Consumer Protection

How to protect yourself from the security bug Heartbleed

By | Emily Scarr
Maryland PIRG State Director

DO NOT rush to change your passwords on all of your favorite websites. You shouldn’t change your password on a site until the site has fixed the Heartbleed bug, or else you risk having your new password compromised. Watch for a notice on the site, but don’t click any links in emails claiming to be from the website.

Toy Safety Tips

By | Emily Scarr
Maryland PIRG State Director

For 28 years, Maryland PIRG Foundation has worked to identify unsafe toys. Below are our top tips to help you choose the safest toys for the children in your life.

CFPB receives over 2,500 junk fee comments

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

In response to a tidal wave of unfair marketplace practices, the CFPB asked the public to submit comments on the impact of junk fees on their lives. Some 2,500 comments later, consumers have described the pain points caused by unfair junk fees.

Cover graphic courtesy Student Borrower Protection Center, used by permission

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

‘Hog-tied’ and fed up: New report shows dealership consolidation makes farmers’ lives harder

Today, Maryland PIRG Foundation released a report highlighting the increased consolidation of farm equipment dealerships, reducing the options that farmers have for repair. 

Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

Why Farmers Need Right to Repair

Modern farm equipment, like so many other products in our lives, runs on software. While the new technology has helped farmers increase productivity, it has also allowed manufacturers to lock down the repair process. Only manufacturer-branded technicians can access critical software tools needed to fix modern tractors, so farmers cannot repair their own equipment or hire an independent technician to do it for them. In response, farmers across the country have joined the call for Right to Repair reforms, which would expand repair choice by giving farmers and independent mechanics access to necessary repair materials at a fair and reasonable price. 

How to be notified about recalls on products you own

By Hannah Rhodes, Consumer Watchdog Associate
Jan. 28, 2022

Navigating through a government website may sound tedious, but here are some tips on how to be notified about and report unsafe products in your home.

How I got my finances in order

By | Mike Litt
Director, Consumer Campaign

Even with the knowledge I’ve gained working as a consumer advocate for several years, getting my finances in order has been a work in progress. 

How I started my estate and end-of-life planning

By | Mike Litt
Director, Consumer Campaign

Until recently, I did not have estate and end-of-life planning in mind, but it was the natural next step in my quest to be a responsible adult, with a nudge from the existential threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources I used to prepare my advance directive

By | Mike Litt
Director, Consumer Campaign

Advance directives are legal instructions that include a living will (different from a regular will) and a health care proxy. In them, you state what treatments you do or don’t want at the end of your life and who you want making health care decisions for you if you can’t. 

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