Five must-haves for a productive home office

If you have the opportunity to work from home, and want the best results for your efforts, it’s important to set up your office for maximum productivity from the start. A home office has many benefits, most popular being the freedom and flexibility to set your own hours and design a workspace you love. As you peruse packages from your local internet provider and start picking paint colors, though, don’t forget to consider these 5 essential elements for a truly productive work-at-home experience.

Connectivity: In today’s working world, no matter what you do, high-speed internet is absolutely essential. Choose a local internet provider that offers secure, reliable, and high-speed internet. Even if you live in a rural community, advancing technology has made it possible for people in remote locations to enjoy the same high-speed connectivity as their urban neighbors. That means you can upload videos, participate in conference calls, lead a webinar and hold a Facebook chat, no matter where you’re located.

Security: Along with the freedom and flexibility of having a home office, you also get the risk of security issues that can occur outside protected corporate networks. Start by asking your internet service provider about their security protocols and how they can help you work securely from your home office. Invest in antivirus software. And use your office computers only for work-related activities (no online shopping or gaming allowed).

Productivity: Need a printer connected to your home network? Does your PC need a tune-up to protect it from viruses and malware? Productivity depends on systems running smoothly. IT support is just as important in a home office, but you probably won’t have access to the same support as a corporate environment. Before you turn to your local geek squad, check with your internet service provider. Many offer support services that will fit your needs.

Comfort: Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean your office doesn’t deserve corporate-level comfort. Invest in ergonomic seating, good lighting, and a desk with plenty of space and storage. Add art and décor items that inspire your creativity. Or a fancy coffee machine to feed your caffeine addiction. Or you can even dedicate a corner of your office as a studio for YouTube videos and conference calls so you don’t have to keep setting up and breaking down backdrops and lighting every time you go online. Whatever it takes to motivate, inspire, and create more efficiency in your work is worth it.

Organization: Even if your work is mainly high-tech, you can’t avoid a certain amount of paperwork. An organized office is essential, keeping you focused and free of distractions. Check out these 3 simple strategies for organizing everything from cords and cables, to books and paperwork that inevitable clutter up any office no matter where it’s located.

The best support is the one that is there when you need it. From dedicated high-speed internet, to designing and installing a secure network, we have the experience and tools necessary to get your home office connected – fast. Here at Softcom, we provide premier Technical Support seven days a week, which means that if there’s ever a problem, we’ll be nearby to take ownership of the issue and resolve it to your satisfaction. Whether you’re just getting started or already working from home, we can help you create the perfect environment for a productive environment. Give us a call at (800) 982-7675, or ask us a question on our Facebook page, we’re here to help!

 

Kristy CooperFive must-haves for a productive home office
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Signs you may have been hacked – and what to do next

While the internet has opened the world to us, unfortunately it’s also opened us to the world. Attempts to gain unauthorized access to online accounts and computers have become an almost daily occurrence, and it’s become important for even the most casual of internet users to learn how to protect themselves.

From banking accounts to emails to social media, it’s important to be vigilant. While you may not always know exactly how you’ve been hacked, you can keep an eye out for common signs of trouble, and be ready to take action with a few quick strategies for countering and protecting yourself online.

Here are a few warning signs to be on the lookout for:

If you suspect you’ve been hacked, here are a few actions you can take right away to protect your accounts:

Change your password: In some cases, hackers don’t change account passwords right away. This means you still have access, and can change your password to block outside access. Most email or online accounts have a Change Password option from the Account details page. Or you can always click on “forgot password” at the login page to reset your password.

Password good practices: When suspicious of a possible hack, it’s a good policy to change all passwords for accounts such as email or for financial institutions. Do not use the same password for all of your accounts. Use long, complex and unique words or phrases, and if available, opt-in for 2-step verification when changing passwords. This means that any change prompts a notification or special code to be sent to your personal phone.

