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A First Look at SaveUp.com: Get Rewarded for Being Smart With Money [Giveaway!]

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A First Look at SaveUp.com: Get Rewarded for Being Smart With Money [Giveaway!]

Talking about money and the economy can sure be depressing for most, especially since we haven’t seemed to shake the “Great Recession” and many areas of the world are under financial pressure. But, as some think we are starting to “come out of” the worst of it, we all can afford to look forward and try to reach our financial goals. And, since we are doing that, it may be cool to be rewarded for it.

In a nutshell

    SaveUp is a new service that rewards you for saving money, paying down your debt, and learning about finances. By adding your bank accounts, loan providers, and credit card accounts to your profile, you collect “credits” that you can use to play against certain giveaways. These giveaways aren’t like little dinky $10 Amazon cards or anything; we’re talking Home Gaming Set Up’s worth $5,000, or Round-Trip Tickets worth $400. As of today there is even a SaveUp Super Jackpot worth $2 million.

    Talk about motivation for learning about money and saving.

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    The process

      Prizes at SaveUp are pretty crazy.

      After signing up for a SaveUp you are directed to your Home area where you can view some of the prizes as well as start to put some of your credits towards them.

      When I first signed up I started with 30 credits and 3 plays. When playing a prize it will tell you how many credits you are going to use. After you have played you are down one of your “plays” for the day.

        Watch videos about money to get credits.

        You can get new credits in all kinds of ways. You can add new checking and savings accounts, add debt or loan accounts, watch videos related to learning about money and finance, accepting and completing challenges, and the big one, by paying down your debt and saving money. At first, it’s pretty easy to rack up some tickets, but you have to remember that you can only play 3 times per day.

        Thoughts

        There is a lot that SaveUp has going for it. The idea that you can win incredible prizes for adding accounts, learning about money, and saving and paying down your debt is extremely compelling.

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        If you are worried about the security of your accounts, that isn’t a bad thing. The good news is that SaveUp uses the same type of encryption that Mint and other financial instituions use (256-bit SSL), making it just as secure. Of course, you should always be careful with your online accounts, but if you practice the same safe password practices that you do with your other accounts, you shouldn’t have any issues.

          Winning more credits.

          Another awesome touch that SaveUp offers is that even if you obtain a ton of credits, you can only use 3 plays per day, making people that pay more in debt and save more not have an unfair advantage. That means us Joe Shmoes have the same chances as Mr. Money Baggs on the hill. Not bad.

          The prizes that you can win are serious. Like I said earlier these prizes are in the thousands and even millions. That’s pretty crazy if you think about it.

          Pools are a new feature that SaveUp added that allow you to add friends and family to your profile and then use them to play different prizes. This helps increase your chances of winning as well as encourage all of your groups to save and pay down debt with you.

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          On another note, the design and interface of SaveUp is appealing and intuitive. You aren’t bogged down by too many settings or confusing options making the user experience really good.

          Conclusion

          I think that SaveUp is great. If you can get around the idea of using your saving and debt paying as a way to play games and potentially win prizes then SaveUp is probably one of the best ways that I have seen to motivate you to do what is right with your money.

          Oh, and by the way, because we at Lifehack like you so much and the people at SaveUp are so darn cool, we are partnering up with them to offer Lifehack readers (US only) a chance to win $500! You can use the $500 any way you want, but we suggest using it to pay down debt, to start a savings account or 401K, or maybe even use it to by some of those shiny productivity tools you have been eying up.

          All you need to do is signup for The Lifehack Letter, Lifehack’s new, monthly newsletter that will bring you exclusive content and special offers. After signing up and verifying your email address, you will be sent a special link that you can use to create a new SaveUp account and have access to the $500 giveaway!

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          The Fine Print

          Employees of SaveUp.com and of Stepcase (including current independent contractors of both) are not eligible for this contest. The winner of the $500 will be announced by SaveUp on 3/6/2012 via email. This prize will only be accessible to readers that use the special link that is sent in The Lifehack Letter welcome email. Any questions about rules and terms visit SaveUp’s rules and terms pages.

          Good luck!

          More by this author

          CM Smith

          A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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          Last Updated on November 25, 2021

          Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

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          Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

          With all of the recent online services and companies falling under attack to hackers in the past few months, it seems only fitting to talk about password creation and management. There are a lot of resources out there discussing this, but it never hurts to revisit this topic time and again because of its importance.

