Heloise

Dear Readers: With a COVID vaccine approved, be careful, because, as with a lot of things, here come the scammers.

Always check with your doctor and or pharmacist before reaching out to an online pharmacy or anyone calling, texting or emailing you stating they have a COVID vaccine. Never give out any personal information to these people.

— Heloise

Two-factor authentication

Dear Readers: Two-factor authentication, what is it? Think of it as an extra layer of protection when you’re online.

When you log onto a website (a financial institution, your email or other online accounts) from a different computer than you normally use, you may be asked, after you enter your password, to enter a code (often six digits) that is texted to you.

This extra step helps keep hackers away.

Heloise

Loss leader

Dear Heloise: I’ve heard the term “loss leader” used in retail. What does it mean?

 — Kathy M. in Minnesota

Kathy, stores use a lot of tactics to get us to buy. One of these is called a “loss leader.” A loss leader is a popular item that sells well but the price of the item has been cut significantly and usually advertised heavily, to lure us in the door. The store will lose money on this item, but the thought is, if we’re in the store, we’ll buy more items than just that one.

The location in the store of the loss leader item is critical. Typically, we will have to walk to the back of the store, past tons of other items, to pick up that one loss leader item. It’s tempting to grab other items on our trip back there, isn’t it?

Popular examples of loss leaders: rotisserie chicken, bananas, diapers and milk.

— Heloise

Volume vs. mass vs. weight

Dear Heloise: Will you help me with my science homework? What is the difference between volume and mass?

 — Kerry R. in Georgia

Kerry, volume is the amount of space an item takes up. Mass is the amount of matter in an object. Think about this: If you squeeze a stuffed animal, you aren’t changing the amount of matter in the stuffed animal (its mass), but you ARE changing its shape, or the amount of space it takes up (you’re making it smaller by squeezing it).

— Heloise

P.S. Don’t confuse mass with weight. A basketball here on Earth has the same mass (the same amount of matter) as a basketball on the moon, but the basketball on the moon will weigh less, because gravitational pull is stronger here on Earth than it is on the moon.

Don’t do it, girl

Dear Heloise: Safety hint here. If you get into your vehicle and only then notice a flyer under your windshield wiper, if you can safely do so, drive to a safe area and then get out of the car and remove the flyer.

Don’t immediately jump out of the car and remove the flyer — your defenses are down at that moment. There could be someone watching you.

 — Henry T. in California

Send a money-saving or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

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