How Online Financial Hackers Are Stealing From Your Wallet

One moment you are happy that you are able to control your finances and your credit card debts by having discipline and control on all your transactions. The next moment, you are bombarded with a long list on your credit card bill-transactions you may not even have dreamed of making in the first place. What happened? What will you do? As you flood yourself with all the possible and endless possibilities, you will begin to realize that you have been hacked! While the rise in technology has given us a lot of convenience, it has also posed a greater potential threat if we are not careful on how to propagate its use.

How did they get your vital information?

1. Skimmers

What are skimmers? Skimmers are devices used to scan and store your personal data from your credit or debit cards. There are many forms of skimmers and various ways to transfer data from a skimmer to a hacker’s device.

One of the most popular type of skimmers are those inserted in ATM card slots. Often, you may think that you are just doing normal bank transactions only to find out the next few days that your whole account has been hacked and emptied. Another form of skimmers are those used by waiters, bar tenders and other people you may be giving your credit card to but are unable to follow or see where they are going with your card. They would simply swipe your card on their skimmer device and all your data gets stored there. Some hackers go to the extent of distracting clerks in stores and swapping the device used to swipe your card and replacing it with one of their owns. As the clerks continue to swipe in peoples cards, the device continues to store information until such time the hackers will return for the device. Skimmers are often used with devices which have the use of credit or debit cards but are unmanned. This is easier for them to manipulate and get all they need.

2. Phishing and Malwares

This is a very popular modus operandi. Somebody sends you an email-it may even come from an address you know and sends you an attachment that seems to pose no harm in it. When you open it, malware immediately gets into your device and gathers all your information. This is why you need to keep your financial information from emails that you open in public computers. Make sure that you only open important information on devices that you trust.

We can never avoid the advancement in the way people obtain and steal our information and assets as the development grows side by side with the development with technology. Hackers will do all that they can to try to squeeze out anything and everything from you. Take caution all of the time.

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Are You Financially Prepared For An Emergency?

Money is not everything, but for everything you need money. It’s an established fact that money plays a vital role in present-day living. If you are financially prepared, you can easily overcome difficult situations and fix away your problems without getting frail. Life can get you into an emergency without any warning. It requires advance planning and preparation on your part to tackle these kinds of situations effectively.

Are you prepared?

Is your financial information well arranged and properly organized? Have you prepared your will? Have you told anyone about your vital financial information? In case of an evacuation, are your documents ready for the ‘grab and go’? Hurricane, flood, earthquake or theft can come at any time creating an emergency situation. If you are not prepared financially, it’s easy to get into a messy circumstance. On the other hand, if you have a stout monetary support, you can emerge out as a winner.

What can we do?

1. Get out of debt fast

Getting out of debt may seem to be a distant dream at a particular point of time. But, with proper planning, persistent efforts and by curtailing certain extras, you can definitely overcome your debt and avert monetary implications.

a. If you are in debt, you need to take steps to get rid of it, not any other loan for a temporary relief. You should focus on doing three things – Increase your income, recognize what got you into the debt (circumstances or your habits) and based on your assessments take steps to fix your debt.

b. Next, you need to pick a suitable help. Solutions, such as a debt rearrangement loan may work towards your favor, but it will work only when you take this option at the right time and under right circumstances.

c. When you are in a debt, you need to seriously sort out your spending habits and curb on unnecessary expenses. It may be possible that you are repaying your debt with so little progress that it will take a long-long time to repay it fully. By that time, you would have paid manifolds of the principal value. A debt settlement plan may work, but only when you know your priorities well. Failing to do so may sink you further. Thus, you need to control your state of affairs and manipulate your creditors effectively to pay off your debts in an easy manner.

2. Use credit wisely

First of all, don’t finance unaffordable lifestyle with your credit cards. Keeping your purchases within your limits is the key. Often, people are lured with the innumerable products available in the market and use credit cards to purchase unreasonable things only to repent at a later stage. Credit card is a marvelous facility, but works out to be beneficial only when used with astuteness.

a. If you are already into a financial trouble, avoid using credit cards. Pertaining fees and other monetary charges can add up to your debt. However, using a credit card to tackle a financial difficulty is better than to arrange funds by keeping your house on mortgage.

b. Raise your bar; don’t get hooked to the minimum payments. Paying only the minimum amount due will eventually elongate the repayment period, and by the time you repay all your dues, you would have actually paid multiple times of the amount you took on credit.

c. Don’t get fooled by the low teaser temporary rates; money borrowed during promotional low-interest rates is most likely to be carried on to the higher permanent rates. Make your credit card payments on time and avoid surcharges and penalties. This will also increase your credit score.

