Making Financial Transactions Through Apps: How to Protect Yourself

From IPads to smartphones, there are now an endless number of apps that can be used to transfer funds, whether you’re sending or receiving money on Paypal or using your personal banking app to access your account.

Online shopping and other ecommerce apps also require you to input some of your financial details. In fact, any app that is used to process payments can expose you up to security risks.

Here are some ways to protect yourself when making financial transactions using apps.

Make sure the app is secure

It’s not always easy to know whether a hacker created an app to deliberately steal your personal information or take over your bank account. To ensure you are using a legitimate app, only download from a trusted website or from a well-known company. Most major apps from legitimate providers are safe. Oftentimes, banking, money management and e-commerce companies invest heavily in making sure that their sites are secure, and that your information is protected.

Be alert

Although it’s convenient to jump on someone else’s WiFi or do your banking at the local coffee shop, it’s not always safe. Make sure you are accessing your financial apps from a secure web browser with protected connection; mainly your home WiFi that has been protected with a password and two-step identification.

Don’t overshare your information

Be very careful of apps that ask you to share more information than seems necessary for them to work. When you are sharing your credit card information or bank details with a third-party app, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to identity theft and other fraud. One way to prevent a security breach is by looking into the encryption methods used by the app and how it secures your data. Rest assured that most large providers take data security extremely seriously.

Only log on to apps using secure passwords

When it comes to transferring money on a dedicated financial app, be sure to use a dedicated email address and password to sign up, ideally one that you don’t use for anything else. Your login information should be anonymous and not contain pertinent information like your name or or birthdate.

Most financial apps are secure providing they come from a trusted source, but others may not be up to par. With a bit of due diligence and a little research, you can stay safe online. Just make sure you know exactly what app you’re using before sharing any private information.

4 Things That Need To Be Known About Money Laundering

Money laundering has been around ever since money existed and laws were put in place to avoid fraud. We often see numerous reports about companies or individuals caught breaking the law and being involved in some sort of laundering activity. Banks and governments are constantly working on different technology that can be used to track money launderers and dirty money. The problem is that money laundering compliance is never enough since criminals also take full advantage of technology. They use modern strategies like digital currencies or online gambling in order to launder funds. 

Official estimates released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime state that around $2 trillion are laundered every single year around the world. Money laundering can easily allow organized crime to get finances and even gain influence over officials, so it is important that it is properly fought. 

Although many different things need to be known about money laundering, some facts that are particularly important are presented in the following paragraphs. 

Technology Changes Money Laundering

The internet offers a high level of anonymity. This is especially the case when referring to the use of digital currencies that can offer great resources for launderers to hide the trace of the money used. It is very easy to add dirty money to online marketplaces like gaming platforms to then be cashed out as money that is labeled as being clean. 

Such methods are simply updated versions of much older money washing techniques, like the famous mule scam, which had unwitting consumers asked to perform a favor of some kind. Usually, the favor is transferring an asset that can be used by criminals to clean profits by using the accounts of the victim. 

Using digital currencies is a new operation that is used by money launderers. Even online gaming can be used. For instance, there were documented cases in which World Of Warcraft was utilized in order to launder money. 

Money Laundering Through Real Estate

It is possible to make illicit funds seem to be completely legitimate when real estate transactions are used. This usually involves the use of limited liability companies. These buy real estate and shell companies are utilized in order to move money around. Usually, luxury properties are utilized in order to be able to launder larger amounts of money at the same time. 

Honest Organizations Can Be Involved In Illegal Laundering Activities

Most people believe that just shady organizations end up being involved in dishonest money laundering activities. In reality, even large corporations and banks ended up being charged with this crime. A famous case is that of the Wachovia Bank, which ended up settling money laundering allegations in 2010. This was done as the bank made it public that it failed to detect, identify and then report some suspicious transactions. 

Other popular banks that ended up being accused of some sort of money laundering include Credit Suisse, Bank of China and HSBC. 

