5 Ways Criminals Use Social Engineering to Scam Us

A major risk to both businesses and individuals, social engineering involves the exploitation of our very nature. Specifically, criminals use social engineering techniques to elicit feelings of fear, uncertainty, pressure, and excitement in the hope that we will deviate from the ways we typically behave. Their goal is to gain access to our sensitive information…

Details

The Basics of Credit Scores and Credit Reports

As consumers, we know that having a good credit score is important. Whether you are applying for a loan or signing up for a credit card, your credit score plays a major role in determining if you will be approved. Your credit score can also have a significant impact on loan terms and borrowing costs.…

Details

Is Your W-4 Withholding Accurate?

We all know that federal income taxes are withheld from our paychecks. But are you aware of the degree of control you have over how much is withheld? Here, we’ll discuss the importance of having an accurate W-4 holding, including how recent changes to the tax code present a unique situation for taxpayers in 2018.…

Details

ABLE Accounts: Frequently Asked Questions

ABLE accounts, also known as 529A or 529 ABLE accounts, were established as part of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. This act created these tax-advantaged accounts for people with disabilities under section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code. But who is eligible to establish an ABLE account, and what are the…

Details

Year-End Financial Planning Checklist

As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to begin organizing your finances for the new year. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of key planning topics to consider. Savings and investments Revisit your retirement contributions. Review how much you’re contributing to your workplace retirement account. If you’re not taking full advantage…

Details

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage?

After years of dutiful payments, you find yourself in the enviable position of having enough accumulated savings or discretionary income that you could aggressively pay down—or completely pay off—your mortgage. But should you? Are there better ways to ensure your financial security? Making the best choice for you Paying down your mortgage faster—or paying it…

Details

Is the Cloud Secure Enough for Me?

Have you ever used Dropbox or Box.com? How about web-based mail, like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, or Hotmail? If you consider that all of these are clouds—as are most Google apps—it’s hard to find an Internet user who doesn’t have some information in the cloud. As cloud-based services become more prevalent, you might be wondering: Is the cloud…

Details

Medicare Basics You Need to Know

The concept of Medicare can be murky for soon-to-be retirees. If you learn basic enrollment guidelines and some of the nuances of various Medicare plans, you’ll be empowered with the knowledge you need to make better decisions—and avoid costly penalties. Here, we explore key points and address common questions about this federal health insurance program.…

Details

What We Learned from the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

If you’ve checked the news in the past month, you’ve likely heard of the WannaCry ransomware attack, one of the most widespread cyber attacks to date. Security experts estimate that more than 200,000 users have been infected with this malware. Once infected, all information on the user’s computer is encrypted (i.e., locked away) unless a ransom…

Details

5 Ways to Spot a Phishing E-Mail

Did you know that phishing (i.e., scam) e-mails account for about 91 percent of all cyberattacks? In other words, nearly every cybersecurity issue you could think of—from viruses, to ransomware, to full-blown data breaches—starts with users accidentally clicking malicious links in e-mails. On the technology end, spam filters and antivirus scanners combat the threat of phishing e-mails.…

Details

Year-End Financial Planning Checklist

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to begin organizing your finances for the New Year. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of key planning topics to consider. Savings and investments Revisit your retirement contributions. Review how much you’re contributing to your workplace retirement account. If you’re not taking full advantage…

Details

Wedding Finances: A Survival Guide

With the average cost of a wedding at an all-time high of more than $31,000, the tradition of the bride’s family covering all of the expenses is becoming a thing of the past. Today, the couple themselves and the groom’s family often share the costs of hosting the event. And it’s not just the engaged couple…

Details