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Consumer Affairs

Holidays can be stressful for kids

It's important to retain at least some routine and time for relaxation

While you are busy creating memories by frantically running to the mall, decorating cookies, figuring out how to please everyone, you might not realize the toll it is taking on the people you are trying to make everything so perfect for.

Pack holiday packages well and send them early

USPS, FedEx and UPS specify the last "ship-by" dates to get presents there on time

If you are mailing your holiday package yourself, here are a few suggestions to help you get it off the ground.

Draggin' the line can be tough on your pup

Learning to walk on a leash can take time, but it's worth it

The best way to help you and your dog in this walking adventure is to start them off as a puppy.

Malware alert: ignore that order confirmation email

And especially don't click on any links or download attachments in those emails

With the December holiday-shopping season revving into full gear, the world's thieves, fraudsters and malware writers have been doing the same thing.

Police body cameras: Protecting the populace or violating our privacy?

Like them or not, such technological changes are unavoidable

If you're recorded anytime you come into sight range of a police officer, that can help protect you if the cop misbehaves, perhaps. Otherwise, it merely ensures that there's one more database collecting information about you and your whereabouts.

Fireplaces are cozy but toxic

Roasting chestnuts on an open fire? Not a good idea

I must admit I love my fireplace and reading a good library book with my dogs by my side on the floor. The ambiance and the evening seem perfect. But I wake up wheezing the next morning.

Toy-related injuries on the rise

Foot-powered scooters appear to be largely responsible

Hot on the heels of the U.S. Federation of Public Interest Research Groups' release of its annual Survey of Toy Safety– reporting that some unsafe toys are still on store shelves – researchers have given parents something else to think about. Lots of toys can be dangerous and injure children.

Clean out the clutter, before the holiday brings you more

Your stuff is supposed to make your life better

There's a popular genre of “reality” TV show starring outright hoarders who start with a house infinitely more cluttered than mine ever was, then they hire a bunch of haulers and clear everything out in a single day or two. That makes for dramatic television, but it's not how I de-cluttered my home and basement.

Holiday spending hangover can last months

Here are some good reasons to stay on a budget this season

If shoppers get caught up in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday madness, they can easily go deep into debt without realizing it.

'Tis the season for in-law issues

Family visits can be maddening but they only last a few days

While everyone is out hustling and bustling trying to get the best deals on gifts, some people are just trying to deal period, knowing they are facing their in-laws.

The ins and outs of your fireplace

Yes, a nice fire is cozy but keep these tips in mind

There is nothing cozier than a nice warm fireplace beautifully lit with a big hot cup of cocoa. But there is one sure way to ruin the ambiance and that's when your fireplace smoke fills the room and your smoke detector goes off.

Feeling bad about leaving your dog?

A few days in a pet spa or with a sitter at home won't hurt your hound

Everyone's packed up, you're ready to go but one family member isn't heading out with you -- your dog. Grandma has had enough and the dog isn't coming this year. So you are freaking out about leaving it.

Adobe issues critical new Flash security update

Whether you use Windows, Mac or Linux, you need this patch right away

Adobe has issued new patches, the second this month, to fix critical security errors in Flash for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Court-ordered shutdown and another privacy bombshell hit Uber

Uber suspends Nevada operations and 'looks into' ghost-text messages

The past couple of weeks have been turbulent for ride-sharing company Uber.

Sony agrees to partial refunds for Play Station Vita buyers

Feds said Sony exaggerated the 'game changing' features of the device

Sony has agreed to cough up partial refunds for consumers who bought the PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console during its U.S. launch campaign in late 2011 and early 2012.