory of everything in your wallet and your PDA, including account numbers. Don't keep your Social Security card or any card with your Social Security number, such as an insurance card, in your wallet.
*Stop getting banking and credit card information in the mail. (See "Go paperless for safer banking.")
*Monitor your bank and credit card transactions for unauthorized use. Crooks with your account numbers usually start small to see if you'll notice.
*Keep your vehicle registration and insurance forms in a sealed envelope in your glove box and lock it and your car when at home or away.
*If you conduct business online, use your own computer. A public computer is less secure, as is wireless Internet.
*Look for suspicious devices and don't let anyone stand nearby when you use an ATM. Take your card and receipt with you. Keep your PIN in your head, not in your wallet.
*Don't store credit card numbers and other financial information on your cell phone. (See "Is your cell phone spilling your secrets?")
*If you're job hunting using resume Web sites, don't apply unless the employer has a verifiable address.
Protect your computer from vulnerability:
*Keep system and browser software up to date and set to the highest security level you can tolerate. Install anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall protection, and keep them up to date as well. When possible use hardware firewalls, often available through your broadband connection router.
*If you use wireless Internet access, make sure that you get help from someone who understands wireless security when you set up your access point or router.
*Back up your data and store it way from your computer.
*Don't open e-mails from strangers. Malware can be hidden in embedded attachments and graphics files.
*Don't open attachments unless you know who sent them and what they contain. Never open executable attachments. Configure Windows so that the file extensions of known file types are not hidden.
*Don't click on pop-ups. Configure Windows or your Web browser to block them.
*Don't provide your credit card number online unless you are making a purchase from a Web site you trust. Reputable sites will always direct you to a secure page with an URL starting with https:// whenever you actually make purchases or are asked to provide confidential information.
*Use strong passwords: at least six characters, including at least one symbol and number, and no reference to your name or other personal information. Use a different password for every site that requires one, and change passwords regularly.
*Never send a user name, password or other confidential information via e-mail.
*Consider turning off your computer when you're not using it or at least putting it in standby mode.
*Don't keep passwords, tax returns or other financial information on your hard drive.
Monday, March 31, 2008
You can take steps to protect yourself from identity fraud:
authored by chel at 11:49 PM
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Here are the list of the 10 Greenest Cities in America:
The politics in Austin, Texas, home base of Whole Foods Market and Lance Armstrong (at least part of the year), have earned it the title of “the blueberry in the bowl of tomato soup.” But the city’s energy portfolio could make it known as the ray of sunshine in the field of oil pumps.
For such a small city, Berkeley, Calif., packs a potent green punch. For starters, its 100,000 residents fit in a remarkably compact space, creating one of the highest population densities in the state: An average of almost 10,000 people per square mile. Berkeley also has one of the highest rates of pedestrian and bike commuting, and special biking boulevards interlace the city. Congestion can be a problem, but a city-run online car-sharing network helps keep traffic down.
If your plane arrives at Logan Airport’s Terminal A, you’re experiencing Boston’s green building phenomenon the minute you set foot on solid ground. Completed last year, it is the first LEED-certified airport terminal in the world.
The Midwest’s biggest metropolis is fast becoming the green star by which aspiring cities sail. The place that Carl Sandburg called “hog butcher for the world” is on a mission to be the greenest city in America. Chicago is not only working to cut its own emissions but is helping the rest of the world do it, too, by being home to the first and only carbon emissions trading floor, the Chicago Climate Exchange.
The unassuming City of Lakes has been making a name for itself as a green heavyweight by steadily lightening its environmental footprint. The EarthDay Network ranked it second among the greenest midsize cities this year, and Minneapolis is training to be a soldier in the fight against climate change. R.T. Rybak was one of the first mayors to step up and sign the U.S.
*New York City
While New York is indeed enormous and rife with eco-woes such as pitiful air quality, on a per-person basis it is one of the most efficient cities in the world. With 8.2 million people (and another million expected by 2030), New York is not only the country’s largest city, it is also the most densely populated. With half of New Yorkers going carless, more than 20 percent of commuting happens on foot or by bicycle. People also rely heavily on the daily carnival that is the public transportation system, one of the most extensive in the world.
With smart city planning that has kept sprawl in check, Philadelphia can be readily navigated by public transit, by bicycle and on foot. In fact, nearly a third of residents use public transportation to get to work, and almost 7 percent walk.
