First and foremost, we want to send you our wishes for the health and safety of you and your family, and our thanks for your continued patronage. As a company, Softcom is adjusting to these unprecedented circumstances we face as a community, a nation and the world. We know that the service we provide is essential during these times, and we are committed to continuing to serve our customers in a safe and responsible manner in our offices, in your homes and businesses, and throughout our community.
As a result of shelter in place directives issued by the State of California, more people are working, learning, and entertaining themselves at home and finding their need for fast and reliable internet increasingly essential. Due to increased demand we are experiencing a dramatic number of new customer sign-ups and existing customer upgrades.
Kristy CooperHow Softcom is responding to COVID-19
We’ve grown up hearing about the dangers of secondhand smoke, but did you know there’s such a thing as secondhand screen time? Yes, it’s a thing, and it’s dangerous too. Research has shown that how much parents use their technology within sight of children might be setting them up for screen addiction later in life.
Studies have shown that American adults touch their phones between 2,500 and 5,000 times a day and they spend between 2.5 to 4 hours on the phone each day. According to the American Psychiatric Association, that fits the definition of addiction: “A condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences.” More studies are in motion as we speak, but the scientific consensus is that phone addiction is real.
Kristy CooperStudies show dangers of secondhand screen time
If you’re a serious social media user, you’ve probably got some basic safety protocols already in place. But we feel that you can never be too safe, so for all you savvy social users we’ve rounded up some advanced tactics to guard your safety both online and off.
Tip #1: The right mindset
Understanding that what goes online stays online – practically forever – is something that social media users of every age should know. When sharing information online it is important for people to realize the permanence of what they post, share or even download. Once information goes on the Internet through social networking it is difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Even for platforms such as Snapchat or Instagram stories that “disappear” within 24 hours, the information may be captured via screen shot and shared anywhere, anytime. Depending on what was originally submitted, those deleted posts can prove detrimental for future job prospects, relationships, and even leave a person vulnerable to crimes.
Making false claims about a political opponent is nothing new. As far back as 1800, for instance, historians tell us that Thomas Jefferson’s camp falsely claimed that John Adams was going to take our country to war with France. That probably wasn’t the first “fake news” to show up in politics, and it’s definitely not the last as lies and mudslinging have been a mainstay of political campaigns ever since.
Fast forward to today and one thing remains the same: misinformation and manipulation are still popular tools that politicians and their supporters use with gusto. One area that has been under scrutiny especially since the last election is social media and its role in influencing election outcomes.
Kristy CooperHow social media political ads will influence 2020 elections
From cyberbullying to cybercrime, the annual Safer Internet Day event is proclaimed to raise awareness of emerging online issues and promote safer internet experiences. If you leave your smart phone unlocked or use passwords like “abc123” you might start thinking differently after seeing these statistics. According to data gathered from top tech organizations, 2019 was a big year for cybercrime with 2020 projected to just keep getting worse.
One cyber-attack happens in every 39 seconds
Hackers stole credit card or financial information from 23% of US people
The US lost between $57 billion and $109 billion due to cybercrime
Phishing caused a loss of $1.48 billion
Email and phone are the most common access for hackers
20% of teenagers received an unwanted sexual solicitation when they use the internet
At least 500,000 predators are active online every day, estimated by FBI
Scary? You bet. Education and awareness are two of the easiest and most powerful tools that we all have, as long as we use them. To help you protect your home, business and family from cybercrime, we’ve rounded up the best of our resources here – for home, for business and even for the holidays.
Kristy CooperSafer Internet Day tips for online safety
You may be on the lookout for phishing and other illegal scams in your inbox, but email isn’t the only place that targets people these days. Social media, a place where many people spend a lot of time, can also pose dangers to users who aren’t on their guard. These tips for social media safety will explain what you need to watch out for – and how to manage it.
TIP #1: Don’t overshare
Sharing thoughts, activities and slices of life are great. But sharing too much information can threaten your personal safety. When it comes to social media safety, avoid posting the following things:
Most of us have wondered, at one time or another, if smartphone tracking is being done to us. Truth is… it probably is!
The New York Times released an interesting, in-depth investigation about who is tracked in the United States via personal smartphones and how much of that information is out there for public use. The answer? Everyone is tracked, no matter where they are. And all of that information is available to pretty much anyone who knows how to access it.
This all started when an anonymous source gave the Times a massive file showing location tracking data for more then 12 million phones from around the country that accurately showed where, when and for how long individuals visited places ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
From the Times report:
“In the cities that the data file covers, it tracks people from nearly every neighborhood and block, whether they live in mobile homes in Alexandria, Va., or luxury towers in Manhattan. One search turned up more than a dozen people visiting the Playboy Mansion, some overnight. Without much effort we spotted visitors to the estates of Johnny Depp, Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger, connecting the devices’ owners to the residences indefinitely.”
What a year! Looking back, we see a year filled with drama, excitement, and accomplishments that made everyone’s life a little bit easier and a whole lot happier. Here’s a round-up of our best of 2019, we hope you feel the same way too!
Education & Entertainment
Connect, learn and grow is the theme for many of the articles and posts we share with our audience online. Educating our readers about technology and how it affects them always gets rave reviews from the community.
Consumer groups and tech companies including Mozilla are continuing the fight to overturn the FCC’s latest ruling and bring about the return of net neutrality. The maker of the popular Firefox web browser joined other influential companies such as Etsy and Vimeo, along with public-interest advocates, to ask a panel of judges to rehear a case that upheld an FCC decision to repeal open-Internet rules.
Let’s stop for a second a review what net neutrality is. In December of 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed the Open Internet Order, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to give everyone equal access to everything they use the internet for. This order also prevented ISPs from creating pay-to-play “fast lanes” for faster delivery of content to those who could afford to pay more.
Kristy CooperMozilla, Etsy and more join the fight for net neutrality
We have some exciting news! We’re happy to introduce the Softcom Smart Router, now available to all Softcom customers. These cutting-edge routers have been developed with the end goal of making our customers’ experience better, faster, stronger, and with an increased ability to control key issues for both home and business users.
If you love the idea of easy device management, robust parental controls, streamlined troubleshooting and advanced customization options, this is what you’re looking for.
Smart Routers are available to Softcom customers for a low monthly rental fee of $10.00. For customers that wish to set up a mesh network, it will be $5.00 per month per device (a minimum of 2 devices).
Kristy CooperElevate Your Internet with Softcom Smart Routers
We believe that everyone deserves fast, reliable internet service no matter where they live or work. Softcom brings the experience, infrastructure, and technology to stand behind our vision. And we’re laser-focused on giving our customers the fast connections, exceptional customer service, and simple, affordable pricing they deserve.