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Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 4:50 p.m.
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HELPFUL HINTS

By Heloise

This article was published April 29, 2014 at 3:09 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: My credit-card bank offers its customers a “virtual credit card” (VCC) for use in online purchases (for now, only online purchases are included in the setup). It virtually eliminates anyone hacking into an online site and getting your credit card information. It’s so simple.

You can download the VCC software from the bank’s secure site right onto your computer. Then, when you go online to make a purchase, you can generate a VCC for that purchase only. The bank issues you a VCC for that specific purchase, and even if the VCC is hacked, it cannot be used for anything else.

Your readers would be wise to check with their bank to see if this service is offered. - Len D. in New Hampshire

DEAR READER: A safe way to shop online. When I first started shopping on the Web, I got a separate credit card with a different variation of my name. I use this card only for online shopping, so if something does happen, it is not tied to any other credit cards.

DEAR HELOISE: After taking a trip with my daughter, I pulled my jewelry from the bag it was in and found a tangled mess of chains. If I pulled, the chains became more tightly knotted. I had no way of separating them, until my daughter said I should try making the chains slide more easily by using baby powder. After a little loosening and pulling the chains apart with a pin, they were good as new. - Danielle in Utah

DEAR HELOISE: This is my hint for gift giving: I enclose the birthday, wedding card, etc., in the gift bag or wrapped box. On the back of the card, I list the gift, or gifts, and place my address label. This way, the card will not get lost, and the celebrant will have a record of the gift and an address for a thank you card.

  • Carole in New Jersey

DEAR HELOISE: Don’t buy a lot of tomato plants at the beginning of the season. I buy a four-pack or six-pack of tomato plants and then, as they grow “suckers,” I pinch them off. I then root them in a small glass of water, or just stick them in the ground if it is moist enough. Keep them watered if just stuck in the ground, being sure not to bruise the stem. They will make late tomatoes.

  • J.C. in Kentucky

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email Heloise@Heloise.com

Style, Pages 32 on 04/29/2014

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