Category: Consumer Electronics

Pay with My Phone? EEK! Is that Safe?

[ 33 ] September 23, 2014 |

Paying with my phone…the newest trend, but safe?

Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Verizon Wireless and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The Softcard related content is provided by Verizon Wireless. The opinions on this blog are my own.

pay with my phone is it safe

What your mom used to say about your money

When I was growing up, my mom and dad taught me many things about money. One topic which got a LOT of attention was safety of your money. I can still hear them:

  • Put your wallet in your front pocket in a crowd!
  • Don’t let anyone see your IDs!
  • Are you sure it’s safe to have a credit card?
  • Do you think paying that bill online is okay?
  • Don’t take all your money with you!
  • Did you photo copy those credit cards in case that get stolen?

I am pretty sure today that they’d be asking me “Pay with your phone? Is that safe?”

Introducing Softcard from Verizon, a safer way to pay

Softcard  is a new safer and better “Pay with my Phone” app. Use your smart phone enabled with the Softcard app from Verizon to  shop, pay and save. What’s cool is you can use the free Softcard app to store payment cards, offers and loyalty cards in your compatible phone and transmits payment information to a contactless payment terminal at checkout using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. When you add eligible payment cards (like credit cards, debit cards, etc) to pay for purchases, YOU STILL get all the benefits and protections you would with your physical card. Psst…your buying information is not tracked by Softcard or Verizon.

Did you hear that Mom and Dad? I can leave my cards and cash at home and still get all the benefits and protections of the physical cards. But can’t you hear mom now…

pay with my phone is it safe
Relax Mom! I am 53! And even if I DO lose my phone Softcard is PIN-protected to limit unauthorized access. My payment card credentials are stored in a special chip known as the Secure Element contained within my compatible smartphone. If the phone or it’s Secure Element is lost or stolen, I can protect my information by calling Verizon immediately to freeze the app and stop wireless service to the phone, and contacting the banks that issued your payment cards.

And look at how easy the Softcard app is to use! No more FAT WALLET!

Pay with my phone

 Can you imagine not carring around all those darn loyalty cards?

Pay with my phone

Here’s are some of the great deals that are available with the Softcard app:

  •  Spend $40 and Get $20: Verizon customers with an American Express Serve Account on Softcard from Verizon can get a $20 credit after you spend $40 or more on one purchase with your Serve Account through September 30, 2014. Terms Apply.
  •   $1 back on purchases: Tap to pay with an American Express Serve Account in Softcard and get $1 back on each purchase of $1 or more. Up to $50 per month with the Serve credit through December 12, 2014. Terms apply.
  •  First 3 Coca-Cola® drinks are FREE. After the first three free drinks, if you buy 10 more, you get another 1 FREE through December 31, 2014. You must sign up for the “My Coke Rewards” loyalty card within Softcard to take advantage of this.

Have enough information? Just want to start to “Pay with My Card”?

The Softcard by Verizon app is a free downloadable app from your phone’s app store. Data and messaging rates may apply.

Want more information of the Softcard app? Attend a Twitter Party!

Verizon softcard Twitter party

RVSP HERE  and attend the party from 12-1pm EST via #PaywithMyPhone and you could have the chance to win one of the following prizes:

  • 1 of 2 $75 Amex Serve Cards
  • 1 $200 Amex Serve Card

Will you be paying with your phone? Is this a passing phase or a new era? How do you feel about the safety?

How do I Protect my Family from Computer Viruses?

[ 14 ] August 15, 2014 |

How do I protect my computer and all my mobile devices?

This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me by Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic

How do I protect my family from computer Viruses

Hackers and Viruses in the Headlines

You have read the most recent news reports:

  • Russian criminals steal 1.2 billion passwords
  • Insight Publishes Back to School Guidelines as Classrooms Brace for Tech Influx
  • Hacker worms his way into WSJ computer systems

The world is a scary scary place these days. I don’t have the know how or tools to deal by myself with this kind of evil threats on my devices, do you? I sure can’t afford to hire a tech person to deal with all the threats to all the devices in my home either!

How do I protect my family from computer viruses

How do I protect my family from computer viruses?

With multiple devices, some mobile, some home based what’s the best way to protect your family from viruses, hackers, password theft, while all the time repeling online invaders?  How do you make sure that your kids returning to college have the solutions they need against online threats?  A multi-device solution like Norton 360 Multi-Device might just be just the protection that you seek.

Why Multi-Device Protection?

