Credit Card Debts: Causes and Prevention

•June 25, 2008 • 6 Comments

 

 

 

Nowadays, credit card debts are major cause of bankruptcies each year. It is because many people have never realized of its consequences from financial and non financial perspectives when get a new credit card or not enough safety net when there is an incident happen. In this blog, only 5 points under top 10 causes of debt will be discussed in the following:

1) UNEMPLOYMENT

Households are forced to use credit card for groceries, utilities and some expenses purposes to maintain current lifestyle when the main breadwinner of the household has loss his job and could not find a new job during short periods. This may lead to a rise in debt when expenses are not cut down in line with the reduction in income.

2) DIVORCE

Fees that must spend for divorce such as attorney, division of assets between husband and wife, proceeds given to children are the way to rack up huge debts by using credit card if it is the gap between the expenses and income. Moreover, it will lead to reduction in income because divorce may force some people to quit their job and to have a walk in other countries.

3) POOR MONEY MANAGEMENT

Poor money management is one of the best reasons that why so many families have accumulated many credit card debts. It is because people are unaware to conduct a monthly spending plan and do not keep track of monthly bills. People have never realized their spending on the items that are useless and do not have any value in their life. Thus, it has lead to a rise in debts by using credit cards.

4) EXCESSIVE MEDICAL EXPENSES

Credit card will probably become one of the sources of funds to pay off the medical expenses if health insurance is not adequate to cover the medical bills if one of your family members suffers serious illness. In United States, almost everyone pays their medical expenses by credit cards to get treatment.

5) GAMBLING

Today, gambling has become part of entertainments in our life. It is hard to stop when it becomes addictive. Thus, it will surely lead to a financial disaster if borrowing money through credit card for gambling.

People should think of the solution to avoid themselves from credit card debts by not keep on blaming the situation. The debts are not a curse and it might be a signal for people who always owe many debts to learn how to be responsible in life. Thus, the prevention of credit card debts will be discussed in following:

1) MAKING AN BUDGET

People have to create clear budget and stick on it that includes monthly bills, food, clothes, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses will prevent from overspending and fall under deeper debt load.

2) CONTACTING AND DEALING WITH CREDITORS

Address the problem to creditors instantly to investigate whether they could give revised payment arrangement when having trouble to pay off debts because running away is not a good solution. If not, may refer to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if the collection of money from creditors is not fair enough. Creditors may approve proposal and accept modified payment plan when hiring a good credit card debt consolidation companies.

3) SELF CONTROL AND DISCIPLINE

One of the best practices is to have a direct set up so that able to pay back the full amount each month and use in emergencies. Thus, self control and discipline to keep these cards in wallet and would not overspend.

The main prevention is aware of the causes of credit card debts and starts to spend less in order to stay with well financial situation.

Referred links:

1.http://www.mozdex.com/prevent-credit-card-debt/ 2.http://ezinearticles.com/?Understanding-Credit-Card-Debt-Problems&id=1225936 3.http://www.fastweb.com/fastweb/resources/articles/index/102925 4.http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/debt/debt_manage_2004/top-10-causes.asp

 

Electronic Currency

•June 24, 2008 • 2 Comments

Electronic currency is also known as e-money, electronic cash, digital money, digital cash or digital currency which refer to money or scrip that is exchanged only electronically.

Electronic currency involves the use of computer networks, internet and digital stored value systems. It may only exist in the cyber world, but that is nothing new about it. The examples of electronic currency are Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) and direct deposit. EFT refers to the computer-based systems used to perform financial transactions electronically while direct deposit is a banking term used to refer to certain systems used to transfer money.

Electronic currency allows its holder to buy the goods and services that the vastness of the internet offers. An e-currency system may be fully backed by gold (like e-gold and c-gold), non-gold backed, or both gold and non-gold baked (like e-Bullion and Liberty Reserve).

Electronic currency trading can let you to do business and earn only few dollars of investment. In fact, some of the experts will suggest the beginners to start with only a few dollars so that they can first learn the ropes of electronic currency. Besides that, electronic currency trading has a low transaction cost. Unlike other businesses that will eat up your profit with a huge amount of fees, it allows you to do business with minimal fees and give you more profit and money. There are few websites examples that can let people to do e-currency tradings such as MG E-currency, JT GOLD.com.

