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DEAR READERS: Are your bank accounts insured? Yes, they are. They are insured through the FDIC. What is the FDIC? The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. ( was established in 1933, during the Great Depression. It will protect your bank accounts if your bank were to fail.

If you are a member of a credit union, your money is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (, whose guidelines are similar. Once you open an account, you are covered.

Some investment products sold through financial institutions are not insured, such as mutual funds and life insurance policies.

Also, the FDIC and the NCUA don't protect you against fraud on your account. But if there's a check written against your account that wasn't written by you, or if there's other fraud on your account, your bank or credit union should fully reimburse you.

The law says banks and credit unions have to give you provisional credit within 10 days, but most banks will give you the credit right away. Check with your bank or credit union for more information.

DEAR HELOISE: Here's how I prevent losing my phone:

I never place anything over my phone -- no newspaper, mail, purse or blanket.

I put a brightly colored case it, because many car interiors, furniture and purse interiors are black, and trying to see a black phone is difficult.

-- Estelle in Cleveland

DEAR HELOISE: After I open a package of baby wipes or hand wipes and pull one out, I turn the whole package of them upside down, flat, so the "opening" is on the bottom. This seals out air and ensures that the next one you pull out will be clean, moist and ready to use.

-- Heidi M., Texas

DEAR HELOISE: Hard to find the end of a roll of tape? Leave just enough at the end to turn it back onto itself. When you go to use it again, just grab the tab you left the last time.

-- Dick E., via email

DEAR HELOISE: My husband had open-heart surgery, and the hospital staff could not get his wedding ring off. They used a common window cleaner to spray his finger, and the ring came right off. It also worked to slide over my arthritic knuckles.

-- Kathy S., via email

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

Style on 12/05/2017

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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