Multi-device Protection covers all your devices – Norton 360™ for PCs, Norton™ Internet Security 5 for Mac® and Norton Mobile Security for iPhones®, iPads® and Android™ smartphones and tablets. For a mere $70 a year, you can get 1 year of protection on up to 5 devices. That should get your kids back to school with less worry right?

Operating from one screen you can quickly add all your devices, activating protection for all your devices. You will appreciate that if you child loses their phone while away at college Norton 360 Multi-Device has loss-prevention tools that let you locate missing phones and tablets, while backing up files and contacts to protect them. I like that the program updates silently constantly protecting my family–you know those darn viruses and hackers never sleep!

Extra Bonuses!

Norton 360 offers 24×7 online and phone support, because you know you or your children will have questions. Also, you can check out Norton by Symantec coupons from Coupons .com where you will currently find Norton by Symantec offers including 2 coupon codes, and 11 sales.

What is a Fonblet? What should my next Smartphone be? Women over 45

[ 12 ] January 5, 2014 |

Fonblet?  Phablet? Should a Fonblet be my Next Smartphone?

This Verizon Voices WHAT IS A FONBLET post is presented in conjunction with my participation in the Verizon Voices Boomer program and I have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. 

Samsung Glaxaxy Note 3 Fonblet Phablet

Pictured left to right: Samsung Basic Phone, Mototola Droid HD MAXX Smartphone, Samsung Galaxy Note3 Fonblet 

What is a Fonblet?

A Fonblet is a phrase coined by Samsung in early 2013, and further highlighted at a Samsung hosted analyst day, to describe the market it created in 2011 with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Note.

Samsung Glaxaxy Note 3 Fonblet Phablet 2


A Fonblet as defined by Samsung, or the more common term of Phablet, blends the words Phone and Tablet. Fonblet describes a device with a larger display (5-7 in) that can blends the advantages of a smartphone and a tablet while eliminating the need for both!  A Fonblet (Phablet) becomes the one device you need to text/make phone calls/take hand written notes/and surf the web.

My Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a Fonblet (Phablet)

Samsung Galaxay Note 3 fonblet Phablet

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a Fonblet. It has a 5.7 inch full HD screen. While there is never any need to use the enclosed S Pen to enjoy this device, you can use the S Pen to activate Air Command to perform tasks faster and easier. You can also use the S Pen to write yourself action memos. The phone can operate as a phone (DUH), TV remote, a camera, a video camera, serve as a hotspot to connect your other devices and seamlessly surf the web.

Why I recommend that you get a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Fonblet as your next smartphone

Samsung Glaxaxy Note 3 Fonblet Phablet recommendation


The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 should be your next smartphone (IMHO)!

I am crazy about this phone. It’s the perfect phone for Women over 45. While I loved my first smartphone, the Motorola Droid HD MAXX which I reviewed here: Top 10 Smartphone Features for Women over 45 , I must say the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is even better. It’s wonderful to be able to have the bigger display and bigger keyboard. I adore that I can have two window open at once when I am web surfing. Although not billed as having an extensive battery life, I found this phone came close to my Motorola Droid HD MAXX. I loved how I could control the phone with my voice (something else to boss around).

Compared to the Motorola Droid HD MAXX, I just found the Fonbelt (Phablet) Note 3 to be so much more…exactly as it was billed.  I no longer need a tablet and a smartphone, I just need my Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Check out all our Verizon Voices Style Hops and our Verizon Device Reviews.

Party like a Boomer! Verizon Voices House Party

[ 13 ] January 3, 2014 |

Living it up Verizon Style with a House Party

This Verizon Voices House Party post is presented in conjunction with my participation in the Verizon Voices Boomer program and I have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. 

Christmas crowd

 17 enthusiastic participants for my Second Verizon House Party

Great fun was had when the Chief Blonde was in the house!

As I know you remember, I am a Verizon Voices Blogger! I started out as a VerizonVoices Style Blogger and after one month,Verizon moved me over to be a Boomer Blogger because they needed more bloggers in that category! How fortunate that I got to meet great bloggers from two different niches.

One requirement, of being a Verizon Voices Boomer blogger was to have two house parties. I detailed my first digital house party in the blog post: How To Host An Online Party, Verizon Makes It Easy. Now I am giving you the wind up of my second party. Join me now as I take you through all the fun of Hosting a Verizon Voices House Party!