Related links:

1. http://www.selfseo.com/story-6264.php

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_cash

3. http://www.romow.com/business-blog/benefits-of-e-currency-trading/

A review on a post e-tailing from My E-Commerce blog

•June 23, 2008 • 1 Comment

I had reviewed one of the posts from My E-Commerce blog that is using Touch’n Go to buy fast food. Touch’n Go is a smart card used by Malaysian toll expressway and highway operators as the sole electronic payment system. But now, Touch’n Go can use in

A&W A&W

7-eleven7-eleven

BURGER KING BURGER KING

CALTEX Star MARTCaltex Star Mart

DUNKIN DONUTS DUNKIN DONUTS

CarrefourCarrefour

Cathay Cineleisure Cathy Cineleisure

With this one card for all, for example, toll, parking, public transport and theme park. In my opinion, this is more efficient towards customers. Customers no need to prepare for exact change when buying something or sometimes they will forget to prepare enough money to buy something that exceeds their budget. One of the benefits to use Touch’n Go in fast food restaurant, convenience stores, hypermarkets and cinemas is no need to wait for attendant to give you the small change especially for some of the customers who not patient. Touch’n Go is easy, fast and convenience to customers, they can touch on the screen and then go after they buy foods. This is a very good ideas to implement Touch’n Go in fast food restaurant particularly in the pick hour time. In hypermarket, consumers no need to queue up so long when some of the counters did not open; the consumers can just use the Touch’n Go to make payment. Touch’n Go can easily reload at anywhere and anytime, for example, they also can reload at Maybank.

Related article – A review on a post from My E-Commerce blog and You can use Touch’n Go card to buy burgers by next Saturday

The application of 3rd party certification programme in Malaysia

•June 21, 2008 • 1 Comment

In a virtual world today, people are behaving doubt on sending and receiving the sensitive information. Unsecured website has incurring the worries of large numbers of internet users when they are required to provide or update their profile, update their bank accounts and etc. Thus, Secured Sockets Layer (SSL) is the best solution to build users’ trust through getting an SSL Certificate for your website.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a technology developed by Netscape and adopted by all vendors who are producing product that related to Web software for the exchange between client and server. It negotiates and employs the essential functions of mutual authentication, data encryption, and data integrity for secure transactions. SSL Certificate is also known as digital certificates which is an electronic file that enable secure confidential communications and identifies individuals and web sites on the internet uniquely by serving as sort of a digital passport or credential. It is possible to verify someone’s claim that they have the right to use the key in order to prevent people from using phone keys to impersonate others users and ensure the involvement of all parties in a transaction with a complete security solution.

It is issued by Certification Authority (CA), a trusted third party. Certification Authority must take steps to establish the identity of the people or organization to whom they issue the ID. Authenticity is ensured when certificate is issued once establishes with its organization’s public keys and signs with Certification Authority’s private key.

VeriSign SSL Certificates is the public encrypted key that Webmaster sends to CA which is a standard part of most web server and web browser packages when works in conjunction with the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. VeriSign will review the credentials and check through all the background of organization to ensure that the claim of organization before issuing any server certificate. The browser will verify its business purpose through ID automatically when browser connects to a legitimate site with VeriSign SSL Certificates. After that, information received by Web visitor is identical to encryption between browser and server and no modification is taken place.

VeriSign is one of trust brand on internet to further enhance operation of e-commerce because it gives confidence to customer in communication and online business transactions. In turn, the company will receive accurate information that the customer could not refute later. Additional protection against the misuse and expired certificates is provided. Thus, there was nearly one million times that people have clicked on VeriSign Secured Seals during year 2002.

Referred links:

1)http://209.85.175.104/search?q=cache:lzVaiOHa3aIJ:www.neowave.com.my/whitepapers/ecommerceweb.pdf+application+of+third+party+certification+programme+of+e-commerce&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=16&gl=my

2) https://digitalid.msctrustgate.com/trial/trialserver/about/aboutFAQ.htm

3) http://www.happyhosting.com.my/digital-certificate/

4) http://www.khas.com.my/khas/index.php?howtobuy=yes

 

How to safeguard our personal and financial data?

•June 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

How do you safeguard your personal and financial data? Have you done a proper safeguards for your data? Nowadays, computer and internet are very common to everyone. We will rely on computer to save our personal data and using online financial services to do financial transactions such as online banking in order to safe time. Therefore, do you think the safeguards that you make are sufficient enough to protect your confidential data?

Below will be some suggestion ways for you to safeguard your data:

1. Password protect

-use a strong password or pass-phrase to protect your access data.

2. Install and update antispyware and antivirus programs

-install an antivirus program such as Symantec and Norton antivirus, AVG antivirus or other more in order to protect yourself against viruses and Trojan horses that may steal or modify the data on your own computer . In order for the well protection, you must must sure to keep your virus definitions up to date.

