Going back to school? Ever thought about traveling abroad? Check out our Google+ Hangout to learn more!
Study abroad connects American high school students with future leaders around the world, enabling them to collaborate on today’s global challenges such as human rights, community development, workforce development, climate change, and global health. Scholarship opportunities are open to all American high school students who meet program eligibility criteria.
Many students across the country went back to school this week, or are going back in the very near future.
While returning to the classroom is an exciting time, it can also be challenging for some— not because of homework, but because of bullying. The devastating effects of bullying can last into adulthood, but luckily there are resources to help you recognize when your child is being bullied, or is a bully himself.
Contact the fraud departments of any one of the credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit report. The fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. You only need to contact one of the agencies to place an alert.
The FTC’s ID Theft Affidavit is a form that you can use to report information to businesses, notifying them that there is a fraudulent debt in your name. Download a copy of the ID Theft Affidavit (PDF | requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) or call the FTC’s ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) to get a copy.
Security Freeze Some states allow you to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will keep businesses from issuing credit to a thief. The cost of a security freeze varies from state to state, and is not available in every state. Contact your state consumer protection office for more information about your state security freeze laws.
No two ways about it. This is gross. But, it can’t be ignored. Bed bugs are becoming prevalent throughout the country. Recently, three subway trains were taken out of service in New York City, because they were infested. What can you do to prevent bed bugs from coming into your home?
Bed bugs tend to be “hitchhikers,” so be sure to check your luggage and clothes before bringing them into your home after you have traveled. Change and wash your bedding often. Also, don’t bring in any second-hand furniture until it’s been thoroughly inspected.
When traveling, inspect your hotel room’s mattress and bedding upon arrival. Don’t put any luggage on the bed — place suitcases on a luggage rack. When you return home, unpack clothing directly into the washing machine for cleaning. If you can’t do wash immediately, seal your belongings in plastic bags until they can be cleaned.
Bed bugs are not harmful, but they also don’t discriminate. They can be anywhere. The most important thing you can do is be cautious, and act fast. The sooner you spot an infestation, the better. You want to deal with the problem before they have the chance to multiply.
By: Diana Varela, Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration
We are excited to announce that August 17 -23, 2014 will mark our First National my Social Security Week!. Whether retirement seems like it is just around the corner or years away, it is good to know that Social Security is working for you now—even if you are not receiving benefits yet. How? By providing you with the information you need to plan ahead for the retirement you want.
One of the best tools for planning a secure retirement is waiting for you at www.socialsecurity.gov: a my Social Security account. When you create your personal my Social Security online account, you will be able to get your online Social Security Statement, review your lifetime earnings history (and catch any errors while it is easier to fix them), see estimates of your future benefits, and more—important information that can help you plan and save for greater peace of mind.
Opening a my Social Security account online is quick, safe, free, and easy. It takes only minutes. Go to the Social Security website at www.socialsecurity.gov and click on my Social Security. Then follow the instructions for creating your secure, online account. You must be at least 18 years of age and have:
A valid e-mail address,
A Social Security number, and
A U.S. mailing address.
You will also need to provide some personal information and answer some questions only you are likely to know. This process protects you and keeps your information private. There are extra security features, too. You can have unique text message codes sent to your cell phone each time you want to sign in. There is even an address bar at the top of your screen indicating the website has an extended validation certificate. This means the information you provide to Social Security will be encrypted and that the website has been verified by a certification authority.
Once you see your estimated retirement benefits, you can really start to plan, invest, and save with more confidence. You can even explore when you might retire.
While Social Security will be here to provide you with a secure foundation in the future, it was never intended to be your sole source of retirement income. You may want to put aside more for a comfortable retirement.
And once you do retire, or start receiving benefits for any reason, your my Social Security account is the best place to manage those benefits. You can use your account to get an instant benefit verification letter, change your address and phone number on Social Security’s records, and start or change direct deposit of your benefit payment.
More than 11 million people have opened a safe and secure my Social Security account. Join them—take control of your future retirement security by signing up for a my Social Security account. Learn more and create yours today at www.socialsecurity.gov.
It is never too early—or too late—to plan for retirement.
Going to a farmers market is a great way to make sure you are eating fresh, healthy foods and reducing your carbon footprint by buying locally. They also allow farmers to establish relationships with their customers and create a sense of loyalty.
The USDA maintains a National Farmers Market Directory where you can locate a farmers market near you, find out what products are available there, and the types of payment they accept.
Flash floods occur in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. And unfortunately, many homeowners do not find out until it’s too late that their policies do not cover flooding. Because of this, it’s important to take proper precautions to protect yourself, family, and home should flooding occur.
Almost half of flash flood fatalities occur in vehicles. It doesn’t take much water (about 2 feet) to wash cars and SUVs off the road. When you approach a flooded road, TURN AROUND.
Flash floods are increasingly likely around streams. When hunting, boating, fishing or camping be aware of your proximity to the water. During a storm a 6-inch deep creek can become a 10-foot deep river in less than an hour. Immediately head to higher ground when the weather shows signs of a storm.
High risk locations include: low water crossings, recent burn areas, and urban areas (where pavement collects run off). Be aware of your surroundings, and their risk.
Listen to NOAA radio, or check their website for warnings and advisories for flooding. Use their AHPS map to see where flooded spots are, and avoid traveling in those places.
Develop a family evacuation plan, so everyone knows where they should go should your home be in danger of flooding. Determine a meeting spot and communication system to be used if not all family members are together.