Dear Readers: Have you noticed? Your bank, email server and insurance company may now ask you for not only your password when you log on, but also another code that they text you on your cellphone. This is called multifactor authentication.

Pretty fancy verbiage, but it’s for the well being of your account. The idea is simple: Someone who wants to steal your identity could possibly figure out your password. Although that’s highly unlikely, this other “layer” of protection, the multifactor authentication, can help keep your identity safe. Look for this to become more popular in the months and years ahead.

Dear Heloise: Certainly most people like to send out Christmas cards early to wish their friends and family a Merry Christmas, but how about sending them after Christmas?

When a baby is born, most excitement comes afterward and not before he or she is born! Maybe we all should be celebrating Christmas after the 25th; that seems to be when all the excitement sadly ends.

Donna in Ohio

Donna in Ohio: Wonderful sentiment, Donna. A Heloise hug to you!

Dear Heloise: My granddaughters got some baby dolls for Christmas, but the prices of the baby-doll clothes are crazy!

Then I had a thought: What about real baby clothes? They are much cheaper, and are marked down all the time. My grandkids are happy with their baby wardrobes, and I'm happy I don't have to spend so much!

Grandma Mary in Kansas

Dear Heloise: I volunteer at a nonprofit in my hometown. In addition to many services we offer the community, we sell gently used clothing. We use this money to pay our utilities, etc., so it's important funding.

When going through the donated bags, we select only the best — clean, no animal hair, no smoke/offensive smells, no torn, stained or heavily used clothing.

However, we receive all of the above, which we have to haul off. The old electronics we receive (old televisions, VCR players, etc.) we have to pay the town dump to take.

I would ask your readers to think about their donations the next time they clean out their closets. If it's junk, throw it away. If you're truly wanting to help, bring the clothes YOU would want to buy.

Joseph F., via email

Dear Readers: Let’s start off the new year on the right foot: How about creating a job jar? Write down all household chores on slips of paper and put them in a jar. Everyone in the family, even Mom and Dad, grabs a slip once per week and completes that task.

Makes for a fun, and fair, disbursement of the workload!

Dear Heloise: Do you prefer reusable grocery bags? They're convenient and great for the environment, but they can harbor germs! I run mine through the washer every month or so, and hang them to air-dry.

Mike P. in Massachusetts

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

2019, King Features Syndicate