Moving Away From the ROH
By Christopher W. Pinkham
Another summer concludes and the annual transformation of households begins: packing college students for another year away from the Rules of Home (ROH)! Your immediate reaction must be, why not highlight events at the Pinkham household? After all, the parents have survived (just barely) a summer with two 20-year-old males (in a world of 21-year-old males and females). They packed up the U-Haul with smiles that compete with the Staples commercial of recent years showing parental jubilation at the thought of returning their brood to life on campus. It must be time to return to the classroom, to dorm life and away from the ROH.
No, I speak to the world of transitioning the finances of those 20-somethings. Gone are the questions, Dad, do you have a twenty? Am I paying for this oil change or are you and Mom? Do you know how much they get for a parking ticket these days? Did you know that everybody has flat screens!
Need I say any more to parents of college students (or high schoolers for that matter)? Our economy and our pocketbooks are driven by the “back-to-school surge.” I just read that back-to-school retail sales are now second only to Christmas in the eyes of every mall owner!
Banking connection? You guessed it: Time for my annual scam, phishing and identity-theft warning. This information below and more can be found at www.nophishing.org:
• Never provide confidential information unless you started the conversation. Never answer an e-mail, pop-up, phone call, letter, etc. that asks for personal information. Legitimate companies do NOT ask for this information, ever!
• Be suspicious! Because something is written down in an e-mail or in a pop-up does not mean that it is true and legitimate.
• Do not click on a link provided in an e-mail or enter information in a pop-up window. Go to the Web site yourself and from there navigate to the area of interest.
• Use anti-malware solutions that are updated. This will stop the installation of crimeware on your computer that could harvest your information.
• Do not use public computers or wireless networks to conduct confidential activities. This includes wi-fi hot spots, kiosk computers and cybercafés.
• Shred all documents that contain personal, sensitive or confidential information.
Now have a great year away at school – away from the ROH.
Christopher W. Pinkham is president of the Maine Association of Community Banks.