Archive for the 'Money' Category

What To Do If Social Security Card Is Stolen

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

I have a friend who insists on carrying her social security card in her wallet. I have (repeatedly) tried to warn her of the dangers of that practice. I have explained to her that the social security card is the single biggest piece of information that could do damage if someone gets a hold of it. So, for her, the question of what to do if social security card is stolen may come true sooner rather than later.

There are many steps you can take to protect your precious information, including your social security number. If you take the precautions you may never have to worry about what to do if social security card is stolen.

Here is the number one way you can protect your social security card, as well as all your important information:

1. Never carry your social security card in your wallet. Why would you want to anyway? You don’t need it. You can just memorize the number and put the card away.

2. Put your social security card, as well as all important documents and unused credit cards, in a safe place. That safe place may be a safe deposit box or a safe right in your own home.

These small water proof and fire proof safes don’t cost very much but they can be very valuable in protecting your information.

If possible, bolt the safe to the floor so it is difficult to steal.

3. If you have any insurance or Medicaid cards that use your social security number as your identification number, you need to be careful with that too. Unlike your social security card, which doesn’t need to be carried with you, you do need to carry these insurance cards with you.

For that reason it is important to make sure that the ID numbers on those cards, that are actually your social security number, will be kept safe.

One thing you can do is make a copy of the front and back side of your insurance or Medicaid card. Then you can black out or cut out the last four digits of your social security / identification number.

Then just keep that piece of paper in your wallet or cut out both sides and tape or glue them together to make your own “card”.

The government, as well as top insurance companies, are starting to realize that this can put your social security number in danger and will eventually do away with using these numbers as ID numbers.

Until they do though, you can use this method to protect that number and still have your cards with you.

If your social security card is lost despite all your best efforts, you need to contact all 3 credit bureaus since the number can be used to steal your identity. Also, contact your local police department and file a report about your loss.

Hopefully, the information in this article will help you keep your social security card from being lost or stolen. And failing that, will help you know what to do if social security card is stolen.

What Is Digital Currency-How Does It Work

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

What is digital currency? It is defined as: money stored and transferred in digital form. Sounds simple enough, but how does it all work?

This type of currency is thought to be good to use for making purchases on the internet because if it works the way it was meant to, transactions should be rather anonymous and untraceable back to the payer or user.

This means that hackers would no longer be able to gather personal information from people who use their credit cards to make online purchases. This would obviously decrease the number of stolen identities that happen every day.

To help you understand more of, “what is digital currency?” I have done quite a bit of research on the subject and have found that there are several different types out there, each with it’s own unique qualities.

Here are just a few with their descriptions following:

1. Digital Gold Currency – This type is backed by gold stored in vaults. The gold provides an extra measure of security and if you hold this type of currency, you could possibly directly exchange it for solid gold bullion.

2. Centralized Currency Systems – these are like PayPal and these companies allow you to send money all over the world as long as you have money in the account. For some services provided by these types of companies, you get charged a fee on the receivers end of the transaction.

3. Decentralized Currency Systems – Like Bitcoin are all based on cryptography and/or trust networks. Also called Hard Electronic Currency, it is intended to be more like using cash to make your transaction but your transaction is non-refundable once made. This type of system only works in one direction.

The E-cash idea has evolved along with the evolution of the Internet. People just do not feel comfortable with giving their personal credit card information over the Internet when making a purchase.

Too many bad things can happen like identity theft. No one wants their identity stolen.

So, many companies have attempted to create this type of payment or monetary system to minimize the risks of shopping online.

Many countries have successfully created systems for “in-house” use such as Hong Kong’s Octopus card. This card works just like a sort of debit card where the user loads money onto the card and then all the money is deposited into a bank. They can then use the card for anything they need to use it for.

Some countries are working on or have systems that allow the user to transfer money through mobile devices. I think this is somewhat like what Chase lets their customers do. Their customers can take a picture of their check, front and back, with their phone and make their deposit electronically.

I do hope that this gives you some idea of what is digital currency and how it is attempting to take it’s place in the world of e-commerce. There may be a little more to it than I could describe in just one small article but I think you can get a good idea.

Ways To Save For Your Vacation In A Depressed Economy

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Ways To Save For Your Vacation In A Depressed Economy

Everyone needs a vacantion once in a while. The daily grind can really wear us down and sometimes we simply need a break. But as much as we may need a break, sometimes it simply is not possible. Many people struggle with their finances, living paycheck to paycheck and vacations are often extremely pricey. So how do you get the vacation you need when you can not afford it?

Well, there are four great Ways to save for your vacation. By utilizing the following four strategies you can work to save up enough money to go on that vacation. If you do it every year you can almost assuredly take a yearly vacation, giving you something to look forward to.

1. Make use of automatic transfers. You can set up a savings account that will be your official vacation fund. Set it up so that as soon as you get your paycheck, a portion of that (however much you deem you can afford) is automatically transfered to this account. The goal here is to forget it even exists, ask your bank to remove that account from your online interface and just leave it be. The last thing you want is to dip into that fund every time you need a little cash.

2. Work on credit card debt. A lot of people struggle with credit card debt, but that also gives them some more Ways to save for your vacation. Pay the minimum monthly payment on your highest card first, then put all the money you can afford to paying off the lowest one. Once you pay off that low credit card, you can then split the money that was going towards it’s monthly payments between your savings fund and paying off other credit cards.

3. Use your raise. This strategy is not applicable to everyone, but it can be a huge lucky break. If you get a raise, take all that extra money and put it directly into your savings account. You have managed to go on your old paycheck before, so just keep doing so and use all the money you get from your raise to buy yourself a nice, relaxing vacation.

4. Payroll deductions. A lot of people simply are not good for money, they simply can not save it and end up spending it no matter what. So if you do not trust yourself, you can always turn to the government to hold your money for you. If you are breaking even on your taxes every year, then you can pay extra so that at the end of the year you get a nice big check to use towards your vacation. This only works if you were breaking even on your taxes, if you were behind that money will simply go to catching you up.

There are many more Ways to save for your vacation if these ones do not work out for you, but at the bare minimum these strategies can give you some ideas on where to start so that you can save up for that vacation you deserve.