BI-WEEKLY Volume 24, Number 31 - August 12, 2011

Identity Theft Prevention Tips
For College Kids Heading
Back To Campus
Page 7
Page 2
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Page 3
Identity Theft Prevention Tips
For College Kids Heading
Back To Campus
Page 7
Page 4
Page 5
Why Online Learning Might Be A Better Option For Your Student
(ARA) - Today’s middle and high
school students, who have been called
the “iGeneration,” are the frst to crave
and beneft from on-demand educa-
tion - or, in other words, the option
to choose where, when and how they
want to learn.
To put it in context, the iGeneration
(where the “i” stands for “informa-
tion”) has never known life without
the Internet, being mobile, using ava-
tars, instant messaging or choosing
and watching content whether they
are at home, in the car, at a football
game or shopping at the mall. To reach
them in their high-tech, high-touch
world, many parents and educa-
tors are looking at how to rewire
schools to match how the iGenera-
tion learns.
Taking classes online is one way to
give middle and high school stu-
dents (and their school districts)
new options to learn using preferred
tools in a familiar environment.
Through online learning, students
can even experience enhanced, one-
on-one relationships with educators.
Whether they’re in need of more as-
sistance, looking for a wider range of
classes or simply prefer to learn in a
medium that they have grown up with,
online learning can be a great way to
ft your child’s needs.
A recent study conducted by Aventa
Learning found that compared to tra-
ditional learning environments, online
learning is an effective way to teach
students who live in a world of cus-
tomized and instant feedback. Online
learning offers a robust and challeng-
ing curriculum, as 72 percent of online
students spend three or more hours on
homework per week versus 56 percent
of students in traditional schools.
With online learning, teachers are
able to provide a more individualized
learning experience and tailor curricu-
lum to meet each student’s ability and
learning speed. In fact, 54 percent of
online students report feeling appro-
priately challenged when they are do-
ing well in school versus 49 percent of
students in traditional schools. Online
students also receive more attention
from teachers, as 58 percent of online
students get more help when they fall
behind versus 40 percent of students
in traditional schools. The survey
also found that online learning cre-
ates students who are more commit-
ted to attending college, as 78 percent
of online students have more interest
in attending a four-year college after
graduation versus 67 percent of stu-
dents in traditional schools.
Hybrid learning programs
Students are increasingly able to take
online classes in partnership with their
local school districts that are facing se-
vere budget cuts, school closings and
a reduction in faculty. A recent study
released by the Center on Education
Policy found that 68 percent of dis-
tricts expect their total budgets to de-
crease for the 2010-11 school year and
three-fourths anticipate cutting teacher
To combat this problem, these school
districts are turning to online classes
to ensure their students have access
to high-quality curriculum and in-
struction. They use online learning
programs to supplement classroom in-
struction or to offer classes for which
they have no teachers, Advanced
Placement classes for students who
excel and credit recovery options for
students who struggle. In fact, today
1 million children are learning online,
either part-time, full-time or between
school terms. Additionally, more than
20 percent of schools and educational
institutions around the country offer
online classes today, and that number
should grow by another 30 percent
within a couple of years, according
to industry research.
Through online learning or hybrid
programs with traditional schools,
students who take online courses
are scoring above national averages
on both the SAT and ACT tests and
have been accepted into more than
160 colleges and universities, in-
cluding Ivy League schools.
Online learning resources for parents
For parents looking for more options
to enhance their child’s education, offers on-
line learning options to ft all types of
students and learning situations. This
website provides academic solutions
to ft every child’s needs, including op-
tions for home-schooled families, stu-
dents brushing up on skills to compete
at the next level and children facing
challenges in traditional schools. For
parents of students in brick-and-mor-
tar schools, contact your local school
district to fnd out the online learning
options available at your school.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
Page 6
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Identity Theft Prevention Tips For College
Kids Heading Back To Campus
(ARA) - Getting their dorm room orga-
nized, reconnecting with friends they
met last year, making new friends, set-
ting up a class schedule ... college stu-
dents have a lot to look forward to as
they head back to campus.
Identity thieves eagerly an-
ticipate back-to-school time
too, because it often means
more opportunity for them
to purloin someone’s pri-
vate, personal information
for their fnancial gain.
College students may not
perceive themselves as be-
ing at risk from identity
thieves or needing identity
theft protection. After all,
most of them don’t have
much money (so not much
to steal) and they’re pretty
tech savvy about online se-
Those very qualities, how-
ever, leave them at higher
risk of being targeted by
identity thieves, who know
how to take advantage of
college kids’ lack of credit
history and use of online
media. What’s more, col-
lege students who feel se-
cure because they’re tech
savvy may not be aware that
a lot of identity theft still
occurs in traditional ways, like going
through someone’s trash, mail or dorm
room to steal identifying information.
