Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: These are probably your best options for travel this summer. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on how the pandemic is changing our financial lives, how your state may let you deduct the costs of working from home during the pandemic, and 10 steps to avoiding tax-return identity theft.

These are probably your best options for travel this summer
It’s going to be weird.

SmartMoney Podcast: The Pandemic Is Changing Our Financial Lives, and What to Know About Refinancing Now
Things have changed dramatically.

Your State May Let You Deduct The Costs of Working From Home During the Pandemic
Covering the costs of your upgrades.

10 Steps to Avoiding Tax-Return Identity Theft
Protecting your Social Security number.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Identity theft protection you may not know you already have. Also in the news: How auto insurers use you non-driving habits to raise prices, how younger consumers can get a credit boost from their elders, and how to close a credit card the right way.

Identity Theft Protection You May Not Know You Already Have
Some surprising sources.

How Auto Insurers Use Your Nondriving Habits to Raise Prices
What you need to know about price optimization.

Younger Consumers, Get a Credit Boost From Your Elders
Authorized user status could give you a boost.

How to Close a Credit Card The Right Way
Protecting your credit score.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Retirement costs that could surprise you. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on keeping your New Year’s money resolution, how procrastinators can win at gift-giving, and another reason to not pay for your gas at the pump.

Retirement Costs That Could Surprise You
Covering all the bases.

SmartMoney podcast: ‘How Can I (Actually) Keep My New Year’s Money Resolution?’
Making it past the first week and beyond.

How Procrastinators Can Win at Gift-Giving
You might need to leave the house.

Another Reason to Not Pay for Gas at the Pump
Hackers have a new way to steal your info at the gas station.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: One credit score factor to check twice during the holidays. Also in the news: How to give back without busting your budget, how not to get hustled in the holiday bustle, and the best apps for tracking your credit card rewards.

One Credit Score Factor to Check Twice During the Holidays
Utilizing your credit wisely.

How to Give Back Without Busting Your Budget
Create a giving plan.

Identity Theft: Don’t Get Hustled in the Holiday Bustle
‘Tis the season for identity theft.

The Best Apps for Tracking Your Credit Card Rewards
All your rewards in one place.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: In ‘SIM Swap,’ criminals really have your number. Also in the news: Don’t let price be your only guide when choosing an airport, a new SmartMoney podcast, and why you shouldn’t sign up for an airline credit card when you’re on the plane.

In ‘SIM Swap,’ Criminals Really Have Your Number
How to reduce the chances of being victimized.

Choosing Among Airports? Don’t Let Price Be Your Only Guide
There are many factors to consider.

SmartMoney podcast: ‘How Much House Can I Afford?’
It’s about more than just the numbers.

Don’t Sign Up for an Airline Credit Card When You’re on the Plane
Resist the impulse.

In ‘SIM swap,’ criminals really have your number

If you’re not familiar with SIM swap fraud, prepare to be terrified.

This scam, also known as port-out or SIM splitting fraud, allows criminals to hijack your cell phone number. Once they have your number, the bad guys can clean out your financial accounts, confiscate your email, delete your data and take over your social media profiles.

Fraudsters can do all this because many companies — including banks, brokerages, email providers and social media platforms — verify your identity by texting a code to your cell phone. Intercepting those codes can give a criminal an all-access pass to your financial and digital life.

In my latest for the Associated Press, learn more about the fraud experts fear the most.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 tech tasks to keep your parents safer online. Also in the news: What to do if an ETF in your portfolio closes, 5 ideas for setting clear and effective personal finance habits in 2019, and the majority of Americans say they did not get a pay raise this year.

4 Tech Tasks to Keep Your Parents Safer Online
Protect them from fraud.

What to Do If an ETF in Your Portfolio Closes
Sell? Or wait for liquidation?

5 Ideas for Setting Clear and Effective Personal Finance Habits in 2019
Setting achievable goals.

The majority of Americans say they did not get a pay raise this year
The thriving economy isn’t showing up in paychecks.

4 tech tasks to keep your parents safer online

All of us are vulnerable to fraud. But the ways some older people use technology can put them at higher risk.

That’s where you come in. In my latest for the Associated Press, when you’re home for the holidays, or the next time you visit your folks, offer to help with a few tasks that can keep your parents safer online.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Identity theft risks for holiday shoppers. Also in the news: 5 guidelines for happier holiday tipping, what to buy (and skip) in December, and how to balance your short-term and long-term financial goals.

Holiday Shoppers, Beware of These 3 Identity Theft Risks
Protect yourself.

5 Guidelines for Happier Holiday Tipping
Saying thanks.

What to Buy (and Skip) in December
Hold off on that TV.

How to Balance Your Short- and Long-Term Financial Goals
Your short-term goals should feed your long-term goals.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Identity theft risks for holiday shoppers. Also in the news: What to buy and skip in December, paying down student debt on a nonprofit salary, and how to make the most of the child tax credit this year.

Holiday Shoppers, Beware of These 3 Identity Theft Risks
Watch out for grinches.

What to Buy (and Skip) in December
Hold off on jewelry.

Debt Diary: Paying Down $19K in Student Debt on a Nonprofit Salary
One man’s journey.

How to make the most of the child tax credit this year
A look at the changes.