Should You Buy That Extended Warranty?

Whenever I buy something electronic, whether a new smartphone, TV, laptop or whatever, I typically receive a hard pitch to buy an extended warranty on the product. I generally opt not to, but is that the right choice? To answer that question, there is both an economic and a psychological way to look at it. Economics of an extended warranty An extended warranty is essentially an insurance policy. If the item fails beyond the basic warranty — typically one month …

Mac Attack (and More): The Latest in the Tech Support Scam

En español | For six years, telephones have been ringing off the hook with alarming but bogus news: There’s a dangerous virus on your computer, and the caller – a self-described technician with Microsoft, “Windows” or an antivirus software company – says he can remove it … for a price. But now, it’s not just PC users at risk for the notorious tech support scam. Mac users (and the machines themselves) are also vulnerable – and this time, fix-it fraudsters …

The 411 on Two-Factor Authentication

In an era in which online accounts can be cracked with sophisticated software or a hacker’s ingenuity, taking an extra step when you log in can give you miles in added protection — even when using “strong” passwords. It’s called two-factor authentication (2FA), and it requires both something you know (like a password) and something you have (like a cellphone). Once enacted, after you successfully log in to an online account, you receive a code to your phone, via text …

6 ‘Other’ Credit Card Protections

Think you’re safer paying with cash? Not always. For instance, holiday shopping means mall pickpockets are on the prowl. Despite reports of data breaches at retailers including Target, Home Depot and others, don’t shelve your credit cards just yet. Compared with debit cards, you’ll have fewer hassles and less liability should your card be used fraudulently. For certain purchases, credit cards are better than debit cards and cash because of other, lesser-known protections. These policies vary by card type and provider, so ask about your specific coverage: Extended return policies. Many retailers …

Once More Unto the Security Breach

For the third time this year, I opened an unmarked envelope to find a new credit card glued to the insert. Actually, it wasn’t a new card. Just a replacement for my current card, now unusable because of a security breach somewhere. I’ll be amazed if this card makes it to the end of the year. Sound familiar? Security Breaches on a Massive Scale Huge data breaches affecting millions of American consumers seem to be happening with regularity these days. …

New York Restaurant Rejects Obama’s Credit Card

Yes, even the president of the United States gets his credit card declined. As President Barack Obama signed an executive order to beef up security for government-issued credit and debit cards, he told the story of how his card was rejected at a restaurant while he was in New York last month to attend the United Nations General Assembly. >> 10 Frugal Habits of the Rich and Famous “It turned out, I guess, I don’t use it enough, so they thought there was …