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Consumer Affairs

FTC urges caution as Internet of Things expands

Interconnected devices are fine but the humans need watching

The Internet of Things -- interconnected devices like appliances and security alarms -- are fine but it's important to protect them against errant humans, a report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions.

Google, Cablevision ready to wade into wireless wars

You thought Uber was disruptive? Wait til you see this

What was once called the cellphone business is about to face the kind of disruption that has left everything from newspaper barons to taxi drivers wondering where their next meal is coming from.

It's getting expensive to have a dog that's considered dangerous

Liability attached to a "dangerous" breed may be more than most consumers can afford

If you have a dog that’s generally considered dangerous, you'd better start cutting back on dog treats or maybe get a smaller house and a cheaper car, because you are going to have a hefty insurance premium -- if you can even find a policy.

1 in 5 Americans admit to financial infidelity

What the spouse doesn't know can hurt them

About 1 in 5 say they have spent $500 or more without telling their partner. Then there are the independents who make up 6% and maintain a hidden checking or savings account and use secret credit cards.

Problem: genuine AT&T texts look too much like phishing bait

Watch out, because the standard scam-detection rules don't apply here

AT&T customers beware: you're far more vulnerable to phishing scams than customers of other companies, thanks to AT&T's text protocols – or the lack thereof.

Small improvements can make a big difference in your home's value

Renters are once again looking to buy; is your home ready?

Perhaps it's time for an upgrade just to modernize your home a bit or to start prepping for a sale.

Real chocolate or compound chocolate? We won't get fooled again

Another reason to check the ingredients before you buy candy

The FDA lists standards for various types of “Cacao products,” including “breakfast cocoa,” “cocoa,” “sweet chocolate,” “milk chocolate,” and more. Basically, to legally qualify as real chocolate (as opposed to a “chocolaty” or chocolate-flavored product), a minimum percentage of the candy must come from actual cacao beans, including fat derived from genuine cocoa butter.

Can fast food stores really pay their people $15 an hour?

Massachusetts researchers say they can without impacting jobs or profits

Stagnant wages in the U.S. economy have put increasing pressure on businesses that pay the lowest wages to increase their workers' hourly pay.

What happens when the pipes freeze

It could turn into The Nightmare on Your Street

When water in a pipe freezes, it expands and puts tremendous pressure on both metal and plastic pipes. If the pipe breaks, it can easily release a torrent of water into the building.

Zero-day exploit leaves Adobe Flash vulnerable to hackers

Thursday's security update didn't work

On Thursday, Adobe released a new security update initially intended to patch a zero-day security flaw in Flash – but mere hours after releasing the patch, Adobe admitted that hackers had already figured out how to work around it.

How to deal with a hostile boss

Believe it or not, researchers say you should be hostile right back

When the boss gets on your case your life can be miserable. But when a demanding attitude crosses the line to hostility, it can be even worse.

Utility bill scammers cheat small business out of $1,000

Hang up on any caller who threatens to cut off your electricity – even if the caller claims to be from the electric company

Thieves have used the “utility bill scam” to try cheating honest people out of their money for about as long as utility companies have existed.

January is the month for fantasy planting

It's a good time to order the seeds you'll need in a few months

This is it, this is the month that all the seed catalogs come out and try to warm your heart by letting you know that spring is right around the corner.

Study finds needy, neurotic people are kind to their pets

Helicopter parents may make good pet parents

Helicopter parents now have a place where they can engage in that style of parenting and feel the wrath of criticism. Some experts think that it might be very beneficial if the child that you’re parenting has four legs. Rejoice overprotective parents -- a new study says this style of parenting could be what's right for your pet.

Scam alert: this job offer is really an envelope-stuffing scheme

Real jobs expect to pay you. Scam jobs expect you to pay them

If you're looking for a job, bear in mind that there are plenty of people out there who already have a job. Unfortunately, their job is separating you from your money.