Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Dangerous Apps For Teens, Credit Card Reward Confusion & More

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Musical.ly App Dangerous for Teens and Tweens

If your teen has a cellphone then you need to here this.  Musical.ly is popular lip sync app that has over 200 million users.  However Musical.ly has fallen under criticism lately because it has not been able to control the amount of dangerous content found on the app.  With the right code or search users can find a variety of inappropriate and mature content.  Users "like" and provide feedback on other users lip sync performances through recorded videos that are posted to the site.  This type of interaction allows for potential inappropriate behavior and bullying.

Parent tip: If your tween or teen has the app have a serious conversation with them about what is appropriate to share online and what isn't (remember our social media activity can come back to haunt us).  If your child has issues understanding or upholding these boundaries delete the app.  Check out sites like Common Sense Media for more recommendations on tween and teen friendly apps.

Curb Your Smartphone Addiction With A Dumb Phone

If you feel like your smartphone is taking over too much of your life, there may be a solution soon.  A group launched a crowd funding campaign to develop The Light Phone 2.  This will be a touchscreen device supporting 4G that makes calls and sends texts only.  According to the Indiegogo campaign page the phone features an e-ink screen, like Kindle readers, and simply shows a display with keypad. The Light Phone 2 will cost $250, plus $5 a month for service.   As of Friday morning, the campaign raised more than $835,000, well above its original goal of $250,000.

Credit Card Rewards A Dangerous Gamble?
Many of us use credit cards to earn reward points of some style on purchase.  Whether it be cash back, airline miles or other perks.  Though this seems like a good strategy, here are some considerations from Dave Ramsey to keep in mind when considering the use of credit cards.

Confusing Reward Systems
According to a recent survey by Nerdwallet, 73% of cardholders consider rewards to be one of the most important factors when choosing a credit card. At the same time, nearly one-third of cardholders don’t really understand how to earn rewards, and one-fifth don’t grasp the dollar value of the rewards earned.  And what you don’t know as a cardholder can hurt you. For example:

  • Foreign transaction fees. Some cards will tack on a fee for every transaction abroad.
  • The difference between miles, points and cash back. It sounds simple, until you read the fine print to understand all the nuances and qualifications of each reward.
  • “Cash back.” This sneaky incentive sometimes comes in the form of statement credit—and not actual dollar bills.

Credit Card Annual Fees
A recent report by Nerdwallet showed that 30% of credit card users are confused by the fees.  If the annual fees exceed the reward or freebie (think airline tickets) it is not worth the expense.

Credit Card Low Caps = High Risk
This is where credit cards promise you cash back, but they impose a limit on how much you can get. If they promise 1% cash back and have a $300 cap, then you’ll have to spend $30,000 to get $300.

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