Opera VPN for Smartphone Security

Opera VPN
Opera VPN

If you use your phone on travel, sitting at Starbucks, at Target and even Macy’s, you’d better make sure you are secure by using this free app called Opera VPN.

I have my phone set up to minimize data use. As a result when I am out an about, my phone is looking for Wi-Fi spots to connect to to save data.  As a result, if you connect to any Wi-Fi, you may be setting yourself up for a hack attack and potentially even identity theft.

Opera has introduced a free super easy to use app called Opera VPN that makes it easy to stay secure on Wi-Fi anywhere. Download the app for Android or Apple at Google Play or ITunes. The app is simple to use, click the Wi-Fi icon and it lets you know a letter grade of your security. Turn it on and the app gives you a new grade with cute visuals helping you to understand how the app keeps you safe. Additionally, you’ll get an integrated ad tracking blocker.

As this app is easy to use, has cute visual cues, and is free, I consider it a great app for kids, teens, and those on a budget. If you have kids using smartphones, make sure to review this important security information with them. It is not common knowledge and we have to as parents instruct them how to be safe from identity and banking theft through the use of unsecured or compromised Wi-Fi access points.

I am not being paid for this review, just like the app and wanted to share it with you. Make sure you keep an eye on this app in the future. For now it is ad-free, but it may be ad supported in the future and may sell aggregated data, but for now, it is a smart, free, and easy to use way to be safe online with your smartphone.


Lookout App Reviewed

Stay safe with your phone by using Lookout.
Stay safe with your phone by using Lookout.

For several years I have had on my Android smartphone the Lookout app. I upgraded to Premium for $29.99 a year and wanted to share my experience in using this app.

First, I am not paid for this review. I like the app and wanted to share my experience with you.

Here’s why I like the app and went premium.

I like the security features. Before the market was flooded with antivirus and security apps, I had Lookout to keep me safe.

I like the integrated feature that allows me to find my phone, to wipe my phone if it is lost, and to sound an alarm to help find my phone. Although now Verizon and even Samsung have these as phone integrated features now for free,. Lookout had them became device standards.

I like the online interface that allows me to manage device files, backups, call logs and images. Although Verizon has this feature now with Verizon Cloud, it is buggy and does not always perform backups for days and weeks.

Lookout also protects against the following: chargeware, items billed to your wireless bill without your consent; adware; app dropper;  bot apps, click fraud; exploits; riskware; root enablers; surveillance ware; toll fraud; and Trojans.

It also keeps you apprised of what apps see and use on your phone to help you be in control of your privacy.

Here’s what I like that they just introduced this year.

This year Lookout added a nice app that automatically opens up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when I go online. Although I have NordVPN for this use, I do like the automatic feature and use it more than NordVPN. I like this additional feature for security and consider it a nice perk for using their product.

Although smartphones may have some of these features now rolled into their device software, Lookout is proactively adding features and services that devices do not have at this time to keep your smartphone safe from schemers, spammers, and thieves.

I consider the $29.99 a year price a real value.



Thanksgiving for My Many Blessings

Thanksgiving Day is more than food, it is about thankfulness.
Thanksgiving Day is more than food, it is about thankfulness.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day and I am already waxing poetic on what that means. Right now my husband and I have a full house with three kids home from college, my oldest son and his girlfriend here, my Mom visiting from Ohio, and my sister and her son on the way. That is blessing number one for me – family.

I could not have a better partner in my life than my husband Michael. We are so well matched and yet wonderfully different. Besides that, he can still make me laugh. He is supportive, encouraging, and a fabulous financial and life planner. He is also a travel and trip planner extraordinaire. That is blessing number two for me – my husband.

When I reflect on my life I am thankful for my good health. Although I, like many, have had some health issues, I am not battling major life threatening one. I do have a vision disability and I have gone to the best doctors, but there seems no hope for an improvement much to my disappointment. That being said, you can accept health issues or fight them. This one I have just accepted and do the best with the vision I have. A self driving car may be in my future. That is blessing number three for me – health.

I am graced with wonderful customers for my business. I feel that I am at the peak of my profession and really love what I do and am good at it. The people that I work with are wonderful, more than customers to me, and are enjoyable to interact with.  As a result, this year is one of the best and most profitable years in my business’ history. That is blessing number four – great customers.

What are you thankful for today and tomorrow? Make sure to take the time to think about that question and then express to those around you that they are one of your blessings on Thanksgiving day.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!



How to Start Your e-Newsletter List

Don’t think you can start marketing your services with an e-newsletter as you don’t have a big list?

Get started building your e-newsletter list fast

Here's How to Start Your e-Newsletter List.
Here’s How to Start Your e-Newsletter List.

1.  Go back to your correspondence with current and old customers and grab the email address. Start creating your list in an Excel spreadsheet. All you really need is the first name and email address.

2. Update your website privacy policy before you really get serious about building your list. Make sure that you clearly state that if someone contacts you at your business email address that you will be adding them to your e-newsletter list. Make sure you also state if you will be selling your list to third parties or only using it for your own purposes.

3. Every time you get an email, add that address to your spreadsheet. You will be amazed that in 30 days your list can grow to several hundred people.

4. Take time to review old records of past clients and add them to your e-newsletter address list too. The Can Spam Act does not allow you to harvest emails from people you do not know, but if you have had a business relationship with anyone, you can add them to your list.

5. When your e-newsletter list has about 200 people on it, you are ready to send out your first newsletter. Make your first one the explanation of what you are doing and tell people how to opt out.

Sending to your e-newsletter list

Once you get started, be consistent in sending your notes. I like monthly for my e-newsletters. Quarterly may be too much time apart and weekly for most businesses is too frequent. Whatever you choose, just stick with it.

Make sure you have a subscription form on your website. Allow your website and blog visitors to self-subscribe to your e-newsletter list by putting your subscription services form on your website.

Creating your initial list is not hard and is not really time consuming. The value of being able to contact and promote your business and services to current, past, and future clients is highly valuable to your overall marketing efforts.


WordFence Free WordPress Plugin Reviewed

Nancy McCord
“Just Nancy” – My Point of View for Today.

I have been using a new WordPress plugin for my blog’s security and a number of my clients. I wanted to give you a quick review of the free version plugin from my personal experience.

I like the WordFence plugin. In fact I like it better than the Securi Security plugin that I have been using.

Here’s what I like about WordFence:

  1. Integrated firewall.
  2. Very thorough live scanning.
  3. Tons of configuration options.
  4. Allows me to offload a number of other security plugins as it is more robust than others.
  5. Cost if you choose to go premium is not outrageous and affordable from my point of view.
  6. Reporting in simple and actionable. Plus you can control easily the number of messages received.
  7. Has meaningful helpful alerts and click to correct actions.

So far my test has gone well and I am highly considering moving my blogs, sites, and clients into the premium version.

I would recommend that you try this plugin out for your WordPress security needs. It is easy to set up, easy to understand, and does much more than most security plugins even in the free version.

I am not paid for this review, I just wanted to share something of value with you today.