          Password management isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do, yet it does seem like a bit of an annoyance to most people. When it comes to password management, you will hear the famous line, “I don’t really care about changing my passwords regularly. I have nothing important online anyways.” Let’s see if you have nothing important online when your PayPal account gets taken over because you thought the password “password” was good enough.

          In my opinion, it is an “internet user’s” responsibility to make sure that they keep secure passwords and update them on a regular basis. In this article we will discuss how to make your online presence more secure and keep it secure.

          The easy fundamentals

          First thing is first; creating a strong password.

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          A strong password is a mixture of alpha-numeric characters and symbols, has a good length (hopefully 15 characters or longer), and doesn’t necessarily represent some word or phrase. If the service you are signing up for doesn’t allow passwords over a certain length, like 8 characters, always use the maximum length.

          Here are some examples of strong passwords:
          * i1?,2,2\1′(:-%Y
          * ZQ5t0466VC44PmJ
          * mp]K{ dCFKVplGe]PBm1mKdinLSOoa (30 characters)

          And not so good examples
          * sammy1234
          * password123
          * christopher

          You can check out PC Tools Password Generator here. This is a great way to make up some very strong passwords. Of course the more random passwords are harder to remember, but that is where password management comes into play.

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          Managing your passwords

          I know some people that keep their passwords in an unencrypted text file. That’s not a good idea. I suppose that if you aren’t doing much online and are decent at avoiding viruses and such, it could be OK, but I would never recommend it.

          So, where do you keep your strong passwords for all the services that you visit on a daily basis?

          There are a ton of password safes out there including KeePass, RoboForm, Passpack, Password Safe, LastPass, and 1Password. If and when I recommend any of these I always count on LastPass and 1Password.

          Both LastPass and 1Password offer different entry types for online services logins (PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, etc.), credit cards and bank accounts, online identities, and other types of sensitive information. Both have excellent reviews and only differ in a few subtle ways. One of the ways that is more notable is that LastPass keeps your encrypted password Vault online where 1Password allows you to keep it locally or shared through Dropbox. Either way, you are the holder of the encryption keys and both ways are very secure.

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          LastPass and 1Password both offer cross-platform support as well as support for Android and iOS (LastPass even has BlackBerry support). 1Password is a little pricey ($39.99 for either Windows or Mac) where LastPass has free options as well as premium upgrades that allow for mobile syncing.

          Upkeep

          You should probably change your passwords for your “important” accounts at least every 6 weeks. When I say “important” accounts I am referring to ones that you just couldn’t imagine losing access to. For me that would be Gmail, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, all my FTP accounts and hosting accounts, Namecheap, etc. Basically these include any account where financial information could be lost or accessed as well as accounts that could be totally screwed up (like my webserver).

          There is no hard and fast rule to how often you should change your passwords, but 6 to 8 weeks should be pretty good.

          Alternatives

          You may think that all of this is just too much to manage on a daily basis. I will admit it is kind of annoying to have to change your passwords and use a password manager on a daily basis. For those people out there that don’t want to go through all of the hub-bub of super-secure, encrypted, password management, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

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          1. Create a unique and hard to guess “base password” and then a pattern to use for each site you logon onto. For instance a base password could be “Ih2BaSwAa” (this stands for “I have two brothers and sisters who are annoying”). Then you would add something “site specific” to the end of it. For Twitter Ih2BaSwAaTWTTR, Facebook Ih2BaSwAaFCBK, etc. This is sort of unsecure, but probably more secure than 99% of the passwords out there.
          2. Don’t write your passwords down in public places. If you want to keep track of passwords on something written, keep it on you at least. The problem is that if you get your wallet stolen you are still out of luck.
          3. Don’t use the same passwords for every service. I’m not even going to explain this; just don’t do it.

          These are just a few things that can be done rather than keeping your passwords in a management system. Personally, with over 100 entries in my password management system, I couldn’t even dream of doing any other way. But those out there with only a few passwords, having a simpler system may be beneficial.

          So, if you want to be a “responsible internet citizen” or you just don’t want to lose your precious account data, then creating and maintaining strong passwords for your online accounts is a must.

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