About Amy

Amy Hicks, is the Marketing Director for the US team at Protect Your Bubble. She has over 12 years of experience in branding, product development, direct marketing, digital marketing, and customer relationship management. She has held positions with agencies as well as Fortune 500 firms. Amy has a BA in Finance and a Master’s of Science and Marketing from Georgia State. She’s been in Atlanta for over 30 years and lives in Smyrna with her 2 fun, wild kids and husband. Follow her on Google.

Moms: Becoming a Multi-Device Maven

happy family on couch

Come on, guys, it’s time to get to school!

 

Remember when that used to be a phrase you spoke out loud? Fast forward to the 21st century—it’s probable that you just texted that to your kids from the kitchen.

 

Your phone, your spouse’s phone, your kids’ phones, their laptops, desktop, iPods, iPads, and televisions—electronics galore! Times have changed, and we may as well figure out how to manage the onslaught of technology instead of burying our heads in the sand about its potential dangers. But how?

 

Limit Screen Time

Most of us already know the risks of a sedentary, screen-overloaded lifestyle. Obesity, violence, irregular sleep, behavioral problems—not so fun. But how do we productively monitor and limit screen time for kids? A lot of little successes will come from your willingness to set a good example and keep firm boundaries. Keep TV and computers in the background turned off, keep electronics out of the bedroom, set rules during the school week about screen time and use recording devices to decide which programs to watch instead of scanning for what’s on now—these are the rules we live by in my house.

limit screen time

This child is the top ranked player on Club Penguin

 

Limit Texting While Driving

Would you let your kids drink and drive? I didn’t think so. Yet many of us text and drive, despite the shocking results of a study from the University of Utah which found that the risk of being in an accident while using a cellphone is similar to the risk of driving with a blood alcohol level at the legal limit of intoxication. Because of this, 35 states have passed laws banning cellphone use while driving—check what your state laws are, and be sure to set an example for your kids by avoiding texting and driving. To manage your kids’ texting behavior, consider enrolling your family’s phones into programs or apps like TextLimit, DriveMode, and Canary, which allow you to set the speed at which features like texts, emails, and beeps get disabled. Some apps also allow you to enable geo-locating and receive speeding alerts to keep a close eye on your kids.

teens texting while driving

Showing off his texting skills to his lady friend

 

Family Protection Plans

You may as well place wagers on how long the latest electronic devices will last in your house. If the kids don’t beg you for the newest devices each time one is launched, then they’ll ask for replacements because somebody dropped their backpack and cracked their iPhone screen. With all of the devices in your house, how do you keep track of when you purchased which one, and what level of insurance you have on this one, or that one? Use a bundled protection plan that covers smartphones, tablets, electronics, and even appliances for a low monthly price, with easy claims resolution and quick turnaround for replacements—it’s an investment all savvy moms should make to keep the household running smoothly.

bundled protection

Shameless self-promotion

 

Keep Your Kids Safe Online

There’s no need for scaremongering. However, back in 2004, the Youth Internet Safety Survey showed 1 in 5 youth received unwanted sexual solicitation online. Now, they’ve also found that cyberbullying can start as young as in second grade—lets pause so I can take a giant swig of mommy juice, that is insane!

cyberbullying

Face-to-face bullying is down; Cyberbullying is up

Anyway, the two-pronged approach to deflect this from happening to your family calls for you, the mom, to have explicit conversations with your children about online safety. Be sure to address valuing privacy online, stress to never give out personal information or photos and to never meet any online friends in person. Most importantly, teach your children to always be kind—because anything posted online will last forever.

 

These chats can be awkward, but someone has to do it. At the same time, be a smart parent and use your internet service provider’s parental controls, and check the history of your kids’ online usage—don’t snoop, be transparent about what you are doing. Make sure you know what their social networking profiles show, perhaps requiring them to give you their login and password information. Install a mobile security app like Snap Secure to protect your family in the digital space.

snap secure

Shameless self-promotion pt. 2

 


 

 

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Renter’s Insurance

new apartment

What is renter’s insurance really all about? Renter’s insurance is protection intended for anyone who rents an apartment, home, or other live-in arrangements. Many tenants tend to think their landlord’s insurance will cover the damages to their personal possessions, but it won’t. Your landlord’s insurance only covers the building you live in. Purchasing a policy protects you if your items end up in the hands of criminals and more importantly, if there’s a disaster like a fire that ravages your home.

 

Do you need more information on renter’s insurance before you decide on purchasing a policy? Here are 3 things you may not know about your homeowners or renters coverage.

