The FDIC just published its Spring 2014 Consumer News which provides advice on various banking topics. Most of the tips are probably well-known to those who are financially savvy. However, there are some useful reminders of federal regulations and protections. I've included a few excerpts that I found most useful.
Tips for Safe Shopping, Buying and Paying
With all the news over the last several months about data breaches, it makes sense that the FDIC would provide some tips on this topic. Here are a few tips that you might not have heard before:
From the article "Safe Shopping, Buying and Paying: How to Protect Your Money":
Take additional precautions with your tablet or smartphone before conducting online transactions. Consider opting for automatic updates for your device’s operating system and "apps" (applications) when they become available to help reduce your vulnerability to software problems. Use a password or other security feature to restrict access in case your device is lost or stolen.
Your rights and dispute resolution: Know what the service's user agreement says about resolving errors and disputes. For example, what will happen if the service pays the wrong person or the wrong amount? And, what if you caused the error by mistyping the recipient's e-mail address or the amount you wanted to send? That can easily happen, especially when you're typing on a small mobile phone.
From the article "More About How to Protect Yourself From Data Breaches":
Contact your bank or credit card issuer immediately to report a problem. Debit card users in particular should promptly report a lost card or an unauthorized transaction. Unlike the federal protections for credit cards that cap losses from fraudulent charges at $50, your liability limit for a debit card could be up to $500, or more, if you don't notify your bank within two business days after discovering the loss or theft.
More Ways to Save at the Bank
Two of these articles are deposit related and two are loan related. I’ll just touch on the two deposit-related ones.
Most of the tips in the article "Saving and Investing for Your Future: Questions to Ask Yourself Now" are common sense like having savings goals and an emergency savings fund. However, it did mention some new info on the myRA that President Obama first mentioned at his State of the Union speech:
The myRA account is a simple, safe and affordable retirement savings program that is backed by the U.S. government. Savers can open an account with as little as $25, there are no fees, the account will earn interest at a variable rate, and the investment is protected so the account balance will never go down. To learn more about myRA, go to www.treasurydirect.gov/readysavegrow/start_saving/myra.htm.
The second deposit-related article covered checking accounts. The only thing I have to mention about this article is that it failed to mention credit unions. In its answer for the question "Which banks should I consider for a checking account", it failed to mention credit unions which are just as safe as banks and also have great checking account options.
The two loan-related articles in the FDIC Spring consumer news cover mortgages and refinancing loans. If you find something interesting, please leave a comment.