Offered a free year of Netflix? Not so fast

By Better Business Bureau of Virginia
Posted on February 15, 2021

Between the winter weather and COVID-19, most people are spending a lot of time at home. Streaming services, such as Netflix or Hulu, are more popular than ever. Watch out for scams cashing in on this opportunity. BBB Scam Tracker has gotten numerous reports of a text messaging con tricking would-be watchers with the offer of “free” Netflix for a year. How the scam works You... READ MORE

Can you trust your mobile payment app?

By Liz Weston
Posted on February 08, 2021

Money transfer apps including Venmo, Cash App and PayPal have surged in popularity during the pandemic as people seek safe, contactless ways to send and receive money. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the limitations of these payment platforms or how they can put someone’s finances at risk. Like over-the-counter medicines, payment apps can be safe when used as directed — ... READ MORE

More will have free access to doctor’s notes

By Carla K. Johnson
Posted on December 07, 2020

More U.S. patients will soon have free, electronic access to the notes their doctors write about them under a new federal requirement for transparency. Many health systems opened up records on November 2, the original deadline. At the last minute, federal health officials gave an extension until April 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Britta Bloomquist of Duluth, Minnesota,... READ MORE

Many ways to track down old friends online

By Jim Miller
Posted on December 04, 2020

Dear Savvy Senior, I’m interested in tracking down some old friends I’ve lost touch with over the years. What websites can you recommend that can help me find them? —Tracking Tom Dear Tom, Thanks to the internet, tracking down long-lost friends from many years ago is relatively easy to do and, in most cases, it won’t cost you a cent. Here are some tips and online tools to... READ MORE

Trying online banking? FAQs answered

By Chanelle Bessette
Posted on November 30, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic leads banking customers to lean into technology to manage their money, those trying online banking for the first time may find themselves with questions about how to handle things previously done in person or with paper documents. If you’re stuck on how to handle some of the practical aspects of online banking, here are answers to common questions: Should I... READ MORE

Elon Musk dreams of chips in our brains

By Barbara Ortutay
Posted on November 16, 2020

Elon Musk isn’t content with electric cars, shooting people into orbit, populating Mars and building underground tunnels to solve traffic problems. He also wants to get inside your brain. His startup, Neuralink, wants to one day implant computer chips inside the human brain. The goal is to develop implants that can treat neural disorders — and that may one day be powerful enough to... READ MORE

Avoid dirty money with no-touch payment

By Gregory Karp
Posted on November 09, 2020

If you’re looking for a self-improvement task in this pandemic era, try teaching yourself to use contactless payments with your phone or “tap-to-pay” credit and debit cards. Any germaphobe will tell you that the surfaces of bills and coins have always been gross. And handing your credit card to a cashier who has the sniffles and a hacking cough? Even in pre-pandemic times,... READ MORE

Will telehealth visits outlive pandemic?

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
Posted on October 21, 2020

Telehealth is a bit of American ingenuity that seems to have paid off in the coronavirus pandemic. Medicare temporarily waived restrictions predating the smartphone era, and now there’s a push to make telemedicine widely available in the future. Consultations via tablets, laptops and phones linked patients and doctors when society shut down in early spring. Telehealth visits dropped... READ MORE

How to spot fake news and propaganda

By Jim Miller
Posted on October 05, 2020

Dear Savvy Senior, Are there any resources you know of that can help people detect fake news? My 75-year-old mother shares a lot of misinformation she sees on Facebook with her family and friends. I’ve talked to her about it, but for some reason she has a difficult time deciphering real news from fake news and propaganda. —Frustrated Daughter Dear Frustrated, Unfortunately, ... READ MORE

Special masks can help hard of hearing adults

By Beacon staff
Posted on September 08, 2020

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), masks can make communication difficult for the approximately 48 million Americans with hearing loss. Masks muffle sound and take away a person’s ability to read lips and see facial expressions, which help people better understand what they’re hearing. “Widespread mask use at this critical juncture in the pandemic ... READ MORE