The Money Laundering Countries

The US State Department dictates that some countries are of a “primary concern” when it comes to money laundering. Their list includes many nations that have financial firms renowned to launder money. Usually, such activity is handled for drug traffickers but this is not the only source. Surprising countries that are on the list include Russia, China and the United Kingdom. The main countries that are now involved in money laundering activities are China and Russia.

While some countries are more prone to be involved in money laundering activities, it does not mean that there are no cases present in any other country. In fact, many companies in the US were charged with this and had to pay really hefty fees in the process.

How to Make an International Career as a Taxation Expert

       Although the field of tax accounting is heavily tied with the legislation and economy of the country where you earned your degrees and certification, if you want to advance your career and work at a higher level with more opportunities for travel or cultural exchange, you should consider an international career as a taxation expert.

Get a Job in a Multinational Company

       In a globalized world, business success means expanding outside the borders of the country and taking over major foreign markets. With so many companies and corporations running business all across the world, the need for taxation experts able to juggle with various tax legislation has grown exponentially.

       If you want to use your accounting degree to work in the global economy, you should learn more about this career. Getting certified as an international tax manager is your ticket to finding employment in multinational corporations and businesses. This career track, however, requires you to be highly skilled and have in-depth familiarity with foreign tax policies.

You will ensure that your company respects the tax regulations of the countries where it runs operations but also the international tax policy of both the home and host country. If a company does not conduct activity across borders but has foreign investments, these must also be supervised by an international tax manager. And you can be that person.

Provide Your Expertise to Expats and Digital Nomads

       If you like the idea of a career with a worldwide focus, consider becoming an expatriate tax manager, also known as a global mobility tax manager. Practically, this is a narrow specialization for international tax managers as it revolves around providing expats and, more recently, digital nomads and international freelancers, with tax services.

As an expatriate tax manager, you will make sure that your clients comply with the tax policy of their home country, place of residence, and international tax policies. This job provides many opportunities for career development and depending on your employer, the chance to work abroad can present itself too.

       Naturally, to advance to this role, you will need industry qualifications and solid work experience. Excellent risk management, strong organisation and other transferable skills are a great component of success for expatriate tax managers. Some employees might have a preference for candidates with management experience too.  

Career Tips 

       To move from general tax practice to a global career in international taxation, tax experts must spend significant time developing both career-specific and interpersonal skills and building their credibility. They need to act as reliable advisors for companies and clients to earn the required experience in all facets of taxation.

       Once you follow the right steps, an international career in taxation is more than possible. However, if you haven’t taken courses in international accounting, you might have to enter into a master’s degree program that offers a concentration in international accounting or show equivalent work experience.  

Another way to increase your chances of success is to learn a foreign language. Bilingual candidates with sound expertise in international tax laws and regulations are highly sought-after by multinational companies and businesses that operate abroad. The ability to work in two languages will help you achieve your responsibilities as an international tax expert much more efficiently as there will be no need for intermediaries.

 

 

These 3 Tips Can Help You Find a Place to Rent in Toronto

Toronto has a lot to offer its residents, such as employment opportunities, good public transport, highly rated schools, colleges, and universities, top-of-the-line amenities, entertainment venues, exotic eateries, and multiculturalism. 

Because of these factors, Toronto is growing faster than any other city in Canada, and the resulting demand for housing has caused rental vacancy rates to drop to historically low levels

While it can be challenging for tenants to find a home in the city, it’s not impossible. Landlords receive many applications and have the luxury of looking for reliable renters. As a prospective tenant, you can set yourself apart from other applicants by following these tips:

#1 Get Professional Help 

You can improve your chances of finding a place to rent in the city by seeking professional help. It’s important to use the services of a Toronto rental agency that’s experienced, uses a proven formula, and won’t waste your time, instead of an inexperienced real estate agent who is too busy juggling multiple clients to understand your needs and is more interested in collecting their cut. Remember, it costs nothing to use such an agency’s services as a renter, so stack the odds in your favour. 