 

1. Personal Liability

 

Renter’s insurance does not just cover your property. It can protect the tenant from personal liability if someone hurts themselves while in the property being rented or if someone else’s personal property is damaged while at the rental property. The liability coverage in a customer’s policy can protect them from being sued for medical bills and other costs.

injury on property

2. Alternate Living Expenses

 

Renter’s insurance can also cover alternate living expenses if there is an accident. Everyone knows that accidents can happen. A tornado could tear down your home or a fire could burn it down. In any of these scenarios, it is obvious that you cannot move back in the very next day. You have to wait for everything to be repaired. Because of this you will need to find somewhere else to stay. Renter’s insurance can cover a portion of your living expenses, most of the time, while you wait for the repairs to be finished. This type of policy is a safety net for these types of situations. fire insurance

3. Replacement of Important Items

 

It’s no fun if you lose a suitcase while traveling and is extremely frustrating.  Most airlines will only reimburse a customer up to a limited amount, which in most cases are far less than the lost items were worth.  Fortunately, renter’s insurance may cover the remaining cost of the lost items, which makes these policies all the more valuable to renters who frequently travel. What happens if your car is broken into and a large quantity of personal property is stolen? Most auto insurance policies have a limited coverage for property stolen in the vehicle, but your homeowner’s insurance can pick up the slack. In fact, your homeowner’s policy can cover your personal property anywhere in the world.

travel lost luggage

Renter’s insurance may seem unnecessary until you are subject to an unfortunate event. Only then you realize you should have it.  You’d be surprised to know that purchasing a policy is relatively inexpensive. The right renter’s insurance policy is a smart investment of your time and purchasing a good policy is a smart use of your money.  Renter’s insurance can vary widely, be sure to check out PYB’s Renter’s Insurance page to see the full coverage details of our protection plan.

 


 

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Popular Electronics & Appliances Received This Christmas

With all the technological advancements surrounding our lifestyle, it is no surprise that electronics and appliances are some of the top items on the gift list. Electronics and appliances are not only useful – they also provide convenient and money-saving options to keep the whole house safe and sound. Here are some of the electronics and appliances received this Christmas:

 

SimpliSafe Security System

 

SimpliSafe Security System ensures a safe home – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People love this device as it can track any movements around the house. SimpliSafe uses a GSM cell service so it can cover more than 96% wireless connection of a whole country. If the location does not have any strong wireless connection, it can be connected to a broadband. This security system is priced at $200, plus monthly payment for the wireless service.

 

Sony PlayStation 4

 

Sony’s PlayStation still is one of the most popular items this Christmas – and what could get any better than owning the Play Station 4. This new model has more game features so people of all ages will definitely have a wonderful time playing high-definition games with digital surround sound system. As of December 28, it already made about 4.2 million sales! Sony Play Station 4 is priced regularly at $399.

 

 

Nordic Track Elite 9500 Pro

 

This treadmill is the most advanced yet in the home exercise system. It has all the features every fitness enthusiast needs – plus an iFit Technology that offers customization of workouts. This can even be virtually used with a fitness trainer via wireless service. The price of Nordic Track Elite 9500 Pro is about $2,000 – higher than other brands but definitely worth it.

 

Belkin Fridge Mount for iPad

 

The famous iPad made its way into the households. A fridge mount can now be used so grocery lists, recipe lists and upcoming events can be seen in a few swipes of a finger. No need to get those sticky notes or fridge magnets. For an approximate price of $39.99, the Belkin Fridge Mount for iPad tops all practical gift ideas.

 

 

Other electronics and appliances include the Asus Transformer Book 10.1 Inch Detachable 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop, Samsung HT-F9750W Home Theater System and the Digital Spa Shower Control. Each of these pricey gifts would benefit from an extended warranty to ensure that its lifetime is long lasting. Visit Protect Your Bubble’s Electronics & Appliances page for more details.

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Ensuring that Your Mobile Gadget Insurance Claim Will Be Approved

So you went and lost your phone, gotten completely out of whack that you don’t know where you put it. All diligent search is futile, your precious phone is nowhere to be found. One good thing from this is that you have it insured, so how do you file a claim and make sure that it gets approved and that you will get a new phone? Here are 3 useful tips to ensure that your mobile gadget insurance claim will be approved.

 

1. Complete your requirements

 

Of course filing a claim is not as simple as calling your insurance company and saying “I lost my phone” or “my phone is broken”, you have to provide them with proper documentation on how the phone got lost as well as the usual documentary requirements like your insurance policy, proof of ownership, receipts, proper identification and all those stuff. Yes, it may be a bit tedious to accomplish but ensuring that you keep all your pertinent documents intact and ready to be submitted at a moment’s notice will allow you the opportunity to file a complete claim quickly.

