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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Donít be a Victim of Identity Theft
  Identity theft is a major crime that seems to be getting worse. With all the news surrounding the breaches of credit cards issued by major retailers, more and more people worry about having their identity stolen or their credit cards and bank accounts hacked. A growing number of consumers bank and shop online, which presents a danger for those who don’t know how to ensure the legitimacy of a website. Identity theft has become a large problem, but there are definite steps that can be taken to significantly lower your odds of becoming a victim.First, what is identity theft? It can be defined as the process of a person stealing your personal information and using it without your permission. It can disrupt your finances and credit and can take a lot of time to clean up. There are many ways your identity can be stolen. Thieves may go through your trash to gather mail, documents, and any other discarded items that may have your personal information. Employees of legitimate businesses have been charged with identity theft for stealing credit card information while on the job. Others send emails or snail mail, pretending to be a place of business you are familiar with and asking you to send personal information. And some identity thieves work the old fashioned way, stealing purses and wallets.There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft.First, make sure you read your credit reports. Credit reports will show a history of loans and accounts you have opened. Make sure all the items on your credit report are legitimate expenses. You can get a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.Read your bank and credit card statements, making sure all purchases, withdrawals and transactions were made by you.Shred any documents that have your social security number or any other personal identification information on it.Don’t ever give out personal information to companies who call or email you — legitimate companies don’t do this.Be very cautious when using personal information on your computer. Make sure the sites you visit are secure and your Internet is password protected.Hopefully, you will never be a victim of identity theft. The tips above are just a few things you can do to protect yourself. If your identity is ever stolen, contact one of the national credit reporting agencies and have them put a fraud alert on your file. Get in touch with your credit card companies and bank(s) to let them know your accounts have been compromised. Don’t stall if this happens to
you — acting quickly can limit the long-term effects of identity theft.
 
7:16 am est 

Kick, Punch, & Sweat Away
  This holiday season, don’t let stress get the better of you. There are a number of things you can do to help relieve stress but the best way to deal with stress is to simply avoid it. That being said, some of us might feel like the holiday season turns us into stress magnets … we just attract it. If that is a feeling you can relate to, one of the best ways to relieve stress is with exercise. According to studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic, exercise doesn’t just increase overall health and well-being, it actually has some direct stress-relieving benefits. Any physical activity, increases endorphins – the neurotransmitters in your brain responsible for your feel-good emotions. Exercise also helps improve sleep, increase self-confidence, and decrease symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. If you are ready to reap the benefits of exercise, any physical activity will do the trick, but consider the benefits of martial arts training. What better way to relieve stress then breaking a sweat by hitting a punching bag? When you commit to martial arts training, you have a person, much like a trainer, there to motivate you during your workout. Best of all, you will be learning multiple skills while working out your whole body. Jogging is great and so is weight-lifting but in martial arts class you do so much more. You learn self-defense techniques, and you have the opportunity to train your mind while you train your body. Although it is really a go-at-your-own-pace sport, you do work out with others, so there is a great social aspect to it as well. No matter what your stress-relieving activity is; make sure you DO IT. Do not let the holiday season raise your stress level or your blood pressure. Get out there and do something. If you are interested in martial arts classes, come out and kick, punch, and sweat your stress away with us. 
7:15 am est 


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