Step #1 — Feed the hungry crowd

Verizon Party Food

The first order of business for any good party is to get everyone fed! Once they have great food in their belly (and perhaps a few drinks), they are much more ready to participate in a product centered house party.

#2 Gather great products to showcase

Verizon took care of this step! They provided three amazing Verizon digital devices that I was able to discuss with my guests and then I gave them away (that was a BIG surprise to all attending…but more about that later).

Here’s the 3 great devices that I gave away at the party, all are currently available in your Verizon store and online!

Verizon Digital Devices House Party

The MINI JAMBOX by Jawbone ($149.99) is an epic little device. It’s an ideal way to hear music, movies and games on any of your digital devices. You can connect via Bluetooth or with a stereo cable. Its small size enables the MINI JAMBOX to fit right into your purse or pocket. Extra Bonus? It serves as a speaker phone so you can take calls on the go. My daughter loved it so much that her brother gave her one for Christmas!

The Mophie Powerstation Duo ($79.99) keeps you going when you are on the go! It charges your smartphone, your tablet and your portable gaming devices. Specially designed to provide rapid charging, the Powerstation can switch between 500 mA, 1 amp or 2.1 amps, giving you high-output power for just about any USB-charged device. I also like that it comes in various colors! The red is my favorite. If you don’t have one of these Powerstations, you don’t realize WHAT you are missing!

Verizon Ellipsis™ 7 ($149 with a 2 year contract) will quickly become your go–to tablet for entertainment and productivity.I was shocked at all this device delivered for such a low price. It has a 7–inch HD display, ample battery life and a powerful processor that lets you easily switch from e-books to games to email. It’s exclusive to Verizon and its fast 4G LTE network. You know it’s very popular as currently the Ellipsis is on backorder!

I also let everyone at the party play with my Samsumg Galaxy Note 3 which was provided by Verizon. This “Phablet” (a device which provides the functionality of a tablet and a smart phone eliminating the need for both) is so amazing. I never tire of using it and showing it my friends (and complete strangers who want to see it as well!) The second I got the Note 3, my son started his campaign to rip it from my clutches. He won and I am giving it to him as a belated Christmas present. Sigh…now I have to go get my own!

#3 Play a great game to feature the devices and give them away!

Verizon Voices House Party

When you have a Product House Party, it is important to get everyone sitting down and listening. I had whipped them all into a frenzy promising them a “Big Surprise”. Once they all got comfortable, I told them we were going to go over the product features by watching videos of each product, me explaining the features, and then we were going to play a game to give the devices away. STUNNED SILENCE. No one could believe they were going to have a great chance to win a Verizon Ellipsis, a Jawbone Jambox Mini or a Mophie charger.

The presentation went great and then we played a rousing game of “White Elephant” to see who would win the prizes. If you have never played before, it’s super fun with a zillion laughs. We had 15 Verizon bags full of wonderful Verizon swag (water bottles, USB, Power chargers and other neat trinkets including a $50 coupon to the Verizon store). Starting with the oldest participant they each chose a bag.  Once everyone had a bag, then they all could steal from one another or decide to keep their bag. A ton of giggles and teasing ensued. Once everyone had made their bag choices, they got to tear into their Verizon bags  and discover who won the big prizes!

A great time was had by all!  Myrna J. won the mophie charger. Blake V won the Ellipsis (he said he was going to give it to his mom as a surprise!). Jerry B. won the Mini Jambox speakers.

#4 End the party with great desserts!

chief Blonde verizon voices house party

We wrapped the party up by enjoying some great desserts. I wanted everyone to note how I dressed in Verizon colors for the occasion!  MANY THANKS to my husband, Walt,  who took so many great pictures during the event and helped me keep things running smoothly.

In case you ever need to throw a Product House party of your own, you can pin these tips!

How to Thow a Product House party

A BIG THANK YOU and farewell!

Thanks to Verizon for all the digital accessories for the party and for letting me be a Verizon Voices Boomer Blogger  for these last 7+ months. The Boomer Bloggers were an amazing group. They were fun to be around and so inspired about learning. We were all crushed that our time as boomer bloggers has come to a close. Check out my reviews for the  Samsung Galaxy Camera, the Motorola Droid Maxx HD, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (review tomorrow) — these are the devices I received as a Verizon Voices Blogger. Also, check out the Verizon Voices Style Hop posts where we featured Verizon tidbits every other week.

Fingers crossed they let me be a VOICE again soon!  It was so special while it lasted!

Verizon Voices House Party