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If you're thinking about buying a car and the Carfax report comes back clean, you're good to go, right? Um, maybe not. Here are four other ways you can avoid buying a clunker.

By Stacy Johnson 3 hours ago

By Maryalene LaPonsie, Money Talks News Money Talks News


Show me the Carfax.


Remember when those commercials first hit the airwaves? It was only a matter of time before dealerships everywhere started touting a Carfax report with every used car.

 

The reports promised an almost crystal ball view into the history of a vehicle. Sellers could no longer hide accidents, major repairs or faulty odometers. It's all in the Carfax!

 

Or is it? 

 

The cybersecurity defenses at most colleges and universities are not up to the task, a report says.

By MSN Money producer 5 hours ago

Hacker sitting at a desk surrounded by computer monitors © Andrey Popov/Getty Images By Cadie Thompson, CNBC CNBC

 

As college students head back to school, cybercriminals are heading back to work.

 

Hackers often target universities during the school year, and campuses are not equipped to handle the cybersecurity threats, according to a new report published Thursday by the security firm BitSight Technology.

 

In fact, colleges and universities fare worse than both the retail and health-care industries, when it comes to securing their networks, according to the report.

 

BitSight tracked the security performance of all colleges in major athletic conferences (Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Pacific-12, Big 10, Big 12 and Ivy League) from July 2013 to June 2014. BitSight's research found that on average all conferences experienced a significant decline in their performance.

 

Tune in to 'The Simpsons' marathon for laughs -- and also for lessons about careers, consumerism, college majors, and what should and shouldn't be used as toilet paper.

By MSN Money producer 6 hours ago

Still from season 25 of FOX's ‘The Simpsons’ © FOX Image Collection/Getty ImagesBy Brad Tuttle, Money Magazine Money Magazine

 

Thursday marked the kickoff of an absolutely epic marathon of "The Simpsons" on the FXX channel. Starting at 10 a.m., the network will show every Simpsons episode ever (#everysimpsonsever in social media-speak) back-to-back in chronological order, with "The Simpsons Movie" thrown in as well.

 

That's a total of 552 episodes -- 25 seasons of the longest-running sitcom and longest-running animated show ever -- running 24 hours per day for 12 straight days, ending on Labor Day, Sept. 1.

 

In honor of the marathon, we thought it would be fun to reflect on what some of the most colorful and memorable characters on "The Simpsons" have taught us by their good (or, more likely, bad) examples. Here are 11 money lessons from "The Simpsons," each with a memorable quote to bring the message home.

 

One-fifth of American workers say using vacation time puts them at risk of losing their jobs, a survey finds.

By Credit.com 7 hours ago

Unemployed man © Rubberball/JupiterimagesBy Christine DiGangi, Credit.com Credit.com

 

One-fifth of Americans working at least 35 hours a week think using vacation time makes them look replaceable, therefore putting them at risk of losing their jobs, a new survey found.


The concerns could have a foundation in reality -- after all, there's no federal law guaranteeing people the vacation they've earned, and unless a termination breaches a contract or discrimination laws, employers can fire people for pretty much whatever they want to.


The aforementioned survey includes responses from 1,303 adult Americans working at least 35 hours per week and was conducted June 20 to 30 by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications for the U.S. Travel Association. The sample is weighted and scaled to be nationally representative, and the margin of error is plus or minus 2.71 percentage points. The sample included responses from 235 workers with managerial responsibilities, and the margin of error for their responses is plus or minus 6.39 percentage points.

 

Are you being stalked behind the wheel? Here's how to tell and what you can do about it.

By MSN Money Partner Wed 7:04 PM

By Allison Martin, Money Talks News Money Talks News

 

Big Brother is always watching. That's what we've come to believe, at least in our online lives where our personal viewing habits are tracked and used by advertisers to try to sell us stuff.


But shutting down your computer and other electronic devices allows for a little private time, right? Well, not necessarily. Not if you're driving in your car.


Let's take a look at some of the ways your car may be spying on you.

 

Instead of waiting until traditional retirement age, some workers are taking mini-retirements to recharge and pursue interests.

By MSN Money producer Wed 1:44 PM

Woman holding a suitcase at the beach (© Gary S Chapman/Getty Images)By Susan Johnston, U.S. News & World Report  http://www.usnews.com/money

 

Ten years ago, when Tim Justice, then in his mid-40s, suggested to his wife Doreen Orion that they leave their jobs as psychiatrists and travel the country in an RV, she wasn't thrilled. "Why can't you be like a normal husband in a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?" she asked.

 

But the idea grew on her, and Orion eventually published a memoir called "Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own" about the experience. They've since taken several shorter mini-retirements and sold their house so they can live in their RV full time. 

 

"What finally convinced me," she says, "was that we had both seen so many people in our practices who put off doing things they love or spending more time with their spouses until they retired. But then something terrible happened -- the spouse died or one of them became ill. I decided that I wanted to have this experience with the person I love now and not wait."

 

Under new Obamacare rules, parents can keep their adult children insured till age 26, but they're not responsible for the deductibles.

By Credit.com Wed 1:07 PM
Cash and a stethoscope © Aslan Alphan/Getty Images

By Gerri Detweiler, MSN Money Credit.com 

Some parents are now keeping their adult children on their health insurance plans thanks to the Affordable Care Act. That law requires healthcare plans that offer dependent coverage to make the coverage available until a child reaches the age of 26.


But just because parents are willing to pay for their kid's health insurance, it doesn't mean they want to pay for all their medical expenses. Yet, because the insurance policy is in their name, some parents are getting bills for their kids and are worried that if they don't take care of them, their credit is at risk.


For example, one of our readers wrote:

 

Lexus ranks highest on J.D. Power's dependibility study. But be forewarned: Dependability doesn't always equate to affordability.

By Credit.com Tue 6:10 PM
Couple shopping for car © Don Mason, Blend Images, CorbisBy Christine DiGangi, Credit.com
http://www.credit.com/

Paying for maintenance is inevitable for car owners, but future trips to the auto repair shop aren't often top-of-mind for consumers browsing the dealership lots.

 

Ideally, shoppers have done research on and have some experience with manufacturers and models to help inform a vehicle-purchase decision, but it's difficult to predict how reliable a car will be.


If avoiding the repair shop is your top concern, buying a Lexus is a good bet, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. For the 25th year, J.D. Power published rankings of the best vehicle brands, based on the average number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, as well as a breakdown of most reliable vehicles in 21 body-type categories.

 

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Can you trust Carfax?

If you're thinking about buying a car and the Carfax report comes back clean, you're good to go, right? Um, maybe not. Here are four other ways you can avoid buying a clunker.

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