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There’s no avoiding it – your credit is intertwined with many parts of your life. Having good credit can give you more access to financial products, lower your monthly bills, and make it easier to get a job. But through no fault of their own, many people wind up with poor credit after an emergency or life-disaster leaves them with bills they can’t afford. After taking a closer look at some of the most common ways poor credit can impact your life, we’ll explore a few steps you can take to improve and repair your credit, including using the best credit repair services.
Credit impacts your finances, of course, but it’s important in all aspects of your money-life, even if you never want to take out a large loan or other financial aid.
Perhaps the most well-known reason for wanting good credit is that the better your credit, the more likely a creditor will approve you for a new account. If you want to buy a home or get one of the best auto loans, having good credit can be an important first step. Some loans have strict minimum credit score requirements, and the best credit cards are only available to those with good to excellent credit.
Getting approved and getting a good offer can be very different. Some creditors work with people who have poor credit, but you may only be able to qualify for a high-rate loan. Or, you might get approved, but for a lower loan amount than you actually need.
In most states, insurance companies can review your credit reports and use a credit-based insurance score (along with other information) to determine your premiums. Having a good credit history can help you qualify for lower auto insurance, and homeowners insurance policies.
Landlords and property management companies will generally check your credit as part of a home rental application review. Some landlords will take a nuanced approach and only hold certain things against you, such as past evictions or non-medical late payments. Others may turn down all applicants who don’t have a minimum credit score. If you’re able to get a rental with poor credit, you may need to pay an extra security deposit for the rental, utility accounts, and internet service.
While employers don’t have access to your credit scores, they may be able to receive (with your written permission) a copy of your credit history. The report won’t contain certain information, such as your date of birth, but employers may use it to help decide who to hire or promote. Having a good credit history can be particularly important if you’re looking for work within financial services or in a role related to finances or sensitive information.
According to Google, Gmail has been blocking more than 18 million malware and phishing emails concerning coronavirus every week. The email provider also sees over 240 million COVID-19-themed spam messages daily. Although there hasn’t been an increase in phishing scams overall since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, scammers have been tailoring emails to “use both fear and financial incentives to create urgency to try to prompt users to respond”, according to Neil Kumaran, a manager for Gmail Security. In our Gmail review, we were impressed by its high-level security, which makes it the best free email service around. The company’s AI models “have evolved to understand and filter these threats, and continue to block more than 99.9% of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching our users.”We’ve been covering the top coronavirus scams to watch out for to help you stay safe from cyber attacks in recent weeks. Google has published four real-life examples of coronavirus phishing emails it’s blocked to help you recognize fraudulent emails. What COVID-19 phishing scams look likePhishing scams can come in many different forms. One of the examples shown by Google is impersonating the World Health Organization, and using this leading coronavirus authority to spread downloadable files which then install backdoors into your computer. Backdoors are spyware, which can steal personal and financial data and install more dangerous malware. Other examples, shown below, take advantage of current working-from-home conditions, or capitalize on government stimulus packages . Image 1 of 4(Image credit: Google)Image 2 of 4This example shows increased phishing attempts of employees operating in a work-from-home setting. (Image credit: Google)Image 3 of 4This example attempts to capitalize on government stimulus packages and imitates government institutions to phish small businesses. (Image credit: Google)Image 4 of 4This attempt targets organizations impacted by stay-at-home orders. (Image credit: Google)Although Gmail blocked all of these examples, there are many more ways for your computer to be attacked by malware. We’ve covered the best antivirus software to help you keep your computer safe from cyberattacks. After all, your computer can’t catch COVID-19, but it’s often susceptible to a host of other viruses. One of the most common attacks made in phishing emails is the theft of personal information. If you are concerned that you are at risk of identity theft, consider our guide to the best identity theft protection services.
The Sony A9G OLED TV is one of the best 4K and HDR screens you can buy. We could end the review right there, it’s that good. But you probably want to know a little more, like the fact this packs in Dolby Vision and Atmos, or that it’s got some of the best audio bar none.
All that, of course, means a steep price tag. So if you’re looking to keep within a budget and don’t need the absolute best of the best then you might want to check out something from Samsung or LG. If your heart is set on Sony, read on to find out why it’s worth that extra expense, and why it’s part of our list of the best TVs in 2020.
This TV looks as good as it sounds in writing, and we don’t just mean picture quality. The build is all part of the appeal with a super minimal finish that actually enhances any space that has the honor of being this television’s new home.