Several factors make college students
ideal targets for identity thieves, in-
* Lack of a credit history - It’s easier
to steal someone’s identity and estab-
lish a credit account if that person has
little or no credit history of their own.
* Use of online social media - Tech-
savvy college kids may not realize just
how much of their personal informa-
tion identity thieves can cull from on-
line social networking sites.
* Dorm/communal living settings -
College dorm rooms and apartments
may be accessed by a huge number of
people every month, many of whom
the student won’t know at all. It’s diff-
cult to maintain a secure environment
in such a living arrangement.
* Easy access to credit ap-
plications - Anyone who’s
ever been on campus has
seen the tables, booths and
kiosks set up to facilitate
credit card applications by
students. Completed ap-
plications are rarely secure
throughout the day, making
it easy for identity thieves to
get their hands on important
identifying information.
* Laissez-faire attitude
- Nearly half of students
polled in a survey by Im-
pulse Research said they
receive frequent credit card
applications, and 30 per-
cent of those students throw
away those applications in-
tact, with all their personal
information still on it and
easily accessible, according
to the website Scambusters.
org. The survey also showed
that nearly 30 percent of
students ignore their check-
ing and credit card balances,
the site reports.
To prevent identity theft, college stu-
dents should follow some simple steps:
* Never keep identifying fnancial in-
formation like PIN or account num-
bers, or important documents like
Social Security cards and birth cer-
tifcates unsecured in dorm rooms
Page 8 Page 8
Page 9
or apartments. Don’t carry anything
more in your wallet or purse than you
absolutely need, such as your driver’s
license, student ID and one credit or
debit card. And never loan any of these
items to anyone else, no matter how
good a friend they seem to be.
* Be wary when ordering clothes,
books, movies and merchandise on-
line and only do business with sites
that have the security lock symbol that
shows they’re taking measures to pro-
tect your information.
* Shred credit card offers before
throwing them away and never com-
plete a credit card application at an
on-campus table or booth - even if
they’re offering a cool free T-shirt just
for applying. Instead, go through the
credit card company’s secure website,
or contact your bank for a credit card
before you get to school.
* Be aware of who’s around you when
you’re using your cell phone or net-
book on campus, and never discuss or
send personal information in public
that could be used to steal your iden-
* Establish an identity theft protec-
tion account before you head back to
school. Sites like
monitor your credit reports daily and
send you an e-mail, text message or
mail alert whenever something chang-
es on your account, like an address or
an application for a new line of credit.
If your identity is compromised, Pro-
tectMyID’s experienced fraud resolu-
tion agents can help resolve issues.
What’s more, the program protects
against the sale of your Social Secu-
rity or account numbers online by us-
ing Internet scanning to detect the use
of your personal numbers online.
You can learn more about identity
theft and how it affects college stu-
dents, as well as how to prevent it, at, the U.S. Department of
Education’s website.
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Page 11 Page 11
How Safe Is Your Debit Card?
(ARA) - Many people choose to use
a debit card over a credit card or cash
because it’s more convenient, but did
you know it can also protect you from
theft and help you better manage your
money? Knowing more about your
debit card’s features will help you get
the most out of your banking relation-
Today, debit cards come with many
built-in security fea-
tures. Having your pho-
to on your card makes
it harder for others to
use it if it’s lost or sto-
len because merchants
can easily identify that
the card belongs to you.
Fraud monitoring re-
views how and where
your card is being used
and helps to block po-
tential fraud if unusual
patterns are detected.
Check to see if your
bank offers these fea-
tures and reimburses
you for purchases you
didn’t make. Make
sure, especially if
you’re shopping on-
line or traveling, that
your bank will protect
you when you need it most. Bank of
America reimburses its customers for
fraudulent card transactions. Its debit
card protection comes automatically
as a feature for all customers.
“We want our customers to be 100
percent confdent that we’re doing
everything we can to protect their ac-
counts from fraud and theft,” says Da-
vid Owen, Bank of America Payments
and Products executive. “Using a debit
card securely should be hassle-free,
and even simple things like adding a
photo ID to your card can make a big
You should also know what fees your
bank may charge and how you can
avoid them. Some people run into
trouble by using their debit card when
they do not have enough funds in their
account to make a purchase. This sim-
ple mistake can lead to unexpected
bank fees that quickly add up. See if
your bank offers online banking, bal-
ance alerts, text or mobile banking
to help you stay in control of your f-
nances on the go. These tools let you
transfer funds between accounts, pay
bills, and check your balance whenev-
er and wherever you choose. Knowing
how much money is in your account or
transferring funds when your balance
is low will help you avoid unexpected
overdraft fees on your debit card.
