Consumer Catch-up: Equifax credit monitoring deadline, Opt out of Apple slowdown, YouTube laundry pod crackdown, Emergency savings

Deadline approaching to apply for free Equifax credit monitoring

The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers that the deadline is coming up soon if you want to sign up for free credit monitoring via Equifax. To take advantage of the offer, consumers must sign up by Wednesday, Jan. 31.

Anyone can sign up for one year of free credit monitoring, regardless whether or not you were impacted by the recent Equifax data breach.

The monitoring will alert you if any suspicious activity appears on Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian credit services. The service includes a copy of your credit report, monitoring of your Social Security number, and identity theft insurance. You also have the option to lock and unlock your credit report for free for one year (Equifax only).

Apple update to allow battery slowdown opt-out

Apple appears to be listening to its customers, after backlash over the slowing battery in older iPhone models. CEO Tim Cook told ABC News the next iOS update will be more transparent about the health of users' iPhone batteries.

Cook also said there will be a way for users to opt-out of reducing performance to extend the phone's battery life. He said the intent of the slowdown was to prevent the probability of an unexpected restart while using the phone.

Apple has already announced a discounted rate of $29 for users who want to buy new batteries for their iPhones.

YouTube cracking down on Tide Pod videos

YouTube is actively working to stop young people from posting videos of eating laundry detergent on camera.

The phenomenon is called the Tide Pod Challenge. People eat the detergent packets on camera, and then upload the video online.

YouTube is now removing any video that shows people biting into the pods. Google, the parent company of YouTube, said its community guidelines prohibit content intended to encourage dangerous activities.

Facebook is also removing posts from its platforms, including Instagram.

Study finds most Americans can't cover $1,000 emergency

A new study from Bankrate found found most Americans don't have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency.

The study found only 39% would be able to pay a bill that size out of savings. Among those who said they couldn't pay, 36% said they would either need to borrow the money or put it on a credit card.

Bankrate also found 34% of respondents said they actually did have a major unexpected expense in the past year; and most were larger than $1,000.

Younger millennials, ages 18 - 27, were the most likely of all age groups to borrow from family or friends in an emergency. Older millennials, ages 28 - 37, were most likely to reduce spending on other items.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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