#2 Do Your Research

Before you start sending applications, do your research. Center on areas where you’d like to live and check the rental rates. Match this with your income. It’s recommended that you budget 30 percent of your earnings for rent. If the rent is more than 30% of your income, then your application may be rejected. 

Many properties include some or all utilities such as gas, water, electricity, internet, and more. Read the details of a listing carefully before making an offer. A home with higher rent that includes all utilities could be more cost-effective than a cheaper home where you’re responsible for paying more bills.

#3 Have Your Documents in Order

Due to the fast-paced nature of the city’s rental market, it’s vital to have your documents ready. This is especially true nearer to the city’s core, where renters are closer to businesses and can avoid the cost of vehicle ownership. 

It’s not unusual for high-demand rental properties to field multiple applicants at once. To avoid vacancy, usually, a landlord selects the first good candidate who submits all their paperwork. Have as many of the following documents ready when you start looking for a place to rent:

    • A credit report from Equifax
    • Character letters from professionals unrelated to you

 

  • Reference letters from previous landlords that support your candidacy as a reliable renter
  • A job letter from your employer that verifies your employment

 

  • A photo ID 

If you lack a rental history or if your credit report is less than ideal, then don’t panic. You can improve your candidacy by offering a co-signer or a personal letter explaining your situation. Alternatively, consider renting with a roommate until you can rebuild your credit. And if you’re self-employed, then you may need to prove your income with bank statements or a Statement of Business Activities

These three tips can help you find a place to live in Toronto. By staying organized, vigilant, and using a little professional help, you can establish yourself as an excellent candidate.

Try a Fresh Budgeting Technique to Get Debt Under Control

Managing money isn’t easy at the best of times. When you’re deep in debt to credit card companies, utility providers, or the bank, you have even less room for emergency expenses and everyday costs, not to mention the fun stuff.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably tried budgeting before. Keeping track of everything you buy and struggling to keep your spending down is a challenge. It’s boring and you constantly feel like you’re depriving yourself of something. 

There might be a different way to think about and practice budgeting that doesn’t feel like such a challenge. It’s centered around the idea that once you know your fixed costs, you can create a simple spending budget and spend without worrying too much about it.

What If Budgeting Alone Isn’t Enough?

Before continuing, you should know that it’s not always possible to budget your way out of debt. Almost half of Canadians report being only $200 away from insolvency, meaning they can’t make all of their debt obligations and bills for the month. In British Columbia, 19% say they already don’t make enough to cover bills and debt payments. 

In circumstances like these, more extreme measures may be necessary to clear your debt. Bankruptcies and consumer proposals are handled by Licensed Insolvency Trustees in Canada. Find out more information on debt relief in Canada at Debt Help BC. They provide bankruptcy help and consumer proposals in Vancouver Island, and can assess your eligibility for debt relief. 

Step 1: Track Your Spend Automatically

You’re never going to stick to tracking your expenses manually. Even if you keep it up for weeks, eventually you’re going to let it slip. You’re busy and recording every little expense while you run errands isn’t a priority.

Instead, make it easy on yourself by using the single card method, where all your purchases go on one card. If you’re struggling with debt and maxed out credit cards, use your debit card. Otherwise, as long as you pay the full balance each month and you keep an eye on the balance, there’s nothing wrong with using credit.

Step 2: Create a Simple Spending Budget

How much you spend each month isn’t nearly as important as how much cash you actually have available. To figure that out, follow this formula:

After Tax Income – (Fixed Monthly Expenses + Debt Payments) = Spending Budget

Your fixed monthly expenses are everything you predictably pay each month: rent, mortgage, insurance, car payments, bills, etc. How big your debt payments are is partly up to you. When you make minimum payments, you can wind up repaying even relatively small balances for decades. The more you pay now, the less you pay in interest charges.

The rest is for everything else, from groceries to nights out to car repairs. Keeping an emergency fund or a bank account buffer for the irregular but necessary expenses can help out, and mean you don’t have to go hungry because you needed to pay for roof repairs.