3. Get organized

Your spouse, anyone of your adult children or someone who is entrusted to handle your finances should know where your property papers, contracts, documents and policies etc. are located. By making plans ahead of the time, you can actually ease the stress that your loved ones would face in the event of your illness or sudden demise.

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Some Basic Tips For Choosing a Bank

The bank you choose to hold your money involves some exploration and consideration. Research various institutions to find the best one that fits your account and lifestyle needs. Safety and reputation are two important factors to consider when you make this decision.

Determine Your Financial Needs

Your financial needs are an important factor in the search for a bank. Opening checking and savings accounts is a common practice for many consumers. Some people prefer to bundle all their financial activities with one institution and if you also have loans such as a mortgage, car loan, home equity line of credit, and person loan, you might prefer to open checking and savings accounts within the same business.

Credentials

The credentials and reputation of the institution should also factor into the decision. Larger banks are generally a reliable choice due to FDIC deposit insurance. Check with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to find out if a business is insured under this coverage.

Think about Physical Convenience

Physical convenience can be a key consideration in this decision. You might opt for a location that’s convenient from your place or work or your residence. Consider extended hours offered by some institutions if you work alternative shifts and you cannot visit during regular business hours. Online services can help with many types of transactions, offering services such as bill payment, automated deposits, and access to balance information. Find out about the location of ATMs you can use for no or low fee transactions. Some banks are national companies, providing customers with access to service and accounts from virtually anywhere in the country. Other businesses are local, providing no ability to travel and visit brick-and-mortar branches.

Explore Fees and Service

Every bank has a unique structure for fees and services. You will need to contact any institution you consider to find out these important details. Ask about account fees, minimum balances, ATM fees, overdraft protection, and overdraft fees. Find out how the they handle international travel to see if you will be able to get assistance with foreign currencies. Some businesses offer more services than others, some involving additional fees and some not.

Consider Personalized Service

Choosing a national company can afford you many conveniences. However, it’s important to realize that you may sacrifice some personalized service with this decision. A variety of services from a national business may be fine for many consumers. If you prefer a more personalized touch with a hometown brick-and-mortar branch, you may be happier with a local entity. Anyone with a busy lifestyle and a variety of financial activities such as IRAs, loans, credit cards, and online bill payments may be better suited to a large, national company. People with simpler lifestyles might opt for a local business instead.

Weigh all information carefully to make the best choice for your financial needs. The one you choose should provide all of the services you want.

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Finance Management of Small Business

Managing finances in a business is among the few important things that need to be considered when starting and carrying out a business. It is all about efficiently and effectively utilizing available funds in order to achieve the objectives of the business. Financial management is aimed at planning, observing, organizing and managing the monetary resources of a business.

Small business finance management strategies

Small business finance management is mostly concerned with procurement, allocation and control of financial resources so that a regular and adequate supply of funds is maintained to run a business. Once the funds are in hand, they should be utilized in maximum possible ways at low costs and should be invested intelligently in safe ventures. A few tips that can help you efficiently use your funds while running a small business are:

    • In the initial years of managing a small business, you need to estimate how much money you need for a decent living and pull out that money from your business income. Now invest the remaining money back into your business for its growth.
    • Early wins in the form of high profits may urge you to spend it on leisure holidaying or improve your housing status. You need to be firm and defend yourself against such ideas and wait till your business gets a little more established.
    • The main expense in a business is covering the payroll of your staff. It is advisable not to hire new employees unless you absolutely need them. When things get busy and a lot of work pressure builds up, you may get tempted to hire more people. Try and stretch the existing staff members to their full potential to get through the workload and hire only if necessary.
    • Try and save up money on applying for loans and procuring inventory. Taking up loans from banks is a common practice in the business world, but it carries an extra cost of its own in the form of interest you pay while returning. Reducing this extra cost can help you add up and save more money in the long run. This can be done by dividing the total money you need as loan and borrowing it in parts over a period of time. This reduces the overall amount of interest you pay back to the bank. Borrowing the entire amount at once will result in you paying interest for the money you are not going to use till later time.
    • Keep the money separate for paying the taxes and avoid mixing it with other funds. Paying taxes is of utmost importance and since that money is meant to be given away, it should not be kept or used for other purposes.
    • Bargain the terms of the agreement with the outside contractors and vendors like delivery services, electrician etc., such that you get a grace period in paying your bills. This grace period can be used to manage your funds and prioritize your other bills more efficiently.

