Your Smartphone Needs Firefox Too!

I Don't Want to Do AdWords!
Have alternatives to Google apps when you travel.

This is my last post on travel tips and lessons I learned from my 17 day trip to India. I had only Google Chrome installed on my smartphone. I had removed the Samsung browser before I left the office to streamline my applications. Here’s why you need more than just Chrome on your smartphone.

In Amsterdam, I could not get on the airport’s free Wi-Fi. Even though I had a VPN app, Chrome would not open the second screen which would allow me to accept the terms and so I could not use Wi-Fi.  Google decided that it simply did not like the security of the connection and so decided for me to lock down my access. Thanks Google. 🙁

To solve the problem, I downloaded Firefox for my smartphone later in my trip. Firefox let’s you be in charge of your own security and so it allowed me to login and accept terms on my return trip through Amsterdam. Then I could be connected to the free airport Wi-Fi and then allow me to choose to turn on my secure VPN app to surf, email, and work securely. You’ve just got to love the flexibility of Firefox!

The lesson learned is don’t depend solely on Google products and Google apps when you travel. Google can lock your access down, choose not to show Wi-Fi login screens, and in general restrict your Google.com, AdWords, and Gmail access. Make sure you have an alternative browser and secure VPN app to get online and stay secure when you travel.

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Tips on Keeping Your Laptop Secure on Hotel Wi-Fi

Opera VPN
Opera VPN is now available in the Opera browser.

Traveling to India for pleasure and trying to check in with the office and stay secure was a challenge. Here are some lessons I learned from my last trip.

First, make sure you have two browsers installed on your laptop. One for use and one for backup. I found that Google and Google Chrome sometimes did not like an insecure connection and would lock me out of all Google properties.

I downloaded Opera as a browser half way through my trip when I found out that it had an integrated VPN.  NordVPN, a standalone subscription services, which I thought I would use for secure access on my laptop, before my travel was crashed my Wi-Fi repeatedly and the software had to be removed before I left my office for my trip.

Limping along with my smartphone I was able to securely do some work. Using Opera as my browser for my laptop finally allowed me to work securely even over unsecured hotel Wi-Fi and even on networks that Google locked me out of using Chrome. To enable the integrated VPN, open Opera, go to menu on the left, then settings, then privacy and security and then tick to enable VPN.

Before I found Opera’s integrated browser VPN my smartphone was the most secure way for me to be in touch and even do work while in India. But it is hard to really do work on a smartphone.  You can download Opera for your own laptop and next trip by visiting this link to the Opera.com site.

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Charge Your Stuff Anywhere, Anytime

I’ve just returned from personal travel to India and wanted to share with you a few tips I learned along the way. There’s no need to be tethered to a charging station at the airport or miss an important call or suffer from a dead camera battery. Portable power packs are more practical and better than ever at keeping you charged anytime, anywhere!

My husband bought an Anker PowerCore 20000 with Quick Charge 3.0, 20000mAh Power Pack Portable Charger with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, for Samsung and iPhones from Amazon before our trip and it was worth its weight in gold!

This portable power pack fits in my purse and charges two devices at a time and only needs a recharge after several days use. I was able to charge smartphones and even my camera all while on the go. Just make sure that when you travel you put the power pack in your carry on as it should not go into packed luggage.

What I liked most was we were able to use the powered up charger on the go for about 3 or four days straight without having to charge up the power pack up again.  Sometimes at hotels we simply charged with the power pack and not even a wall charger.

I am not being paid for this review, just wanted to share a cool travel tool with you that has really worked for me.

 

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Why Is Google My Business Verification So Hard?

Building Exterior
Building Exterior that Google does not like!

Google My Business verification should not be so hard! For owners of a single business verification is a snap – complete your profile, ask for a letter to be mailed to you, confirm the PIN number Google sends to you. But if you are an owner of multiple businesses that you run out of separate offices, brace yourself for the run around from Google when you try to verify a second business.

Just this last week, a supervisor at Google My Business finally told me that Google would never verify my client’s second account. We had been working diligently since October 11th to provide all the information and documentation pictures the Google staff said it needed for review. I have to say I was nearly foaming from the mouth when I heard that final response!

It is unthinkable that Google has such vague standards when it comes to business verification; rules that are not in step with small businesses located in the USA. Additionally, add a language difficulty , as the staff appears to all be located in India, and the difficulty grows exponentially.

Ridiculousness at Its Best

I was told to supply a photo of both suite doors and signage on each but as there was a wall between the two, Google did not like the image. I could not knock down a wall in order to provide the photo.

I was told to take a picture of exterior signage for the business, but as the client is in an office condo park, no businesses have exterior signage unless they own a whole floor. Another fail!

I was told to take a picture of the reception desk with the large company sign behind the receptionist. Okay let’s get real, this was a small business, they have an office, but not a glitzy reception area and no need for an inside sign, they know who they are! A fail again.

Finally, I was told that the font on the second business sign did not match the font on the sign on the first business. Wow, that was an eye opener!

Then I was told that due to the history of requests and images sent as we tried to give Google what they wanted for over a two month period, that they did not believe the client ran two businesses. So, the history of what I had sent to Google based on the account reps requests totally worked against the client.

Nothing should be this difficult to resolve, but it’s Google! Understand that on Google My Business verifications, Google does run the world.

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