Originally created 12/14/03

Business briefs



BIZ BITES

Student security

Federal education officials are warning college students to watch out for identity theft.

College students are particularly vulnerable because of the many ways they share Social Security numbers or other personal information, such as in applying for credit cards, buying items online or having their course grades posted by professors.

The Education Department last week unveiled a Web site, www.ed.gov/misused, that offers advice on how to prevent identity theft. The department has created several ways for people to report trouble, including a hot line, (800) MIS-USED, and an e-mail address, oig.hotline@ed.gov.

Holiday cheer

Business owners may be a little more generous with their gifts this holiday season.

Owners who send clients or customers gifts say they'll spend slightly more this month, with the average gift budget inching up 2 percent to $966, according to a semiannual survey of small businesses by American Express.

Cards and calendars continue to dominate the category, with fruit sent by 9 percent of the firms. Gift certificate popularity is soaring, doubling to 8 percent from last year.

TALK TO US

Underemployed?

Have you been laid off and had to take a job for which you are overqualified? Tell us your story. Call (706) 823-3354.

REACH US

Contact Business Editor Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486 or dcline@augustachronicle.com.