Of course there are still drawbacks, the most obvious being a lack of HDR10+, for those that want to be totally future-proofed. Although with Dolby Vision support, which is used mostly now by the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus, you should be covered.
When you get an OLED you’re going to be seeing some of the best blacks on any panel, since the individual pixels can switch off – unlike an LED LCD which uses a backlight and can still suffer bleed. The result is truly well defined edges to colors, blacks, and the variations between light and dark.
(Image credit: Sony)
Average price: $2499
Sizes available: 55″, 65″, and 77″
Screen type: OLED
4K ready? Yes
8K ready? No
HDR type: Dolby Vision
Audio type: Dolby Atmos
HDMI connections: 4
Other connections: 3 x USB, 1 x Ethernet, Audio Out, Heaphone Out, RS-232C , Composite Video Input.
All that means that the HDR performance of this set is superb with sharply defined edges that give a crisp definition to objects that are rendered superbly. The image is punchy and the rich colors help to back this with a real pop to the visuals. While this may lack some of the brightness of an LED panel, it still offers plenty, especially for low light viewing.
Sony has superb motion processing and upscaling, which results in smooth video even in more visually challenging footage, like the color-rich and action packed Guardians of the Galaxy, for example. Motion is smooth while you still get that Hollywood feel, but without it being overdone or blurred into a distinct lack of realism. The Custom Mode is great here, delivering the picture as Hollywood mastering monitors intended it to look.
The 4K and HDR combination works well with the Dolby Vision support where you can really see those extra colors when watching supported content on the likes of Netflix. The Calibrated for Netflix Mode is perfect here. Jump back down to regular HDR and you’ll feel the warmth drop off. Of course there are lots of modes to pick so this Sony, with its X1 Ultimate chipset, can make almost anything look great.
You also get HDR10 and HLG support, but not HDR10+, although at the time of publishing this doesn’t appear to be getting huge uptake in use.
That entire front panel of glass becomes your speaker, with that Acoustic Surface Audio+ tech, and there’s plenty of power to be had thanks to the dual 20W and dual 10W power output through the actuators. This is backed by dual subwoofers in the rear to give the bass more punch.
All this allows the TV to offer a wide soundstage that is well layered, keeping each part of the audio intact and well spaced enough to enjoy. This is thanks to a switch from circular to oval actuators, over last year’s model, creating more width to the audio. This is going to be the best sound you’ll hear on a TV.
Of course a sound system is always going to enhance audio. This TV has a Dolby Atmos decoder and HDMI passthrough, meaning you can get the best out of a compatible soundbar or sound system for a truly immersive cinematic experience. For day to day viewing though, the TV is more than capable for most audio needs.
Sony, as you’d expect at this price, has created an absolutely gorgeous TV in the A9G. It’s minimalism at its finest. You get a super slim bezel around the edge of the main panel which sits on top of the metallic pedestal stand. Of course you can also wall mount this, which looks great thanks to it being super slim. The fact this model, unlike its predecessor, doesn’t lean back makes it far more space efficient.
The really stand out feature in the build has to be that Acoustic Surface Audio+ sound. You’ll notice a distinct lack of speakers on this TV if you look it over, that’s because it uses Sony’s smart audio which vibrates right through the television’s glass panel. Actuators placed on the panel vibrate to create sound while woofers on the rear add bass. That means you don’t need a soundbar, which is ideal as the screen sits near flush with the pedestal it stands on.
Round the back you’ve got all the connectivity you’d expect with four 4K HMDI inputs, the prime one featuring eARC for lossless audio passthrough. There’s also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, optical digital audio out, AV minijack, three USB ports, headphone port and Ethernet.
Sony runs the system using Android OS which means easy navigation and regular updates to a very intuitive operating system. Chromecast is built-in with support for Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices. A very smart bit of kit that’s always getting new treats added in the regular updates from Sony.
If it’s a money-no-object purchase you’re after and the very best in picture and audio are your needs, then the Sony A9G is the TV for you. There are fantastic rich blacks, punchy colors and defined edges on this OLED panel’s 4K and HDR screen which really emphasizes the quality of Dolby Vision. The Acoustic Surface Audio+ makes for some of the best audio on any TV and the Dolby Atmos support gives you options to make that even more immersive.
If the price is a little steep, there are more affordable options that still get you an OLED panel. Or, if sound isn’t something you need built-in, as you already have a speaker setup, then you might go for a cheaper TV that way.
Other TV reviews: Samsung Q90R review | LG C9 OLED review | Samsung Q70T review | xxx