 

2. File Necessary Reports

 

This is rather important for theft of your mobile gadget, having a ‘police report’ is important so that your insurance company will have proof that your phone got stolen indeed and the police report will substantiate this claim. It is an important facet in ensuring that you are not making a fraudulent claim and yes the insurance company is not saying you are but it’s a way they protect themselves from others who will do so. They are not pinpointing you, it’s just the standard of doing things to ensure safety and security both for you and for the company as well.

 

3. Pay the Necessary Fee Immediately

 

Another reason that a claim might get delayed is that you don’t pay the deductible at once, so once your claim has been approved make sure you send through the payment for the deductible immediately to ensure that your claim will be processed at once.

 

Usually, once your claim has been approved and you have paid the deductible, the insurance will send through your replacement phone promptly. Filing a claim need not be a complicated task, right?

 

In this regard it might be a good idea to pick an insurance company that makes the claims process a simple task.  If you want to insure your mobile gadget and ensure that you are getting the best insurance possible at an affordable rate, then you might want to give protect your bubble a go, offering complete insurance package for your gadget, easy terms and easy claiming process as well. You can’t go wrong with Protect Your Bubble mobile gadget insurance.

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Your Checklist When Applying for Mobile Gadget Insurance

Mobile Gadget InsuranceThese days it’s very rare that you won’t see someone using a smartphone, tablet or some other type of electronic gadget while on the go.  Many use these gadgets simultaneously for business as well as pleasure. As mobile gadgets propagate around the globe, so does theft. Who gets the brunt if it gets stolen? If you don’t have insurance, then it will be you. No matter how careful we are when handling our mobile gadgets, accidents do happen. What becomes of your device when it’s damaged? It becomes useless.

 

Mobile gadget insurance provides you the coverage not included in the standard warranty terms such as: accidental damage, fire, water damage, and theft. More and more consumers are recognizing the important of protecting their investments against these types of scenarios.

 

You may be asking yourself, ‘how do I choose an insurance company?’ To help you make that choice, here’s a checklist of what you should be considering when purchasing insurance for your mobile gadget.

 

Read the Fine Print

 

Make sure that what you’re buying is actually what you need. Don’t settle for the cheapest one you can find, you need to look at the fine print and determine whether or not what you’re buying is something that fits your needs. Check for coverage, amount, deductibles and claims processing procedure and time.

 

Processing Times

 

Processing time can include the time your coverage begins and as well as the length of time it takes for you to get a claim once filed. Some insurers don’t begin immediately, so you need to check this out. You should also look into their promised claim processing time.

 

How Many Claims Can You Make

 

It is also safe to surmise that you can and may do damage to your mobile gadget more than once, so you should consider a mobile gadget insurance that allows you to claim more than once.

 

Ease of Registration

 

Hassle free registration is what we all want. A company that provides you an easy way to register or sign up for the insurance without any hassle is a definite plus!

 
In the end, purchase insurance that is worth your money and provides your mobile gadgets the protection it deserves. Protect Your Bubble’s mobile gadget insurance gives you peace of mind, protecting your gadgets from theft and damage. With better payment options, you get full coverage at a great price. The sign up process is really easy too. Go to the website and fill out the required information and voila! You’ve just got your mobile gadget insured. Yes, it’s really as easy as that.

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“Life-saving” Educational Apps on iPads & iPhones For Your Toddler

I remember when I was a kid – my mother would give me a box or a wooden spoon and a pan to occupy me when she needed to not have to worry about what I was getting in to. Now, I have 2 little ones terrorizing our household on a daily basis – and sometimes even those types of activities aren’t enough.

 

My little hurricanes have a lot of energy and there are days that the only thing that will hold their attention for more than 5 minutes is something electronic. It’s always so easy to plop kids down in front of the television – but we all have felt guilty for doing that. There are a ton of great educational apps for iPads and iPhones that will not only hold their attention but also stave off that TV guilt that – let’s face it we’ve all had to endure during those very special energetic moments!

 

Princess Isabel’s favorites (with mom’s endorsement) include:

 

1. Endless Alphabet – free – 5 star rating

 

An educational app is super cute and a wonderful way for children to learn the alphabet. You get a word and all the letters that spell the word. You have to drag each letter to its correct place in the word. The entire experience is animated with cute little monsters and when all of the letters have been dragged to the proper place, a few of the monsters demonstrate the definition of the word. Fantastic use of letters and language!

