What is the FaceTime bug and how it affects iPhone users

The news went viral this week when a FaceTime bug was discovered that made it possible to listen in on, or even see someone, during a Group FaceTime call, even if the person receiving the call didn’t pick up. There’s a temporary fix in place, with a permanent solution promised by Apple to be coming next week. Meanwhile, here’s how this happened, and what you should do.

Kristy CooperWhat is the FaceTime bug and how it affects iPhone users
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Were you in the “Collection #1” data breach? You might be surprised!

In what is being called the “mother of all breaches,” security experts have reported that a massive database of nearly 773 million unique email addresses and more than 21 million unique passwords was recently posted to an online hacking forum. Referred to as “Collection #1,” it appears that the data didn’t come from a single source, site, or company but is an aggregation that includes fully exposed passwords.

Kristy CooperWere you in the “Collection #1” data breach? You might be surprised!
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How to pick the right internet service for you

Everyone loves to clear out the clutter when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Here’s a new take on that: Make sure you’ve got internet service that isn’t a mess by using our checklist to identify what it takes to make sure you’ve got the very best.

Understand your data needs

Activities like streaming, video conferencing and gaming will need a higher level of service than someone who just uses their computers for email and online shopping. If you have a home office or multiple devices that will all be online at once, this can also affect the level of service. Understanding this and discussing it with an experienced customer service representative will elevate your online experience asap. To learn more about connection speeds and choosing the right plan, read “What internet speed do I need.

Kristy CooperHow to pick the right internet service for you
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What internet speed do I need?

Signing up for internet service is easy. Deciding on the speed and level of service you want? That can be the hard part. Some of the most frequently asked questions we get are about understanding the difference in our 4G LTE plans, especially when it comes to connection speeds.

Here at Softcom, we don’t sell plans based on data usage because we offer true unlimited data for our customers, no matter what plan they choose and without affecting the speed of service. Other companies don’t do this, and in fact will reduce connection speeds once their customers exceed their set data caps within a billing cycle. Depending on how much streaming or data-consuming work is done from the home or office, this could result in a week or two of fast speeds, followed by frustratingly slower connections until the billing cycle resets.

Kristy CooperWhat internet speed do I need?
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How the government shutdown is affecting your online activity

You’ve probably been hearing a lot of news about how the government shutdown is affecting people’s jobs, travel and life. But did you know that it’s also affecting the safety and efficiency of your online activities? Here’s what you need to know.

When government shuts down, so do government-run websites, including consumer protection ones like the National Do Not Call Registry, where a message stating that “due to the government shutdown, we are unable to offer this website service at this time” is all that you’ll see. Similar websites that have also been shut down include identitytheft.gov, an FTC site where identity theft victims can report such activity; and ftc.gov/complaint, where consumers can log complaints.

Kristy CooperHow the government shutdown is affecting your online activity
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How to find the best rural internet service provider for you

If reliable internet is a priority, then finding the best provider and services near you should be too. If you live in Galt or communities throughout Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties area, we’ve got you covered. If you’re from outside our service area, though, and want to find the best options for you, here’s some tips.

When people want to find an internet service provider for rural areas located nearby they often sit down at the computer and type in the search “internet service provider near me” or “rural internet services near me.” That’s a good place to start and likely to get you a list of results in your area. But narrowing it down even more is essential.

The next thing you need to do to find the best provider to fit your needs is to focus your search even more. Some people try to do this by searching for “best rural internet service for me” or “best internet provider for me.” That’s OK, and you might even get some good results worth looking into, but there are more steps to be taken after that using the power of your mind and not Google.

Kristy CooperHow to find the best rural internet service provider for you
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How to tell if you’re a victim of a phishing scam (and what to do)

Tis the season for lots of emails sharing news of sales, specials and fantastic deals. But are they all on the up-and-up? It’s easy to overlook phishing emails, and possible you might accidently click on a link that could cause trouble. If you’re suspicious – good! A healthy dose of distrust can be healthy, especially when dealing with emails and texts you’re just not sure about.

What exactly is phishing?

Email phishing tricks readers into clicking on links that either download malicious software to their computer, or capture user names, passwords and other personal information to illegally access personal or financial accounts.

Kristy CooperHow to tell if you’re a victim of a phishing scam (and what to do)
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Your NaNoWriMo survival guide

If you ever dreamed of writing a book, now might be a good time to finally get it done. Why? November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to those in the know) and there are some amazing resources online to help you get it done.

The beauty of NaNoWriMo is that we’re not just talking about writing the next great American novel here. You can work on any writing project such as a family history compilation, a charity cookbook, or a children’s book. Business owners and entrepreneurs can create ebooks or guides they can sell or give away that support their business by attracting potential clients or customers.

Kristy CooperYour NaNoWriMo survival guide
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How Facebook’s recent hacks affect us all

Stolen passwords, illegal hacks, election fraud – this may sound like a crime drama, but what we’re really talking about here is a short list of Facebook’s recent troubles. With more than 2.23 billion monthly active Facebook users around the world, even if you’re not using Facebook it’s very likely that someone in your home or part of your family is. And the troubles that Facebook has been going through highlight the importance of protecting your information no matter what you do online.

Kristy CooperHow Facebook’s recent hacks affect us all
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Softcom mythbusters: Real truths about rural internet service

You may think you know your internet, but much of what is passed about as truth is often out of date or even pure fiction. As the premier provider of high-speed internet service for rural communities in Central California, we thought it was time for some debunking.

MYTH: With unlimited plans I get the speeds I’m promised

While other carriers offer unlimited plans and super-high speeds, there are hidden limitations that can affect what you really get. Data may be unlimited, but speeds are not guaranteed. Only a certain amount of data per month is guaranteed to be delivered at 4G LTE speeds.  As of March 1, 2017, Verizon / AT&T caps it at 22 gigabytes; T-Mobile at 28 gigabytes. After you go over your 4G LTE cap, you are eligible to be “deprioritized” for the remainder of your billing cycle and your connection reduced to “3G speeds.” We know this can be confusing, so we’ve provided the information you need in this article, “The hidden limitations of unlimited plans.”

Kristy CooperSoftcom mythbusters: Real truths about rural internet service
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