Stephens, Paul


Paul Stephens works for Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC), a nonprofit consumer organization with a two-part mission - consumer information and consumer advocacy.

Survive Cyber Monday with our Top 10 Online Shopping Tips

By Paul Stephens
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

The phrase "Cyber Monday" was coined several years ago to describe the phenomenon of millions of workers returning to their offices on the Monday after Thanksgiving and spending a good part of the day doing their holiday shopping online. By November 2010, Cyber Monday had become the biggest online shopping day in history and the first to surpass the billion-dollar threshold.

Check Out of Your Checking Account

By Paul Stephens
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Is your bank starting to charge you monthly fees for your formerly free checking account? Has a large, impersonal bank taken over the smaller bank that you were used to? Do you visit your local branch for service, and receive a sales pitch for products that you do not want? For these and other reasons, many consumers have become dissatisfied with their banking arrangements. If you are unhappy with your current bank, this alert will help you navigate the issues involved in switching your checking account to a new financial institution.

Let’s first focus on five privacy issues involved in opening a checking account at a new financial institution:

Holiday Shopping? Ten Timely Tips

By Paul Stephens
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is pleased to offer these ten timely tips to protect you and your privacy during the holiday season. You may be shopping more frequently and under more crowded and frantic conditions. Follow these tips to help avoid scams and rip-offs. Be a privacy-smart consumer!
 
1. Don't Debit. Don't use a debit or check card to pay for your purchases. These cards typically put consumers at much greater risk than credit cards because they offer fewer consumer protections in the event of a loss. Because these cards access funds directly from your bank account, your money may remain missing while you and your bank sort out any theft, which could mean bounced checks, late fees, and
numerous other problems. Your checking account (and related savings accounts) could be wiped out in minutes.