Spread the word: Send an email or text to your contacts letting them know that you were hacked, and warning them not to click on any links or heed any information in suspicious emails that seem to originate from you.

Scan your computer: Running security software scans should be a routine practice. If you suspect you’ve been hacked, immediately run an in-depth scan for anything suspicious that may be active in your computer.

In this age where business and life are being conducted more and more online, it’s necessary to be as vigilant in your activities online as you would be in the real world. Be aware of your surroundings, adopt good safety techniques, and you’ll be creating good habits that will protect you in the future.

Kristy CooperSigns you may have been hacked – and what to do next
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The Future of Watching Sports Online

People’s love of sports will never change, but the way they watch them definitely will. As many people are cutting the cord on traditional cable options, they are turning to on-demand viewing options for everything from the Olympics to the Super Bowl and in between. The future of watching sports is definitely changing, here’s what to watch for:

Viewers are turning to live streaming over traditional TV: According to Deloitte’s most recent “Digital Democracy Survey,” U.S. consumers are more inclined to stream entertainment from an Internet service than tune in to live TV. And internet-video services are valued more highly than cable or satellite TV among Millennials and their families.

Social media will become a new go-to sports resource: In the last year, video streaming services have overtaken live TV programming in popularity within American households, and that is especially true for younger demographics. Social media companies, with a built-in audience and viewers ready for more offerings, are scrambling to be the new sports source for cord-cutters. Facebook live-streamed many Olympic events last summer. And Twitter is broadcasting Thursday night National Football League games live online this fall, winning the bid to broadcast over Verizon, Yahoo, and Amazon. In addition to live streaming, the NFL-Twitter partnership also includes in-game highlights from “Thursday Night Football” and pre-game Periscope broadcasts from players and teams. (Check it out on tnf.twitter.com.)

Fast, reliable internet access is a necessity: If you want to stream, stable, speedy internet is a must. The good news is that you’re already ahead of the game. As a valued Softcom customer, you can stream all the sports you want. And you don’t need to worry about exceeding maximums, or missing out on a critical play. Our network provides internet access to many communities throughout Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties, offering high-speed packages that support high-bandwidth applications, no matter how remote your home or place of business may be.

For more information on our service areas, check out our Service Area website page. To learn more about our company, our technology, and how we’re leading the charge to provide better, faster and stronger service for all, we invite you to check out this video on our YouTube channel.

Kristy CooperThe Future of Watching Sports Online
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Now serving Wilton and nearby Laguna del Sol residents

Now serving Wilton and nearby Laguna del Sol residents

We’re excited to announce that new towers for internet service have been added recently, expanding our coverage and offering more, faster, better internet connectivity for our customers as we go. We’ve got more in the works, too, so be sure to check back on our blog and Facebook page for updates and announcements of new additions, advancements and service areas.

Announcing Laguna del Sol, Simpson Ranch, and Wilton Internet Service

We’re pleased to announce the expanded availability of reliable internet access service for the Wilton area, as well as residents of nearby community Laguna del Sol. As the premier internet provider in the area, we’re pretty excited to be making inroads into this rural community, where even cell phone service can be pretty hit and miss. We’ve been in contact with citizens of Wilton, Simpson Ranch, and Laguna del Sol over the last couple of years, understanding their frustrations with the lack of internet service, and working diligently to find a solution for them.  After a substantial investment in equipment, and many hours of planning, we are finally in a position to meet their needs as the premier Wilton internet service provider.

This has been a long time coming, and we’re loving the positive feedback we’ve been getting so far. The community of Laguna del Sol, a clothing-optional resort located on 250 acres near Sacramento, has approximately 100 permanent residences and many other visitors throughout the year that have felt pretty much overlooked by larger internet service providers. North Wilton and the Simpson Ranch Community, also rural communities in the area, feeling the same. We’ve been working hard to bring them internet service, and are so pleased to announce our new tower located on the highest ridge overlooking the entire Wilton area.

