Americans are upbeat as financial troubles decline and retail recovers from a five-month slide, according to the Consumer Reports Index, a measure of Americans’ personal financial health.

5 tips for safer online income tax filing

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Tens of millions of Americans will file their federal income tax returns online this year. If you’re among them, the experts who put together Consumer Reports’ Guide to online security have these suggestions: Perform a clean sweep Use an anti-malware software product to scan for and eliminate any keylogger or other security loophole on the computer you’ll be using to prepare your taxes. Browse the Consumer Reports Security software suite Ratings to find the best anti-malware tool for your needs.

The operator of social game site RockYou has agreed to settle charges that it failed to protect user privacy, allowing hackers to access the e-mail addresses and e-mail passwords of 32 million users, including children. According to the Federal Trade Commission, many consumers used RockYou to make slide shows from their personal photos

The Federal Trade Commission released the results of a survey this week outlining the experiences of identity theft victims who called consumer reporting agencies to report the incident. The FTC report found that prior to calling a consumer-reporting agency, less than half of survey responders were aware of the majority of their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. The FCRA and FACT protect your rights if you are a victim if ID theft by enabling you to put fraud alerts on your credit report with the consumer reporting agencies, get a free credit report from the three national consumer reporting agencies when placing a fraud alert, block fraudulent information from appearing in your credit report, and receive a notice of these and other rights from the consumer reporting agencies.

National Consumer Protection Week is in full swing, and this year the focus is on avoiding ID theft, fighting scams and fraud, and managing your credit and debt, among other consumer issues. Identity theft topped the Federal Trade Commission’s latest list of top consumer complaints , and the FTC has taken the lead in organizing this year’s Consumer Protection Week.

For the 12th year in a row, identity theft topped the annual tally of consumer complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission, according to the agency’s Sentinel report for 2011.

Today’s electronics deals, courtesy of The Consumerist : Tanga.com : Hype Audio Eclipse Stereo Headphones for $14.99 Barnes & Noble : Nook Tablet 8GB 7-in WiFi Tablet $199 Expansys : iTon 49-Key Bluetooth v2.0 Mini Keyboard for $13 + free shipping Entertainment Amazon : Buy 2 PS Vita Games, Get a 3rd Video Game Free Amazon : Zumba Fitness Rush – Kinect Xbox 360 + $10 bonus credit $49.96, free ship Walmart : PlayStation 3 Accessory Bundle with Headset, Wireless Controller, Remote, and Dock Station for $40 + $3.97 Shipping Neither Consumer Reports nor The Consumerist receive anything in exchange for featuring these deals; the posts are intended to be purely informational. These deals are often fleeting, with prices changing or products becoming unavailable as the day progresses

Today’s electronics deals, courtesy of The Consumerist : Tanga.com : Hype Audio Eclipse Stereo Headphones for $14.99 Barnes & Noble : Nook Tablet 8GB 7-in WiFi Tablet $199 Expansys : iTon 49-Key Bluetooth v2.0 Mini Keyboard for $13 + free shipping Entertainment Amazon : Buy 2 PS Vita Games, Get a 3rd Video Game Free Amazon : Zumba Fitness Rush – Kinect Xbox 360 + $10 bonus credit $49.96, free ship Walmart : PlayStation 3 Accessory Bundle with Headset, Wireless Controller, Remote, and Dock Station for $40 + $3.97 Shipping Neither Consumer Reports nor The Consumerist receive anything in exchange for featuring these deals; the posts are intended to be purely informational. These deals are often fleeting, with prices changing or products becoming unavailable as the day progresses

Barnes & Noble today heated up the tablet computer market by introducing a new $199 version of its Nook Tablet and cutting the price of the tablet-like Nook Color e-reader to $169. With the price cuts, B&N is now offering a tablet with the same 8GB of storage and $199 price tag as its key competitor, the Amazon Kindle Fire . Formerly, the Nook Tablet was available only at $249 for a 16GB version, which is still being sold at that price

Today’s electronics deals, courtesy of The Consumerist : HP : 11.6″ HP dm1-4170us Core i3-2367M laptop, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD $474.99, free ship NewEgg : Altec Lansing FX3022 Speakers $74.95, free ship Dell Home : Dell Optiplex 390 Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Desktop Computer (4GB/500GB) $499 Neither Consumer Reports nor The Consumerist receive anything in exchange for featuring these deals; the posts are intended to be purely informational. These deals are often fleeting, with prices changing or products becoming unavailable as the day progresses.