New regulations are requiring some
banks to change their overdraft fee
policies, which could affect how you
manage your fnances. Make sure you
know how your bank handles debit
card transactions when you don’t have
enough money in your checking ac-
count. No one likes to fnd out that
a $4 cup of coffee cost $40 because
you didn’t realize the purchase would
overdraw your account.
Some banks are taking steps to help.
Bank of America has made changes
beyond what the regulations require
in order to reduce the possibility that
customers will overextend them-
selves with a debit card. When cus-
tomers don’t have enough money in
their checking accounts, everyday
debit card transactions like grocery
store purchases will be declined so
there will be no unexpected overdraft
fees for those transactions. Beginning
this fall, customers may be given the
choice at their ATMs to proceed with
the transaction and be charged a fee if
Page 12
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they don’t have the funds available, or
not to proceed with the transaction and
avoid the fee.
Consumer advocate Martin Eakes,
CEO of the Center for Responsible
Lending, recently said of Bank of
America’s new overdraft policy, “This
is really a big deal. As the largest deb-
it card issuer in the country, Bank of
America has demonstrated true leader-
ship in listening to its customers and
now has the largest base of safe and
consumer-friendly debit cards.”
Some customers may choose to sign
up for overdraft protection services
that link a checking account to another
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credit card, to ensure their transac-
tions are not declined. The bank will
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Page 13
The Scent Of Success: How Aromatherapy
Can Help Your Professional Edge
(ARA) - Scent stirs memory. You can
use aroma to evoke the emotion of
a childhood experience, enhance ro-
mance ... and even hone your competi-
tive edge in the business world.
In an increasingly competitive job mar-
ket, many Americans are seeking every
edge they can get to fnd a job, or keep
the one they have. Stimulating the mind
and memory function can help profes-
sionals feel more alert and “on their
game.” Aromatherapy can be one more
weapon in a professional’s business ar-
Aromatherapy works to stimulate mem-
ory and the mind because our sense of
smell is the only sense directly connect-
ed to the central nervous system. The
nasal bulb, an area of densely packed
neural receptors, sits near the center of
our heads and interfaces directly with
the brain. By contrast, miles of nerve
pathways sit between the ears, eyes and
the brain. Tying visual and auditory ex-
periences to a distinct aroma can help
us process, retain and recall visual and
auditory data more effectively.
Essential oils, the essences plants use
to attract pollinating insects or ward
off disease and predators, are the core
of aromatherapy. They are completely
natural, widely available, and can be
great tools for stimulating mental clar-
ity and the enhancement of memory.
The oil most associated with memory
is rosemary. The scent invigorates and
refreshes while it stimulates the mind.
Tom Havran, product developer for
Aura Cacia pure aromatherapy, makes
this suggestion: Try occasionally sniff-
ing a small bottle of rosemary essen-
tial oil while studying for an exam or
preparing for a work presentation, and
then smelling the oil again during the
test or presentation itself.
Mr. Havran suggests several other
mentally stimulating essential oils that
enhance concentration and alertness,
Sweet basil is great to diffuse at your
desk when that inevitable post-lunch
lethargy starts to sap your productiv-
ity. It’s as easy as placing two to three
drops on a sticky note and positioning it
near the exhaust fan of your computer.
Bergamot orange is loved by almost
everyone who smells it, and the scent
can inspire fantastic brainstorming ses-
sions. Combine fve to six drops per
ounce of water and make a mist to oc-
casionally spritz the atmosphere during
your next meeting.
Peppermint oil is regarded as a cephalic
oil - it’s associated with the head, brain
and nervous system. Use your fnger-
tips to massage a single drop into the
temples to clear the mind and dispel
You might be in the habit of fueling
mental clarity and alertness with cup
after cup of coffee. That’s fne, but per-
haps not as interesting, inspiring or de-
lightful as the beautiful scents and ex-
traordinary benefts provided by pure,
botanically derived essential oils. Try
infusing your old work routine with
some new clarity today.
To learn more about Aura Cacia, a pur-
veyor of 100 percent pure and natural
essential oils and aromatherapy prod-
ucts in the United States, go to www.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
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