This particular tower site is a major win-win for Softcom and the community we’ll be serving, with the potential to install an even larger tower there in the future and further expanding internet service in the Wilton area. Service is available this month, with expanding coverage plans rolling out over the next months. Now that’s something we can all be grateful for this holiday season! If you’re in the Wilton, Simpson Ranch, or Laguna del Sol area and ready to finally get internet service you can count on, give us a call at (800) 982-7675 to get connected today!

Kristy CooperNow serving Wilton and nearby Laguna del Sol residents
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Ultrafast and reliable access to election day results

It’s finally time to head to the polls and wrap up this election season. You may think you’ve had your fill of news coverage, school assignments, and waiting in line at Starbucks debates so far, but come the day of the election it’s a whole new ball game.

On Election Day, the focus of our nation will be fixed squarely on the latest results, exit polls, and commentaries from every media source, podcaster, and social media outlet available. In what has become the most unpredictable and nerve-shattering presidential race in recent history, the internet has proven itself an invaluable resource for political information. With the addition of alternative viewpoints, in-depth analysis, comedy sketches, fashion critiques, and a nonstop steam of off-the-wall insights you just can’t get in mainstream media.

Kristy CooperUltrafast and reliable access to election day results
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Softcom announces groundbreaking bandwidth upgrade

Good news! We’re excited to share that we’ll be rolling out an important bandwidth upgrade in the next few weeks that will make your online experience faster, stronger and better than ever.

“We’ve invested nearly $600,000 on asset upgrades to our network over this past year, and expect to spend another $750,000 to $1 million more on improvements in 2017,” said Kevin Triplett, Softcom President and CEO. “This investment in our network will pay dividends to our customers for many years to come, and clearly shows our commitment to staying ahead of the curve and providing our clients with the best possible internet experience they can get.”

Kristy CooperSoftcom announces groundbreaking bandwidth upgrade
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Free Streaming Opportunities for the Presidential Debates

For many of the people who have made the decision to cut the cord and ditch their pay TV services and turn to streaming services, one of the pitfalls they were forced to accept was that it wasn’t easy to be able to continue watching the large-scale events that were typically exclusively televised via the major networks and pay TV companies. In many instances, pay TV companies keep content which is being shown for free over the air behind lock and key to prevent non-subscribers from accessing events like the Olympic Games and 2016 Presidential Debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Until now, that is!

Kristy CooperFree Streaming Opportunities for the Presidential Debates
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Be aware of scam emails pretending to be from Softcom

A quick heads-up for our customers about an alarming trend we’ve seen recently. Hackers are continuing to target our customers with fraudulent emails which purport to be from Softcom in an attempt to get your account information. The most recent attempt came through as a clickable image which redirected you to a fraudulent web site which asks you to input your email address and password.

As a reminder, we’ll NEVER ask you for your account information in this manner.

Kristy CooperBe aware of scam emails pretending to be from Softcom
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New technology brings higher speeds, better connections for customers

We’re excited to announce that we’re integrating Telrad Networks technology, a global provider of TD-LTE broadband solutions, for expanding our wireless Internet network throughout Sacramento and San Joaquin counties. This new tech will be instrumental in giving our customers access to internet speeds that support high-bandwidth online applications, including gaming and streaming media services. Softcom provides internet service Elk Grove to Stockton, and Walnut Grove to Lake Comanche, and beyond.

sadminNew technology brings higher speeds, better connections for customers
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The secret for stress-free streaming

In today’s world of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other online resources for entertainment, audiences are dropping traditional cable and satellite, and turning to streaming for the freedom to watch what they want, anytime, anyplace. Streaming services are band-width hungry, though, and can use from 1 to 4 Mbps easily – per person! Finding the large amounts of bandwidth needed, however, can be difficult, especially if you live outside the urban areas where corporate carriers focus their services.

sadminThe secret for stress-free streaming
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