Category Archives: Social Media

How do we Protect Our Children from Online Scams

Are your children using Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media website?   How do we keep our children safe from scams and protect our families?   As a parent who did not grow up with social media and who is learning right along with my children, it is very difficult to monitor or even understand what our children our doing.


Beware of a scam on Instagram that we should all be discussing with our children.  Scammers are having our children load money on a Vanilla Reload card and telling our children that they will double their money.  All they have to do is go put money on the card and give them the pin number on the back.   Within minutes the money did not double but instead completely disappeared from the acccount.   For more information from NBC CT on this scam click on the link :


Instagram Scam


For more information on how to protect our children and ourselves, please visit



There is  information for parents and children, teens, young adults, adults and older adults.


In regards to the Pre-Paid Card Scams, the  Wants you to Know


A prepaid card is a plastic card that you can use to pay for things. You buy a card with money “loaded” on it. Then you can use the card to spend up to that amount. Once you spend the money on the card, you do not owe a bill, since you are using money you already have.

A prepaid card is also called a prepaid debit card, or a stored-value card. You can buy prepaid cards at many local stores and online. Shop carefully for your prepaid card. Many come with fees and charges that will be deducted from the amount of money you can spend.

Scammers are using prepaid cards as a new way to steal your money. They may call or email you and tell you that to win a prize or pay an overdue bill, you have to go buy a prepaid card. The scammer will tell you how much money to put on the card. Then the scammer will ask you for the serial number on the back of the card. This number allows the scammer to transfer the money from your card onto one of his cards.

Why scammers use prepaid cards

  • Prepaid cards are hard to trace
  • No photo identification is needed to collect or spend money loaded on a prepaid card
  • One card can be loaded with thousands of dollars
  • Transactions are quick


And What to Do.

Prepaid cards can be a useful way to pay for things. But treat them carefully so a scammer doesn’t get access to your money.

How to protect your prepaid cards

  • Never give anyone the serial number
  • Do not send prepaid cards in the mail

  • Never give another person the receipt from something you bought with your prepaid card

  • If an online seller tells you to pay with a certain prepaid card, make sure that the seller is approved by the card company. For example, green dot MoneyPak is one prepaid card that seems to be popular with scammers. If you are told by an online seller that you must pay with a “green dot” card, you can check online to see if that seller is approved by the green dot company. The stores that accept the green dot card are listed on the company’s website at Other prepaid cards also list their approved partners on their websites.

  • If a caller tells you that you have an unpaid bill that you must pay with a prepaid card, it is a scam. Hang up and call the company directly. You can confirm that your account is okay. You can also let the company know about the scam.

If you receive phone calls or emails from scammers asking you to buy a prepaid card, tell the Department of Consumer Protection. Give us as much information as you can. You can email us at

Always remember Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance is here to keep you protected  .

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job


If you haven’t already done so, be sure to go check out our APP.  This APP keeps your insurance needs right at your fingertips.

  • Pay your bill online
  • File a claim
  • Get a quote
  • Accident check list
  • Voice record incidents
  • After loss services
  • Weather Updates
  • Town Happenings
  • Social networking integration and so much more


Apple App store   Google play store

Technology a Game-Changer for your Business

internet business insuranceAs we have discussed in the past making sure your business is keeping up with the global trend of technology is very important.  There is so much offered now to help promote and advance our business exposure that every business can make use of.

There is a great article recently written by Daniel Burrus called 25 Game-Changing Hard Trends That Will Create Both Disruption and Opportunity on a Global Level. It discusses all the uses of technology that can help support and grown your business.  Technology is truly the Game-Changer for today’s businesses.

We thought we would share some excerpts from this article.

Cloud Computing Gets Personal and Advanced Cloud Services will be increasingly embraced by business of all sizes, as this represents a major shift in how organizations obtain and maintain software, hardware, and computing capacity. As consumers, we first experienced public clouds (think about when you use Google Docs or Apple’s iCloud). Then we saw more private clouds giving companies the security and limited access they needed, as well as hybrid clouds that provided both, giving customers and consumers access to specific areas of a company’s cloud. Companies of all sizes are using the cloud to cut costs in IT, human resources, and sales management functions. As individuals increasingly use personal mobile clouds, we will see a shift to services and less of a focus on the devices we use to access our services. This shift will also help us address the three limiting factors of mobility: battery life, memory, and processors.

Wear Your Own Device (WYOD) will take off this year as wearable technology goes mainstream with big players launching smart watches, smart glasses, and more, creating new problems as well as opportunities for organizations of all sizes. Over the past few years, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) caught many IT departments by surprise; it’s now time to get in front of this this predictable hard trend and turn it into an advantage.

Social Business Applications take on a new level of urgency as organizations shift from an Information Age “informing” model to a Communication Age “communicating and engaging” model. Social Software for business will reach a new level of adoption with applications to enhance relationships, collaboration, networking, social validation, and more. Social Search and Social Analytics will increasingly be used by marketers and researchers, not to mention Wall Street, to tap into millions of daily tweets and Facebook conversations, providing real-time analysis of many key consumer metrics.

This is just a small part of the article.  The information in this article is valuable to all type of businesses large or small.  Read the full article here.

For more information on obtaining Insurance for your Small Business feel free to contact Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

2013 Recap

thank you2013 has turned out to be a great year for Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance.  We’ve had our ups and downs as most small businesses are experiencing in this economy.  As we spent the year stepping up our game online using social media we really have seen the difference.  We had a goal this year to engage more with our customers and providing them with value information throughout the year. Using both Facebook and our blog we are connecting with our customers more often.  We have seen an increase in the regular engagement from our customers with us. As we explained the importance of small businesses stepping up their game using social media in previous small business tip blogs, we’ve done the same ourselves.

Small businesses in this economy, regardless of the industry, can take full advantage of all that social media offers to them.  Small businesses will always encounter a challenge in growing and reaching their audience.  With a little patience, persistence and using the right tools any business now has the ability to increase their exposure online. When we dove in head first and gave social media and blogging 100% of our time, we nearly doubled our followers on Facebook and nearly tripled our followers on our blog.  Looking back from a year ago and seeing this much of an increase is astonishing to us. If an insurance company can do this, so can your business.

We hope you and your small business have been able to learn from our small business tips and have too seen an increase in business. We wanted to thank all our customers, Facebook followers and blog followers, new and existing for coming along with us on this adventure. We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year.  Make 2014 all you can.  Phh staff1

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

Students Beware: Comments on social media may cost you more than you know

social media and collegeWe came across this article in the NY Times recently, about a high school senior that was attending a college information session for prospect students in Brunswick, Me.  The college is still talking about it.  Apparently throughout the presentation, the student was making derogatory comments on Twitter about the fellow attendees and using expletives.

Apparently this young student was unaware of the affects this may have on her, as colleges keep track of their social media and saw her remarks. Scott Meiklejoh, Bowdoin, Dean of Admissions stated, “It was incredibly unusual and foolish of her to do that”.  Ultimately she was denied admission based on her academic record, but had her academic record been better those remarks could have ruined her chances.

We understand that social  media is the primary source our children use to connect with the outside world today.  What our children need to be aware of is that others are seeing their comments, even people they don’t expect to see them.  Is it worth taking the chance of not getting into college over some thoughts that you felt the need to put on social media.  Probably not.  So if you have a student applying for college next year, it may be worth sitting down and talking with them about how to represent themselves not only in person, but online.

Here is the link to the full article.  Please share with your children and have them share with their friends as well. They don’t want to put themselves in this type of situation and possibly ruin their changes at getting into the college of their choice.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job