Monday, July 18, 2016

5 Tips To Protecting your Identity Online

I do a lot of shopping online, as a matter of fact I take care of many
things online. Manage my bank account, pay bills, stay in contact
with friends and family and get information I’m looking for on
anything and everything. There is a lot of info on the web, and
you want to make sure that yours stays secure.

We are fast approaching the holiday shopping season and there
will be more reasons for you to conduct transactions online. For
some of you, this may be the first year you make a purchase online.

Luckily, I have never had to deal first hand with identity theft, or
 having purchases made that weren’t mine but I do have family and
friends that have had to take care of the mess that left behind! It can
be very scary and quite a nuisance to handle.

Here are some quick tips and things to consider to help keep your
personal information safe while conducting business online.

Make Your Passwords Very Difficult

You would think this would be a no brainer, but many people make their
 passwords something as simple as their pets name, or their birthday. It’s
 not hard for a identity thief to figure this out. There are programs out there
that they use that can quickly go through various words, phrases and digits.
 You should create a password that is a good mixture of letters (capital and
 lowercase) numbers and special characters.

The following would be a good
example of a hard password to figure out.  J8h!ut6Y$

Keep Passwords Different For Each Account And Change Them Often

You don’t want all of your accounts having the same passwords. If your email/
password is compromised and it’s the same as your bank account and credit
card accounts, then you can easily have some trouble become of those accounts
 as well. Change your passwords often. If it helps, you can write them down in a notebook 
and keep them locked away in a safe or other place you keep your valuables hidden.

Use Prepaid Cards For Purchases

To keep your credit cards and bank accounts safe, use prepaid cards
 to make your purchases online. You can keep whatever amount you
 would like on them and will have the piece of mind that they are not
 attached to your personal bank account or credit cards.

Pay Close Attention To Giving Out Your SS#

There may be many places online that ask for the
last four of your SS#. Many people feel safe giving out 
this info since it’s only four numbers. But keep in mind 
that identity thieves can find out a lot with just those 
last four numbers, and it isn’t hard for them to figure
 out your full social considering the first 3 digits of your
 social pertain to the area in which you were born or where
 the number was applied for. So always make sure it is absolutely
 necessary before giving out any form of your SS#.

Keep A Watch On Your Credit Report

Did you know that you have access to your Credit Report
for FREE once a year? If you go to
 you can request your credit report once a year. Monitor your
 report often so that you can be aware of any  changes, open accounts
 that you don’t recognize or requests to see your report from a company 
that you aren’t familiar.  If you notice items like this, make sure to dispute 
them with that credit reporting agency. It is also helpful to put a fraud
 alert on your account as well.

The top 3 credit reporting agencies are:



Each of those sites can tell you more about how you can protect
your credit and report any errors you find.  Got any other suggestions to protect your identity and credit online?  Leave them in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

5 Terms Every Couponer Loves (And Why)!

As you learn to coupon and interact with other couponers, you will start to discover a whole new language! There are many different terms associated with couponing and I’m going to share five popular terms from the coupon lingo with you today.

Blinkie – When you see the term blinkie, it indicates a coupon that can be found in a small box attached to the shelf near the product. This machine will dispense coupons one at a time. Generally, it will allow you two coupons and will not dispense anymore until you walk away.

OYNO – An abbreviation for On Your Next Order. This refers to savings or promotion to take advantage of the next time you shop. This could mean a coupon for money off that you will earn when you purchase a set amount of items, then later get to use that coupon to take the money off your next order.

RC – This would also be known as a Rain Check!  If a product were to run out of stock on the shelf during a great sale, you can go to your customer service desk and request a rain check. That will lock the item at that sale price for you when the item comes available again. Generally you can get 4 of the item at the sale price and are normally good for 30 days after issued.

STACK – This is a wonderful term, one of my favorites! It means to use a manufacturer coupon on top of a store coupon on one item! Not all stores allow this, but when they do, you can see some amazing deals!  For example, If cereal is on sale for $2.00 a box, you have a $1 off Manufacturer coupon and $1 off Store coupon.  You can use them both on that one box and get it for free!

YMMV – Stands for Your Miles May Vary, or I have sometimes seen it addressed as Your Manager May Vary.  This term is used when describing deals that may only be specific to certain stores, or something that certain managers are allowing, but the same name store in other areas may forbid.

Those are just five of my favorite words in the couponing world.  I would love to hear some of your favorites!