Despite being gray from rain half the year, Portland, Ore., practically radiates the color green. Famed for microbreweries, roses and stellar public transit, Portland sports hundreds of miles of bikeways (and the bike culture to prove it) and suffers from only the occasional traffic snarl. Starting in the 1970s, stringent zoning laws kept Portland’s urban and residential areas focused and well planned, avoiding the sprawl that has crept outward from many other cities its size.
Nobody should be too shocked to learn that San Francisco is extremely green. But far from resting on its laurel wreaths, San Francisco is consistently pushing the envelope of what a large city can do to be sustainable. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) offers thorough coverage and sees good ridership, cutting back on the need for cars. The city’s cycle culture also runs deep, and commuting by bike is a daily routine for many.
In Seattle’s City Hall, climate change is an idea that permeates decision-making and the city’s entire outlook. Mayor Greg Nickels has not only led Seattle in meeting the emissions reduction targets of the Kyoto Protocol, he’s challenged every mayor in the U.S. to do the same. So far, the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement—Nickels’ initiative to advance the goals of the protocol through leadership and action by at least 141 American cities—has been signed by 453 mayors representing some 62 million citizens, roughly the population of the U.K.
authored by chel at 8:47 AM
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
by Walter Updegrave
Four ways to make sure your best intentions aren't thwarted by the temptation to spend money now.
When it comes to saving, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. A recent TD Ameritrade survey shows that 40% of people who make New Year's resolutions cite saving more money as a goal. However, the same poll also found that nearly half of those who resolve to stash away more bucks abandon that plan within a month.
And that's a problem because saving is the single most important thing you must do to have a shot at a comfortable retirement.
That disconnect isn't surprising. "While some parts of our brains are geared for rational decision-making, others are hard-wired for immediate gratification," says Harvard University behavioral economist Brigitte Madrian.
The result is a sort of ongoing war inside your mind, with the rational part nagging you to save and the gratification side spurring you to buy a new car. When you consider that you can drive the car today but don't get to spend your retirement savings for decades, well, you can see what has the edge.
There are ways, however, to improve the rational side's odds of winning. Adopting one or more of these strategies will help you boost your savings and enter retirement with a larger nest egg.
More details here....
authored by chel at 3:02 PM
Monday, March 17, 2008
Suggestions for families seeking financial aid, plus a look at the aid landscape from the Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators .
Haley Chitty is the assistant director of communications at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. In an interview via e-mail with Derek Thompson of BusinessWeek, he told us how the financial aid system is changing and what families can do to get the money they need. Here's a transcript:
What's the first thing every family should do before the financial aid process?
The financial aid office on campus is the best place to start. Financial aid administrators on campus will have the greatest knowledge of federal, state, local, and school financial aid and their goal is to provide students and their families with as much financial aid as possible.
What are some strategies you would suggest for students and parents as they begin the financial aid hunt?
What are some strategies you would suggest for students and parents as they begin the financial aid hunt?
more details here..
authored by chel at 2:55 PM
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saint Patrick’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day, holiday honoring Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is celebrated annually on March 17, his feast day. Saint Patrick was a missionary in the 5th century ad who is credited with converting Ireland to Christianity. St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland. It is also celebrated by people of Irish descent in many other countries, especially by Irish Americans in the United States.
authored by chel at 4:47 PM
Friday, March 14, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
One student's story of how he was recruited to peddle credit cards on campus and the troubles he found himself.
It all started as a way to make some quick cash. In 2002, at the beginning of his freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh, Ryan Rhoades needed some extra spending money. So when his friend told him about an Internet ad offering Pitt students a way to make some cash in a couple of hours, he didn't hesitate. Rhoades rounded up some of his buddies and headed over to the designated classroom at the student union.
What he saw in that room offers a view of how creative credit-card companies have become in marketing their services to college students.
An enthusiastic man who identified himself as a representative of Citibank (C) welcomed them and said they had the opportunity to make some money by signing up their fellow students for credit cards. The bounty for each completed application would be $5 to $10, depending on the kind of card. In retrospect, Rhoades feels like he and his fellow students were being recruited to become credit-card pushers. "That's exactly what it was," he says.
Salesmen at the Gates
Rhoades took the job and signed up roughly 30 students for cards. He regrets any trouble he caused other students from his actions. Still, his actions may have been most damaging to himself. He ended up with $13,000 worth of debt that he is now struggling to repay. "I hadn't learned anything about credit cards in high school, and I didn't know anything about them at the time," says Rhoades. "I was duped."