Step 3: Automate Your Finances

Set automatic payments for bills, credit cards, tax payments, and savings contributions. That way, you don’t have to worry about late fees and penalties. Putting your money on automatic also gives you less room to make mistakes, such as spending money you were supposed to save or put toward a bill.

If you’re sick of tracking every single expense, try this new way of budgeting. Find an easy way to keep an eye on your spending, know how much cash you have, and automate the rest.

Novel Tools are Improving Stock and Currency Trading Around the World

The stock market is sure to see major returns in 2020, as it continues to capitalize on one of the longest-running bull markets in history. Now, there are new tools available that are changing the way people buy and sell stocks, mutual funds, and other equities. Those who know about these tools will be able to take advantage of the trends, capitalizing on their return potentials in 2020.

One of the major tools that is making waves is called auto chartist. For those who don’t know, auto chartist is a technical pattern scanner. This tool has been designed to take a look at the market as a whole and help users identify patterns throughout the market more quickly. This provides them with a significant advantage when trading currencies other equities. Auto chartist is particularly effective in MT4, which is an electronic trading platform that is used to trade on foreign markets. For those looking to diversify their investments, auto chartist and MT4 can provide access to more markets than ever before.

Another tool that can be helpful to people looking to get more involved in equity trading is called a stock screener. A stock screener can help someone look through the market quickly based on the criteria they have defined. This might include P/E ratios, share price, volatility, market cap, and more. This can help someone narrow down the countless options on the market to find the equities that are right for them. Instead of spending countless hours looking through all of the various ticker symbols, individuals can be presented with a handful of choices that might be right for their needs using a stock screener.

Finally, trade generating tools can also be helpful. In the world of stocks, there are countless ideas for trades. In addition to the typical market orders, there are also stop loss and limit orders along with countless options. This can make it hard for someone to find the trades that are right for them. Trade generating tools are designed to help people come up with ideas for interesting trades. They will take a look at someone’s portfolio (if desired) and compare this to what is happening within the market. Then, the tool will pitch ideas for trades.

These are only a few of the many tools that are making waves in the world of trading in 2020. With the market continuing to rise at a record pace, everyone is looking to jump in and take advantage of the returns. These tools can help people maximize their returns and grow their assets. It will be exciting to watch the markets continue to roll in 2020 and beyond.

Insurance. Do You Need It?

Insurance is one of those words that put fear into our hearts. Why? Insurance means paying out money, and in some cases, a lot of it. The question you need to ask yourself is; do I need this insurance? If so, can I get it cheaper?

What Insurance Do I Need?

Everyone has their own set of circumstances, and each one requires (or doesn’t) different levels of insurance. So how do you decide what you need? Let’s look at the major ones:

Contents Insurance

Many people confuse home and contents insurance. Home insurance covers the physical building, and contents insurance covers all your furniture and other items inside the building. Once again, this can be costly if you don’t really need it. 

 

If, for example, your most expensive asset is your laptop or mobile phone, then you probably don’t need contents insurance. However, if you have priceless works of art, designer watches, or lavish jewelry, then it’s a no-brainer to take out this type of insurance.

Life Insurance

The question to really ask about whether you need life insurance is, who will benefit when you die? If you are the primary income generator for your family, and they rely on this income, you need life insurance. If you’re a single person with a couple of cats, do you need to pay for costly life insurance? Probably not.

Travel Insurance

Travel agents worldwide want to sell you travel insurance, as they make quite a hefty commission on it. Do you need this? In a word – yes! If you get injured while on holiday, especially in a foreign country, the medical bills could bankrupt you. Travel insurance will cover most accidents and emergencies away from home, and even cover return flights if the injury is severe.

How to Save on Insurance

Insurance comes in many forms, and with just a bit of research, you can find many ways to save on this.

Life Insurance

Every financial institution wants to sell you life insurance. It’s a big money-maker for them. Check with your employer; they often have group plans that you can be a part of, and the rates are much less, as more people are included in the policy.

