Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 ways to curb your online shopping enthusiasm. Also in the news: 13 last-ditch ways to avoid the poorhouse in retirement, why you should freeze your child’s credit, and 8 inspirational stories of people who overcame debt.

4 Ways to Curb Your Online Shopping Enthusiasm
Back away from the mouse.

13 Last-Ditch Ways to Avoid the Poorhouse in Retirement
There’s still time.

Why You Should Freeze Your Child’s Credit
Identity theft starts early.

8 inspirational stories of people who overcame debt
Learning from those who have been there.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How your money story can help you break free. Also in the news: Why you should freeze your child’s credit, 4 things that could make you a target for a tax audit, and what happens if you don’t pay a debt.

How Your Money Story Can Help You Break Free
Going way back to the beginning.

Why You Should Freeze Your Child’s Credit
Even children can be victim’s of identity theft.

4 Things That Could Make You a Target for a Tax Audit
Don’t leave yourself vulnerable.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay a Debt?
Nothing good.

Why you should freeze your child’s credit

For years, identity theft expert Eva Velasquez warned parents that freezing their children’s credit reports was difficult, problematic and probably unnecessary.

Velasquez, chief executive officer of the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center, has since changed her mind. Or rather, the sheer volume and severity of database breaches — including last year’s breathtakingly huge compromise at Equifax credit bureau — changed it for her. She now recommends that parents “strongly consider” credit freezes for their kids.

“The landscape has changed,” Velasquez says.

In my latest for the Associated Press, how to protect your child’s credit.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The 3 reports you haven’t frozen yet. Also in the news: United halts the transport of pets in cargo holds, how to protect your 401(k) from rising interest rates, and how much your personal data is worth on the dark web.

The 3 Reports You Haven’t Frozen Yet
Beyond the Big 3.

United Halts Transport of Pets in Airplane Cargo Holds
Protecting your pets while flying.

Protect Your 401(k) From Rising Interest Rates With This Plan
Interest rates are on the rise.

Spooked by the Facebook privacy violations? This is how much your personal data is worth on the dark web
A Facebook account is cheaper than you’d think.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Know how and when to thaw your credit. Also in the news: How to find lost 401(k) cash and other unclaimed money, why you should listen to money podcasts, and serious financial mistakes to avoid when getting engaged.

Don’t Be Frozen Out — Know How and When to Thaw Your Credit
Credit in the post-Equifax breach world.

How to Find Lost 401(k) Cash (and Other Unclaimed Money)
Reunite with your lost money.

Why You Should Listen to Money Podcasts
A few recommendations.

Getting engaged? Don’t make these serious financial mistakes
Starting off on the right foot.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why many consumers still #BankBlack. Also in the news: 3 reasons to choose a credit card over debit, how and why to use the Equifax free credit lock app, and how to review and dispute the salary data Equifax collects on you.

Here’s Why Many Still #BankBlack, Despite Fewer Options
Providing needed access.

3 Reasons to Choose a Credit Card Over Debit — and When Not To
Using your card strategically.

How and Why to Use the Equifax Free Credit Lock App
Locking your credit vs freezing it.

How to Review (and Dispute) the Salary Data Equifax Collects on You
Credit bureaus want your salary info.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Equifax extends credit freeze deadline. Also in the news: Why single parents are turning to online colleges, how credit card rewards can take the sting out of a starter budget, and strapped families hope President Trump will tackle student loans in tonight’s State of the Union address.

How to Freeze Your Credit With Equifax
Extended deadlines.

For Some Single Parents, Online College Holds the Key

Credit Card Rewards Take the Sting Out of a Starter Budget

Strapped families hope Trump’s speech will tackle student loans
The State of the Union speech is tonight.

Q&A: Credit freezes complicate setting up online Social Security accounts

Dear Liz: You’ve recently written about protecting ourselves by establishing online Social Security accounts. Social Security prevents me (or anyone else) from creating an online account because I have credit freezes in place. As I understand the process, Social Security uses the credit bureaus to verify my identity. With a freeze, there’s no identity verification. In other words, in order to set up a fraudulent online account, someone besides me would have to unfreeze my credit report first. Is that correct?

Answer: Pretty much. Another way to establish an online account is to go into a local Social Security office with proper identification. But most hackers are unlikely to take the trouble to do either.

You may still want to create an online account to monitor your Social Security earnings record and promptly correct any mistakes or spot employment fraud (someone using your number to get work).

You could make a trip to a Social Security office or temporarily lift your freeze with the bureau that’s providing identity verification services. Currently, that bureau is Equifax — and yes, that’s the bureau that suffered the massive database breach that started this discussion.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Will your taxes go up or down under the new tax rules? Also in the news: Freezing your child’s credit, 3 safe, easy ways to gift money for the holidays, and how much you should have saved at every age.

Will Your Taxes Go Up or Down Under the New Tax Rules?
Where do you stand?

Should You Freeze Your Child’s Credit?
Protecting your child’s identity.

3 Safe, Easy Ways to Gift Money This Holiday Season
Easy holiday giving.

How Much Should You Have Saved at Every Age?
How are you doing so far?

Equifax just changed the rest of your life

Adding freezes to your credit reports is an appropriate response to the massive Equifax database breach that exposed the private information of 143 million Americans.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking those freezes will keep you safe, however.

Credit freezes lock down your credit reports in a way that should prevent “new account fraud,” or bogus accounts being opened in your name. But there are so many other ways the bad guys can use the information they stole, which included Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and some driver’s license numbers. In my latest for the Associated Press, find out the other ways the Equifax breach will affect your life for years to come.