 

2. Agnitus – free – 4.5 star rating

 

This app is awesome because it follows your child’s skill level. As the princess gets better, the games get harder. There are a few different games in it like memory games, color recognition, counting, sense of quantity, etc. It actually focuses on 9 academic skills based on the common core state standards. The best part as a parent is that I get a report card emailed to me telling me how Isabel is doing. My 2 year old is the equivalent of a 4 year old with memory… not so fun for mommy when I’m hoping she’ll forget something!!

3. PBS Kids – free – 4 star rating

 

Princess Isabel loves this one because she can watch some of her favorite episodes of her favorite PBS Kids television series. This app features a ton of different videos from shows like SUPER WHY!, Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Curious George, Dinosaur Train and more. Additionally there are new videos every week – which keeps her engaged with new material. The princess is very fond of the potty episode on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood at the moment – so I am happy for her to watch it over and over.

 

4. I Hear Ewe – free – 3.5 star rating

 

This educational app doesn’t have a high rating in the reviews; however the princess loves animal sounds. She has been playing with this app since she was 8 months old. It has 24 different animal sounds and 12 different vehicle sounds. It’s fun when I can ask her things like “Where is the cow?” or “What does the cow say?” and she can touch the correct answer (or answer me) and then we can listen together. This app has an upgrade called “I See Ewe” for $0.99 that expands into shapes, objects, colors and more.

 

5. Shape-O ABC’s by Bellamon – $1.99 ($0.99 on iphone) – 4.5 star rating

 

This app is a puzzle app where you drag and drop shapes to complete a puzzle. It has pretty colors, which can be changed, and letters are used as puzzle pieces to help with letter recognition. I often find Isabel picking out her favorite animal puzzles and completing them over and over.

 

Princess Regan’s (Isabel’s BFF that lives next door) favorites include:

 

1.Wheel’s on the bus – free/$1.99 – 4 star rating

 

This cute app is a favorite because of the song “Wheels on the Bus”. It features an interactive sing along, a horn piano, car race, happy bus math and more. The two BFFs love to sing this song and this app keeps them entertained while we moms enjoy a quick break. The app starts out free, but you need to pay $1.99 to get access to more song pages and screens.

 

2. Interactive alphabet by piikea street – $2.99 – 3.5 star rating

 

Although this app doesn’t have as high of a rating as some of the other educational apps; Princess Regan loves it. She flips through each letter and works the interactive bit for each one – like eating the apple, zipping the zipper or making the dinosaur roar. When Princess Isabel is playing with Regan the two girls fight over whose turn it is to tickle the whale. It’s a good one for upper and lower case letters as well as phonics sounds.

 

3. WATCH Disney Junior – free – 3 star rating

 

Princess Regan HAS to see Mickey every day. This app is similar to PBS Kids as it’s full of episodes off of the Disney Junior channel. Your toddler can watch learning shows like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Doc McStuffins. Since both girls love to dance to the hot dog song – it definitely is a good way to get them up dancing and singing along.

 

4. ABC Mouse – free – 4.5 star rating

 

An educational app that hasa music video for every letter of the alphabet. These little girls love, love music which makes it a favorite. Toddlers learn the sounds of the letters as well as increase their vocabulary. The only thing to be aware of with this app is all of the videos aren’t unlocked – you have to earn tickets through watching videos to unlock the rest of the videos. Or you could make in-app purchases to unlock them quicker.

 

5. Pizza Crazy Chef or Smoothie Master: A Crazy Chef – both by Tab Tale LTD – free – 4 stars & 3.5 stars respectively

 

These aren’t really educational apps– but they do have healthy ingredients as choices… Princess Regan will absolutely argue with you that she’s really cooking – so we had to include them in her favorites. We all need a fun game every once in awhile!!

 

Prince Grayson’s favorites include:

 

All of these – he’s only 10 months old – while he’s too young for the apps – he loves to stick my iphone in his mouth (reason why I own mobile gadget insurance), smash his had repeatedly on my ipad (reason why I own ipad insurance), and screams like a banshee if Princess Isabel takes either gadget away from him.

 

All of the ones I’ve recommended are apple store educational apps because we are an apple family. Having browsed through the apps in the android app store, I found a few similar apps when searching under specific topics like toddler education, toddler alphabet learning, etc. If the ones Princess Isabel and Regan suggest aren’t of interest – there are tons more out there. Just ask people with kids and you will get more recommendations than you can load on your phone.

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