12-14-2017  1:00 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Don’t Delay, Sign-up for Affordable Healthcare Today

The deadline to enroll or modify healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is December 15. ...

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

By Melanie Hicken





Are non-physical branch online banks with higher interest rates trustworthy? -- Thuy, San Jose, Calif.

With low interest rates making it a difficult time for savers, opting for one of their branchless counterparts can seem pretty appealing.

The lack of overhead costs for things like branches and tellers means that online banks can afford to offer higher interest rates on savings and money market accounts -- albeit these annual rates are still paltry, typically ranging from 0.6 percent to 1 percent, according to Bankrate.

Internet-only banks offer customers further savings by charging fewer fees than their brick-and-mortar competition. For example, branch-free Ally Bank lets you use any ATM for free.

And while there are some tradeoffs to switching to an online bank, security isn't one of them.

"Brick-and-mortar banks give an appearance of safety, but they are no safer," said Deana Arnett, a Manassas Va.-based financial planner.

In order to protect your money and personal information, be sure to follow these rules when banking online.

Make sure deposits are federally insured. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation protects your money in case your bank fails. Currently, the FDIC will protect up to $250,000 in deposits for each account holder.

Check the bank's website to see if it's insured by the FDIC or you can use the agency's BankFind web tool. In addition to listing a bank's FDIC status, the database includes information on its history and links to its latest financial information.

Beware of copycats. Just because it looks like a popular bank's website doesn't mean it's safe. Scammers will often attempt to trick you through sites that mimic those of real financial institutions.

The FDIC advises that you always make sure you've typed the correct web address before going through with any transaction. And never click on a link within an email since scammers often send fraudulent messages attempting to get your personal information, Arnett said.

Lock out identity thieves. Whenever you use online banking tools, regardless of whether it's through a physical or online-only bank, you should make sure your bank is encrypting your information. Look for a lock or key icon in the web address window of your Internet browser.

You should also carefully craft a banking password that can't be easily guessed by identify thieves. In addition, it's a good idea to use one that's unique from those used for other accounts, such as your email, and to change it regularly.

As long as you follow all these steps, you can bank online in confidence, said Arnett.

"It's a nice world in which to do banking," she said. "You just have to think a little differently."

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