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  • Online Shopping - Safeguarding Your Account.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    When you shop online do you know where you’re shopping?  According to the National Consumers League, online shopping is #3 for overall scams and #1 for Internet scams.  That would imply that online shopping is a very risky activity.  However, there are ways you can still shop online in a safe manner.

    Following these guidelines can make your online shopping more secure:

    • Use a low limit credit card for online shopping.  Your liability is $50 on fraudulent charges using your credit card.
    • Know with whom you’re shopping.  Be leery of unknown or obscure shopping websites.
    • Stick with well-known shopping sites from reputable retailers.
    • If it’s too good to be true…it probably is.
    • Look for the padlock.  Secure online shopping sites should use the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology for securing online transactions.  You should see a padlock icon at the bottom or top of the browser status bars that you are using.
    • Use anti-virus / anti-malware software on your PC.  This can prevent a virus infection if you happen to end up on a bogus shopping site.
    • Make sure you use online banking to check your shopping activity and don’t wait for your statement to verify online shopping activity.
      (Side note: Have you signed up for MutualBank’s online bankingSign Up today!)

    Remember that you are the best defense against online shopping fraud!  If you suspect that you have been scammed please call the MutualBank customer support at 800-382-8031.

    Also please report any online fraud to Internet Crime Complaint Center


  • Simplify...Using my Bank to Make my Life Easier

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    My age is on my mind.  I’m 50, my favorite (& only) hubby just turned 50.  I need to simplify my life.  I need ‘easy,’ so I can spend more time doing the things I need and I want to do, like:

    • Hanging out with my family (need & want)
    • Getting myself back in shape (need)
    • Enjoying time with friends (need & want)
    • Stressing less (need & want)
    • Preparing for retirement (want sooner, rather than later, if possible).

    When it comes to my finances, the benefits of having multiple relationships with my bank are many – everything is in one place; I don’t have to work to remember which loan is where; which financial institution my checking, savings, CDs are – and ditto for my family.  After all, my 50-year old brain is getting full, and I do have ‘senior moments’ on occasion.

    I admit I have had multiple relationships with other financial institutions.  Why?  Mostly, my laziness in moving accounts when I built my current banking relationship and just letting them “be” when I knew it was just making my life more complicated.  I got numerous paper bank statements – mine, my husband’s, my daughter’s.  Translation – more paper for me to file, keep track of, give to my accountant, shred, or heaven forbid, lose….

    Having one bank is oh, so much easier.  I’m a convert to electronic banking and all that entails – bill pay, e-statements, automatic deposits.  And if you’re worried about security, yes (my age-level friends) – it is safe.  With FDIC insurance on deposits and multiple electronic safeguards in place to keep my information safe, I’m comfortable – albeit it was not initially easy to convince me.  I have had, knock on wood, no instances of fraud or theft since moving to electronic. 

    Now, I have password protected access to my internet banking, from anywhere, including my cell phone – where I can see on one page – my checking account balance & transactions; my savings account; CD; mortgage, and personal loan.  I know, at any point in time, my total balances in each of those.  I get most bills electronically (remember – less mail to sort through = more time for ME), and can set up a payment for future dates.  My life is incrementally simpler, in many ways thanks to my bank. 

    Come on, fellow 50-year olds – I know we are on the cusp of liking the old ways – paper checks, snail mail, filing, and more filing.  But, wouldn’t you like more time for yourself?
  • Tech Savvy at 50?

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    I’m 50 now.  Shhh – don’t tell anyone.  My brain still hasn’t caught up with my physical age in many ways, and I kind of hope it doesn’t.   I’m actually working on just the opposite – getting my physicality in a little better shape, and a little ‘younger.’  It’s a long-term commitment, for sure.

    My brain does act 50 sometimes though – when it comes to being technology-savvy, I’m a little slow to get on board.  It took a lot of poking and prodding to get me on Facebook.  I’ve been on it for a few years, and I have to face facts – my technology-driven friends were ‘right on.’  I’ve reconnected & learned more about friends -from my current pals all the way back to elementary school chums.  Facebook is as intimidating as I let it be.  I’ve learned to manage the urge to be on it incessantly.  I’ve become closer with some of my friends as a result, and I know some acquaintances better than before.

    I have a Smartphone, read books and magazines on my Kindle, am on LinkedIn (the professional social network, so they say), and I do most of my banking via the internet.  I get my bank statements via email, and I have to stop sometimes as I flip through my mail at home – and ask myself why haven’t I signed up for almost everything to come electronically?   So much paper is wasted….

    Truth is, I’m not quite as tech-savvy as I could be, but I’m solidly above the bottom of the matrix.  Maybe I’m in the ‘first quartile’ of tech-savvy?  I don’t tweet, use Foursquare or Hootsuite, and frankly, don’t even know what a couple of those are.  But I’m trying. Are you?

    The New Year gives us the little nudge we need sometimes to try something new. Maybe you’ve been thinking about trying online banking or online bill pay. Maybe you’d like to use mobile banking, but you’re just not sure. Do it. Take that leap and try something new this year. Who knows, maybe you’ll be like this 50 year old and find that technology can be good. 

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