3. Install a firewall

-a firewall is a software program designed to allow good people in and keep bad people out. Most new computers come with firewalls integrated into their operating systems. If you have an older computer or using dial-up, you may need to buy a firewall separately and install it yourself.

4. Regularly scan your computer for spyware

-spyware or adware hidden in software programs may affect the performance of your computer and give attackers access to your data. Use a legitimate anti-spyware program to scan your computer and remove any of the infected files.

5. Avoid accessing financial information in public

-prevent form logging on to check your bank balance when working from a coffee shop that offers wireless access. Although the systems are convenient but we do not know how powerful their firewalls are.

Related links:

1.http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST06-008.html

2.http://www.msisac.org/awareness/news/2007-03.cfm

3.http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/103893/Six-Ways-to-Safeguard-Your-Online-Assets

Phishing

•June 18, 2008 • 3 Comments

What is phishing? Phishing refers to the act of the attacker draw the users attention to visit a faked Web site by sending them faked e-mails or instant messages. The e-mail will directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information such as passwords and credit card, social security and bank account numbers. In fact, the legitimate organisation already has it. The frequently used attack method is to send e-mails to potential victims, which seems to be sent by banks or online organisations. In the e-mails, they will make up some causes such as the password of the credit card has been mis-entered for many times or they are providing upgrading services, to conduct the users visit their Web site to modify their account number and passwords through the hyperlink provided in the e-mail.

Following are the few examples of the phishing e-mails:

1.http://www.microsoft.com/windows/IE/images/using/54304_fake_url_1.jpg

2.http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/advice/Phishing-email.asp

3.http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/phishing_email.pdf

Prevention Methods for Phishing

(a) Detect and block the phishing Web sites in time

– If users can detect the phishing Web sites in time, users then can block the site and prevent phishing attacks.

(b) Enhance the security of the web sites

The business Web sites such as banks’ Web sites can take new methods to guarantee the security of the users personal information. For example, using the biometrics characteristics such as voice, iris, fingerprint and so on.

(c) Block the phishing e-mails by various spam filters

Phishers are usually use e-mails as “bait” to attract the potential victims. They can send out large amount of spoofed e-mails which are seemed from legitimate organisations. The phishers hide their identities when sending the spoofed e-mails, therefore, if anti-spam systems can determine whether an e-mail is sent by the attackers, the phishing attacks will be decreased dramatically.

(d) Install online anti-phishing software in user’s computers

-It is still possible for the users to visit the spoofed Web sites regarding to all the above preventions. As a defense, users can install anti-phishing tools in their computers.

As for your own good, start to do some preventions from phishing before it’s too late.

Related links:

1. http://research.microsoft.com/users/chguo/phishing.pdf

2. http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/phishing/identify.mspx

 

A review on a post on Internet Security from My E-Commerce blog

•June 18, 2008 • 3 Comments

Internet Security

I had reviewed from Internet Security Threats – Its changing faces (part 2) from My E-Commerce blog. In my opinion, that has many latest internet security threats to attack users of computers. Not only the threat which post on the blog that I had reviewed. One of the internet security threats is Trojan.The Trojans can escape from conventional protective anti-virus software and firewalls.

A number of open source and modified Trojans, altered to avoid anti-virus detection, have been used. Or, the e-mails are sent to specific or targeted recipients. Unlike ”phishing” attacks, the e-mails use subject lines often referring to work or other subjects that the recipient would find relevant. The e-mails containing the dangerous attachments, or links to web sites hosting Trojan files are spoofed, making it appear to come from a colleague or reliable party. When opened, the file or link installs the Trojan which can be configured to transmit information to a remote attacker using ports assigned to a common service. Not only this, attackers improve their hacking skills can make money. Attackers have realized that they can sell credit card numbers, bank account information, username and passwords and get paid for helping enable click fraud and sending spam. Now, attackers becoming more skilled and specialized.

Related articles – Hackers using YouTube to spread latest Trojan threat, dubbed Fake Codec

Besides, preventions which suggest on My E-Commerce post.There still have much prevention. For example, you must make sure that your computers are up-to-date with security software updates; make sure you have installed, and are using the latest version of anti-virus software; keep your operating system and Microsoft Office software up-to-date; be suspicious of email messages and other electronic communications from sources you do not know or recognize; or do not ever open email attachment from unknown sources.

Read more related information to protect your computer, from Windows Live OneCare