Travel Insurance

If you’re buying this from a travel agent, ask them for a discount. They have quite a high percentage of commission they can choose to deduct if they really want the sale, so ask away. Online is a great way to buy, and you can compare as many companies as you want. Many websites offer this service.

 

Don’t forget, we have national medical insurance to cover us, so travel insurance probably isn’t necessary if you’re just traveling around the country.

Tips to Help You Save on Insurance

Here are some quick tips to help you save money when purchasing insurance.

How You Pay Matters

Paying annually for a policy usually offers a considerable discount than paying monthly or weekly. Even though it’s a significant initial outlay, it’s worth it in the long-run.

Tax Deductions

Depending on your situation, some insurance policies can be expensed as a tax deduction. According to Faris CPA, you are best to seek professional help to understand exactly what deductions you can claim.

Shop Around

Don’t buy the first policy that you come across. Compare quotes, take out any extras that you don’t need, and buy from reputable companies. It’s not always smart to purchase a super-discounted policy from a company you’ve never heard of. Will they still be around to cover any claims?

Be Healthy

People with healthy lifestyles get cheaper policies. People who don’t smoke, and exercise regularly will benefit from a better monthly charge than those who lead a more sedentary life.

Make the Right Choice

Once you’ve decided which insurance coverage you need, do your research, shop around, and choose the right policy for you. Don’t get caught up on false promises; cover only what you need.

Investing In Cryptocurrency: Join The Economical Revolution

The revolution is upon us; institutional investors are investing, banks and governments are realizing that crypto has the power to take their control away. This is the dawn of a new economy and we each have the choice to be a part of it or to stand by and observe, but be warned, if the adoption trend continues, it will become impossible for the average person to afford one whole Bitcoin soon. As markets show signs of recession and local currencies devalue, Bitcoin is starting to look like the way out, and most agree, there is already no going back. So, if you are wondering whether or not you should invest in cryptocurrencies, the following may help you decide.

Steady Increase In Popularity

As with traditional currencies, one of the impacting factors that determine the value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is merely the fact that people say it has value. In other words, currencies value is partially determined by its popularity. Therefore, the stable ongoing increase in popularity of Bitcoin suggests that it would be a great idea to get your foot in the door by investing in crypto. There are several ways to buy Bitcoin online, although, it is best to determine which methods are most convenient for you as you will need a paper wallet to get started storing your coins. 

Gradual Increase Of International Scale Acceptance

As Bitcoin and other digital currencies grow in popularity, more and more businesses and enterprises are starting to accept digital currencies. In addition to this, more regions are lifting prior restrictions on purchasing, trading, and spending Bitcoins. This basically means that the entire world will soon accept digital currencies as a currency. The mere fact that digital currencies have proven to be more than just a passing fad suggests that they could very well become the modern currency of choice for consumers as well as businesses.

Invest Now To Turn Profits

Almost everyone that has invested in Bitcoin feels that they should have invested a lot sooner as the rapid increase in the value of the digital currency has made a select few money-savvy professionals quite an impressive profit. Whether you are considering purchasing Bitcoins to use as a currency or you are hoping to make a profit through investing or trading, countless people have managed to turn over a large profit by determining how to take advantage of the volatility of the currencies.

Real-Time Transactions

Waiting for payments to clear is frustrating for people all around the world as most banks require processing time. However, when it comes to Bitcoin, real-time transaction promises are one of the most appealing elements of the currency. Not having to wait at all when buying, selling, and even trading has become a most notable advantage for Bitcoin users. Whether you are sending money to a loved one a thousand miles away, or you are trading coins to take advantage of profits, you won’t have to wait at all, thanks to the incredible dynamics of blockchain technology.

3 ways through which the world is becoming more connected

A few centuries ago, traveling a short distance could be a very serious issue. Most people used leg and had to use days to complete a journey that would take cars a few hours and airplanes a few minutes to complete. Traveling over water required the use of boats that were also slow and had a high risk of capsizing. However, the world is currently more connected than ever even as more research is being carried out about how to make the world even more connected. 3 major ways through which the world is becoming more connected today are discussed.

