Better Business Bureau: Social media, home security

By Tracy Bracy
July 7, 2014 at 2:07 a.m.

Social media sites allow us to easily share and see moments of our friends and family.

Unfortunately, many often let their guard down online, which may lead to harmful consequences.

The bureau reminds you to do your research on the social media site or app before signing up. Be sure to read the privacy policy for a social media site that tells you exactly what that business can and will do with your information. Periodically, review your privacy settings on social media sites.

Limit your profile views to only people you trust.

The bureau requires all accredited businesses that collect sensitive data to disclose their privacy policies and to protect the sensitive information of their users. Visit to view a company's Business Review.

Gas Saving

The summer months give us hot weather, lots of bugs and higher gas prices. When gas prices climb, products that claim they'll save gas might look good. But the Better Business Bureau advises you to be skeptical of any gas-saving claims for automotive devices or oil and gas additives. Even for the few gas-saving products that have been found to work, the savings are small.

You can take easy steps to save on gas, including buying only the octane level you need, watching your speed and properly maintaining the vehicle's fluid levels.

Also, turn off your engine if you're parked and waiting. Keep your tires inflated to the recommended level.

For the latest news stories, tips and scams alerts, visit

Home Security

When I was getting ready to leave town for a few days last week, I wondered how good the security was in my apartment. I'm not the only one thinking about home security; there is an increase in security company inquiries during the summer months. In a matter as crucial as the security of your family and your home, consumers need to be especially careful in deciding on the type of alarm system to use and who will install it.

Be wary of door-to-door alarm sales and check licensing. Texas law requires any company that provides security services in the state to be properly licensed. Read your contract carefully; be sure it includes the installation price, monthly fee, length of contract, cancellation process and timeframe.

Pest Control

When enjoying the summer months, whether I am visiting friends and family at a barbecue or just lounging around in the sun, I always have to break out the insect repellant. To help combat the bug problem, you may hire a pest control service.

Pest control services can provide different methods of elimination, such as misting systems or pesticide sprays. Be sure to ask for an inspection. A pest control company cannot put together an appropriate plan of action without identifying the source of the problem.

The bureau suggests you research the company and compare prices before signing anything. Check any pest control company's Better Business Bureau Business Review first. Look at the company's rating, how it has responded to past customer complaints and any advertising issues it may have had.

Tracy Bracy is the regional director of the Better Business Bureau for Corpus Christi/Victoria. Contact her by e-mail at



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