Politicians and college administrators are growing increasingly concerned about the damage that credit-card debt is causing students, and they're trying to crack down on some of the card companies' practices. They're limiting marketing on some campuses and trying to restrict the size of credit lines extended to students. Earlier this year, the state legislatures in Texas, Oklahoma, and New York moved to clamp down on credit-card marketing to college students (see BusinessWeek.com, 9/4/07, "Majoring in Credit-Card Debt").
For more details of the story you may read it in here.
by Jessica Silver-Greenberg
authored by chel at 6:40 AM
Friday, March 7, 2008
Yes, this domain is working now, as you can see, there's no blogspot in my url anymore. I am glad I did it. I was thinking of calling godaddy tomorrow if it was not working tonight. Just edited the CNAMES and updated it and it works. Hayzz , took me couple of days to figure out those CNAMES. And now I can sleep good. I don't have to worry of the money that I spent when I bought the domain. What a relief.!!!
authored by chel at 9:39 PM
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Here's some tips on how we can save money on transportation.
*Buy a Used Car-Because cars lose most of their value in the first few years, buying used allows you to drive a vehicle you probably couldn't afford brand new.
*Buy a Sipper, Not a Guzzler-You don't need a hybrid vehicle to save money on gas -- higher purchase prices can cancel out any savings. But a regular car with good gas mileage could save you hundreds of dollars a year on fuel.
*Re-Shop Your Car Insurance-Shopping around is especially important for young adults because their rates could drop as they approach age 25 or older, build a credit rating, start a career and get married. Insurers reward customers who are responsible.
*Drop Collision & Comprehensive Coverage
*Raise Your Deductible-Upping your out-of-pocket outlay from $250 to $1,000 on any car can save you 15% or more on your car insurance.
*Join Policies-When shopping around for auto insurance, check first with the company that provides your renters or homeowners insurance. You could snag up to 15% off for a multiple-line policy.
*Shop Around for Gas- A 20-cent difference on 60 gallons of gas per month adds up to $12 per month or $144 per year.
*Use a Gas Rebate Credit Card-If you frequent the pump, soften the financial sting with a credit card that'll give you cash back for filling up.
*Hop on the Bus, Gus- Public transportation can save you a bundle on commuting costs because you won't have to spend money on a parking space, gas and auto maintenance. Plus, you can probably get a lower insurance rate for driving less
authored by chel at 1:41 PM
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I have purchased a domain of this blog from godaddy.com through blogger but until now it was't working right as the way I want to. I thinks it is mixed up somewhere on my domain's setting. But I don't know how to make to work to make my domain(http://retchelsonlinebuzz.com) accessible without blogspot dot com. So if guys have purchased one from godaddy.com, please shared with me on how to edit the DNS settings to make my blog url visible.
authored by chel at 3:04 PM
Monday, March 3, 2008
I would like to say thank you to JK for this award.
by Steven Solis
You fell in love, friends went away,
Knowing you'd have a closer friend one day.
I thought that friend would always be me -
Things have changed, as we can see.
You'll fall in love again one day,
Then once again your friends will go away
authored by chel at 4:25 AM
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Yes, its hard to get a good deal for your car insurance. And yes paying for auto insurance is like a never ending payment. When you get an insurance, your car insurance company won't tell you everything that you supposed to know to lower your premiums.
But there are some ways the industry works and tips that could help you save:
*If you have a good credit, you'll pay less- Yes I know this for sure. As far as I know, almost all insurer will pull out your credit report before they will give you the final quote for your premium. And if you have a bad credit history or your credit score is low you'll pay more. Insurers also know that if you pay your credit cards on time and without any past due all your information could create your insurance risk. So it is best to pay our bills on time or before due date.
*Your car models affects your premium- Insurers will give cars a rating. It depends on the who make the cars and what model it is. The higher the rating, the higher your premiun. In other words, when you buy a brand new car for 2007 or 2008, just expect to pay a high amount compared when you buy a 2007 used cars.
*Pay in full to avoid installment fees- If you have more savings and have enough to pay for your car, it is better to pay it in full than paying it monthly. I know this seldom happen.
*You'll Pay for your Bad Driving- Everytime you get pull-over by a cop and get a ticket for speedy driving, it raises your insurance rates as well as accidents and driving with intoxicated, and least of all driving without your seatbelt on cause if you get caught you'll pay for it.
I can't think of anymore secrets that your car insurer won't tell you. Just be smart and do what you gonna do.
authored by chel at 4:01 PM