Flights
The airplane is one of the major achievements of the twentieth century. The century witnessed the first successful flight to tens of thousands of flights taking off and landing across the world daily. The implication was that it was now possible for people to move across continents within minutes and hours depending on how far the continents were from each other. A journey that would take a week on a ship could easily be achieved by an airplane within a few hours. Thus, it is now easier for people to travel to any country of their choice by just sparing a few hours for the trip itself and boarding a flight. To make flying even more affordable for those that are on a budget, there are now platforms such as KLM flights and Skyscanner that compare the price of various airlines so that an individual can easily opt for the cheapest among their favorite airlines.

Phone calls
Just as we were starting to get used to the idea of flying, telephones were also invented. What started as landlines that needed to be installed in homes, quickly metamorphosed into mobile phones that could be moved around while being used to make and receive calls. Mobile phones were further developed to become smarter and in all of these, they helped to make the world more connected. You don’t have to travel a long distance before you can hold a simple conversation with someone in another country or continent. You also don’t have to endure the long wait of letters getting delivered and replies being sent, especially when it comes to urgent matters. Thus, the fact that you can instantly call, speak to a person and hear the person’s voice in real-time is a major factor that made the world more connected. It is also on the success of the phone calls that the Internet was built.

Internet
The Internet is easily one of the most powerful technologies in the world today. It has made the world become connected in many ways. Apart from instant messaging, video calls and other forms of communication that the Internet affords, there are other ways it is making the world connected. For instance, it is now possible to transfer money across the world and to maintain an account in a particular country and access it in another country. Furthermore, information sharing has never been easier as you can with the aid of the Internet, share information that can be retrieved, viewed and even edited in real-time across the world. The Internet has thus, caused a major revolution in making the world more connected and continues to do so.

4 ways to spend less on a holiday

If you are planning to go on holiday, it is important to ensure that you plan properly. In most cases, you should start planning and saving for the holiday for months. With this, you would already make up your mind on the country and city you intend to visit, what you should spend and how to raise the money by the date you intend to leave. You also get other benefits like preparing early and making early payments that could come with discounts or at cheaper prices. If you are seeking ways to spend less during a holiday, here are some major things you should do.

Use comparison websites
Many websites provide a comparison of different categories of services that you would need during your trip. This includes flight comparison websites like CheapOAir to other websites that compare prices for car rentals, accommodation, and tickets to tourist attractions among others. When you use the services of this type of website, you would be able to find the cheapest services to use during your trips. With this, you would be able to save money on virtually every aspect of your trip. This will make it possible for you to achieve more during your trip or save some money to go back with.

Book early
Another way to enjoy discounts when you are traveling is to book early for the services you would need. In most cases, tickets are mostly more available at an earlier time to every date. Thus, they would most likely be available at a cheaper price. As the date gets closer, demand continues to increase and so does the price. A flight ticket that you could get for 100 USD if you booked 2 weeks earlier could quickly rise to as high as over 500 USD for the same class of seats if the seats left are less than 3 and there is an indication that several more people would want to take the flight. The same applies to other aspects of your trip including tickets to tourist attractions.

Look for discounts
Another way you can save money when you are going on a holiday is to look out for a discount. For instance, you could get a discount for buying a return ticket as opposed to buying a single-way ticket. You might also get a discount from a hotel for paying for 7 nights as you book as opposed to paying one night at a time. You can also get discounts during your shopping by buying everything you need in an all-in-one store that would boost the amount you have as opposed to buying from different stores.

Eat at cheaper restaurants
Another way to save money is to eat at cheaper restaurants as much as possible. You might want to occasionally give yourself a treat and eat one or two expensive meals. However, you would observe that there is not much difference between the expensive meals and eating at cheaper local restaurants especially when it is the local food in the city you are visiting. You could easily save over 100 USD on each meal by just eating in smaller local restaurants as opposed to the classy expensive restaurants.