Smart SpendingSmart Spending

BBC video shows how a fake Wi-Fi network can intercept your smart phone's data and expose you to identity theft.

By Karen Datko Dec 3, 2010 6:18PM

As if you didn't have enough to worry about, two British chaps have demonstrated how a phony Wi-Fi hotspot can intercept data from your smart phone. It's the strangest thing we've seen since Firesheep was declared the "threat of the month."

In a BBC video, Tom Beale of security firm Vigilante Bespoke gathered sensitive information from the iPhone 4 of BBC tech writer Rory Cellan-Jones as the smart phone accessed the Web via a fake Wi-Fi network Vigilante had set up. Then Cellan-Jones logged on to Facebook and it went downhill from there.


Smart people of modest means understand that saving money takes time -- sometimes lots of it.

By Karen Datko Dec 3, 2010 2:41PM

This guest post comes from Len Penzo at Len Penzo dot Com.


If you'll indulge me today for just a second, I'm going to offer up a little debt management counseling. Although I haven't conducted a scientific study, I suspect that most people of modest means who are most successful in managing their personal finances understand the importance of being patient.


I've said it before and I'll say it again: People who are debt-free didn't get there because they are impulsive shoppers or always looking for instant gratification. If the money for something isn't in the budget, then they save their money and wait.

When I look back at my own personal situation, patience has played a ginormous role in allowing me to build a healthy nest egg while keeping my debt limited to nothing more than a very manageable $600 monthly mortgage payment.


An unexpected milestone

I was reminded of this again last week after the Honeybee and I bought beautiful new end and coffee tables to cap off our recent remodeling project.


Free music, BOGO coffee and free restaurant gift certificates for friends are among the holiday offerings.

By Teresa Mears Dec 3, 2010 1:50PM

What's better than a deal? Days of deals.


Starbucks is celebrating 12 Days of Sharing by offering a new deal every day through Dec. 12.  To get the deal alerts, text 12DAYS to 29943. You can also see the deals online. Today's deal is a BOGO: Buy one 12-pack of Via instant coffee and get one free.


Amazon also has a gift for you: 25 days of free Christmas music. You can download a new song every day, and it looks as if you can go back and get the songs you missed throughout the month.


You can also get deals during the 12 Days of Whataburger, as well as free Christmas music from Target and People magazine, which we wrote about previously.


Shopping for that special someone, girls? Everybody is different, but here are some things you might want to add to your no-buy list.

By Stacy Johnson Dec 3, 2010 12:50PM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.


It seems to me that, by and large, men are much easier to buy gifts for than women. Although I'm a man, and therefore biased, I think I have a strong case: In general, women want gifts that represent feelings and emotions, which for men tends to result in a lot of head-scratching and trips to the jewelry store.

Men, on the other hand, just want to have fun.


Homelessness among children appears to be rising, yet little is known about it.

By Karen Datko Dec 3, 2010 11:11AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.


One of the odder aspects of the foreclosure crisis is how much the media coverage focuses on the financial fiasco and how relatively little you hear about the actual families who're thrown out of their homes. You don't see congressional committees, for example, asking for testimony from ordinary people.

Yes, there have been stories in The New York Times, here and here, at CBS News and AlterNet, among others. But with 11 million foreclosures possible, you'd think the media would cover this like a war.


"This foreclosure crisis is the largest forced relocation event we've had in this country since the Great Depression," one expert told The Washington Post recently.


Ice cream, burgers, pancakes and more, just for being born.

By Donna_Freedman Dec 3, 2010 10:08AM

Over the next 10 days I'll be eating at Red Robin, IHOP, Qdoba and Cold Stone Creamery. The good news is that all the food will be free because Dec. 5 is my birthday.

The bad news? I have to speak the phrase "Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n' Fruity," the name of the gratis grub being offered at IHOP.


Agency calls on industry and Congress to create more privacy protections for consumers.

By Teresa Mears Dec 2, 2010 4:52PM

The Federal Trade Commission has proposed that Internet users get more privacy from the spying eyes of marketers who are tracking their moves around the Web.


In a 122-page report, "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change" (.pdf file), the FTC staff recommended that marketing firms, technology companies and Congress take steps to protect consumer privacy, including creating a "do not track" mechanism. While "do not track" has been compared with the "do not call" list that keeps telemarketers from interrupting your dinner, "do not track" is a much more complex issue.


The FTC is collecting public comment on what mechanisms would work best. Any significant moves would have to come from industry or Congress.


Congress has said no. So what's next for the millions of people depending on those checks?

By Karen Datko Dec 2, 2010 4:10PM

You've likely read that Congress can't agree to renew extended unemployment benefits, meaning 2 million jobless Americans will lose those checks by the end of December, and 2 million more will join their ranks in the first two months of the new year.


Sounds simple enough, but confusion reigns. Some seem to think the current debate is over whether every unemployed person is entitled to 99 weeks of benefits -- or even more.


That's not what's happening here. To best understand, let's look at the benefits unemployed people have been eligible for in the last two years and what will happen now.



Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.