Small business finance management can help you cleverly grow a successful business over time.

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What Services Of The Best Banks To Look For Before You Open A Business Account

As of now, there are numerous services company owners need to opt for in order to make their business better and their ventures easier. With these solutions, business owners can also increase their profits. These third-party services can also provide you with wonderful benefits which can help your company achieve your goals. So, in order to accomplish financial tasks companies need, it is ideal to partner with the best banks and open a business account.

Surely, there are numerous banks that offer reliable services for their clients. However, you can distinguish which bank is best if you want to open a business account by knowing the benefits it can provide. Below are some of the features you need to look for.

Help you improve your businesses’ financial status

One of the benefits of opening a business account in reliable banks is you can easily improve your business’ financial status. This is essential to entice companies to partner or to work with you. Unfortunately, not having sufficient finances can affect your chances. By opening a business account, banks can help you attain the documentation and finances you need which can help improve your reputation.

Banks that make use of difference financing services

The next benefit of opening business accounts is you can make use of difference financing services. Surely, business owners may encounter numerous problems most especially financial issues. Therefore, business owners need to find ways to ensure that their finances will not be affected. By working with banks, company owners can properly choose a financial service which can match their company needs.

Allow you to keep your business consistent

Another feature of opening a business account is you can keep your business consistent. For instance, paying bills and receiving payments are some of the most common tasks business owners need to do in order to have consistent business flow. Sadly, these tasks can sometimes be stressful since you need to make sure that your personal and business accounts are separated to help you audit your expenses efficiently.

Offer effective supply chain solutions

Lastly, opening a business account can also help you obtain supply chain solutions. Supply chain solutions are important since these are specially designed to help you optimize your working capital, reduce your expenses, and have better visibility and control over receivables. With this, you can enhance business performance.

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Fee-Only Financial Advisor: Understanding What Makes Them Different

Planning and managing finances requires a professional touch. When looking for a certified fiscal counselor, you have a couple of choices. You can choose to work with someone who is strictly commission based, someone who works off both commission and fees, or someone who is a fee-only financial advisor. Despite the merits behind hiring a trained planner, many consumers do not understand the benefits of working with the latter option.

Pros of Hiring a Fee-only Financial Advisor

Those who are looking for the best advisors should consider one who is compensated in a way other than commission. These planners look at your entire fiscal situation and give you an honest, objective opinion on what you need to do. While they may suggest purchases of certain products, these will be ones that they believe will assist you in your goals. There is no loyalty to a specific company or product because there is no bonus or commission to earn.

You pay a fee-only financial advisor based on how often you meet with them. You could pay an hourly expense or you could pay a retainer in order to have him or her on call. You may even negotiate payment of a percentage of the investment assets your planner is managing. Each professional has his or her own pay structure.

In addition to having flexible payment options, you can choose between services. Some work with you to provide a complete financial review for a fixed project. You can also find someone to review your investment portfolio or develop a financial plan.

Things to Consider Before Hiring a Fee-only Financial Advisor

For most clients, this type of planner is the optimum choice. However, not everyone works well with a charge-based counselor. You may work better with someone who is either commission only or commission and fee compensated.

There is no guarantee that you will not have conflict. You should check references to ensure that your new asset manager is competent. Working for only a set rate does not equal competence. Those who are experienced working with people nearing retirement would not be the best choice for someone in the private sector.

You also need to check with the counselor about their requirements. Some will work with those who have a minimum level of assets. If you have a small portfolio, then you may not qualify. It is one of the many questions you should ask before hiring a consultant.

No matter if you choose to work with a commission-based consultant, you must be diligent in your search. It is not an easy task to find the right counselor. In order to find the right consultant you should understand not to compensate the advisor but also how he or she works with his or her clients.

Even if you opt for a fee-only financial advisor over a commission-based one, any products suggested should be carefully considered to ensure they meet your needs.

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