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Keeping Your Smartphone & Tablet Safe

Many smartphones and tablets are preset to find and join networks automatically. This may seem like a good idea as it could save you on data fees, but be careful.

Many public networks are unsecure and can easily be breached by hackers.

You can solve this problem in two ways.

First, turn off the option on your device(s) to automatically connect to networks and turn on the option to ask you first. Second, simply make sure your phone or tablet is off when you’re not using it. Hackers can’t access a device if it’s off the grid.

Why You Should Avoid Online Reviews

Once upon a time, people relied on magazines like Consumer Reports before making big purchase decision. Now, people increasingly rely on online reviews. But most experts give those kind of ratings low ratings!

There are several reasons for this. One is that if people have a bad shopping or shipping experience, they tend to blame the product and not the retailer. Second, many consumers are swayed by brand name recognition and are hardly putting these products through scientific testing - the way the consumer magazines do.Thirdly, some products actually have paid people and/or employees to post favorable reviews online. (What? I can't believe everything I read on the internet?)

Those who know say smart shoppers still rely on consumer testing experts and NOT online reviews.

Wheel Savings

Looking to get a new car?

Believe it or not, the smartest move might be to buy used!

Why? Because of leasing. So many American now lease their cars. Most of those leases are up in 3 years. Plus, leases penalize drivers who go over 10,000 miles a year. The result is an abundance of late model cars with relatively low mileage.

The vehicle information website Edmunds.com estimates that used car prices for cars 3 years old or newer are actually coming down! You’ll find the best deals on subcompact, compact and mid-size cars. In addition, many car dealers now offer extended warranties, some up to 100,000 miles.

If you’re in the market for wheels, remember, you’re in the driver’s seat!

Need Quick Cash?

While most of us live on a budget, there are those emergencies that require cash quickly.

Here are a few ways to raise extra money in a hurry:

Sell Your Old Stuff: Not only can you get extra dough, you're also reducing clutter. Most of us know about Craigslist, but there are also new mobile apps that allow you to list what you want to sell for free. Those include LetGo and OfferUp.

Join a Focus Group: Helping market researchers by participating in a focus group can put $50 to $250 in your pocket for up to two hours of your time. To be considered for a focus group, check online for companies like Schlesinger Associates or Fieldwork.

Access Your Life Insurance: Many life insurance policies has investment components that lets you borrow or withdraw cash. But make sure you check with your financial advisor because policies differ. Some may require you to repay the money at a later date and withdrawing money from others may lower that policy's death benefit.

Stop Annoying Phone Solicitations

Just a reminder that yu can register your smart phone as well as your land line (if you still have a land line) on the National Do Not Call registry.

There are 2 ways to do this:

1.) Visit donotcall.gov

2/) Call 888-382-1222

Keep in mind that it takes 31 days from the day you register for your registration to become effective and that charities and political groups are still legally allowed to contact you.

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