How the pandemic is changing the internet

As the world starts opening back up, it’s obvious that even thought people might talk about “getting back to normal,” a lot of life as we know it will never be quite the same. Almost every facet of life – business, entertainment, food, healthcare, travel, etc. – has been affected and the only certainty we can see in the future is change.

As providers of high-speed internet to rural homes and businesses in the Central California area, we’ve been keeping our eyes on ways technology might change and how it might affect our business, as well as the lives and businesses of those we live and work with here. There is much yet to be discovered, but for now here are some of the ways we see how the pandemic has changed the future of internet use and technology.

Kristy CooperHow the pandemic is changing the internet
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How to choose the best router for Softcom service

One frequent question we often hear from new clients is how to choose the best router for their needs. When setting up new accounts for high-speed internet access, choosing the right router for your home or place of business is an important step, so we’ve rounded up a few guidelines to help your decision.

When Softcom technicians set up a new account, as part of the installation they will configure the router you have chosen to connect to the internet. We do not provide a router as part of the initial set-up, you have the choice of choosing to either rent a router from us (the Softcom Smart Router), or purchase one of your own.

Kristy CooperHow to choose the best router for Softcom service
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How do I set up service with Softcom

If you’re new to the area, or new to Softcom, and wonder what it takes to get set up for high-speed internet access here in the San Joaquin Valley area, here’s what you need to know.

Softcom currently provides internet service to the following cities: Acampo, Clements, Collierville, Courtland, East Stockton, Elk Grove, Galt, Herald, Isleton, Lake Camanche, Lockeford, Lodi, Morada, North Stockton, Thornton, Victor, Walnut Grove, Wilton, Woodbridge, and Youngstown. If you live in those cities or the surrounding areas, you can check to see if you fall within our service boundaries by  checking the map on our website. Even if it seems that you fall outside the boundaries, don’t give up. Please call our customer service team and they will check. We are constantly adding new towers and upgrading our equipment in order to give our customers the best service as we expand our range.

When you call customer service, here’s what will happen:

Kristy CooperHow do I set up service with Softcom
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How to use technology for self-improvement goals

We’re a few months into 2020 – how are your resolutions holding up? If you need some help with self-improvement goals this year, we’ve rounded up a list of the top tech, apps, and ideas that are great for helping you stick to your goals all year long.

YouTube

Much more than movie trailers and music videos, YouTube contains a vast variety of channels that can be used for education and self-development. Whether you’re interested in inspiration, motivation or education, there’s something for everything. Here’s a few to get you started:

Kristy CooperHow to use technology for self-improvement goals
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Tech innovations to watch for in 2020

Game-changing innovations in technology are moving us toward a future life much like the Jetsons. In fact, in many ways, we’re already ahead of that fun futuristic cartoon we all enjoyed as kids. Between Alexa, Roomba, self-driving cars and virtual reality personal trainers, today’s modern world is looking sleeker and more high-tech than George Jetson could ever imagine.

If you’re wondering what’s on the horizon for new technology, we’ve rounded up a few advances we think look pretty cool for 2020 and beyond.

Kristy CooperTech innovations to watch for in 2020
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The hidden dangers of pop-up internet providers

Pop-up shops are nothing new if you’re talking about sunglass kiosks in the mall or specialty chocolate shops at the holidays. But pop-up internet providers are a whole different ballgame. Before falling under the seductive spell of super-low pricing, it’s important to understanding how these start-ups work and what they can (and can’t) provide.

Pop-up internet companies are small start-ups that provide internet coverage at too-good-to-be-true prices, often in rural areas that have limited choices and resources. Their ability to offer unlimited data comes from short-lived agreements or loopholes that allow them to access and provide data for a short time using a larger company’s system (such as AT&T or T-Mobile) until they are discovered and cut off.

Kristy CooperThe hidden dangers of pop-up internet providers
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How power outages affect your internet access

One of the best early warning systems of a Wifi internet outage is children. “What happened to the Wifi?!” is a cry well-known to parents, educators and the like and the most vocal heads up you can get that your wireless internet access recently stopped working.

Today’s modern home has much more than just a laptop relying on Wifi connectivity. There can be dozens of devices that require wireless internet to function including TVs, computers, tablets, thermostats, smart doors, and security systems. If your internet stops working, there are a number of possibilities for the cause. Power outages are usually obvious, so if it looks like the power is still on, click on the article link below for an easy checklist to help you identify the problem.

Kristy CooperHow power outages affect your internet access
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How Softcom is responding to COVID-19

To our friends and customers,

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
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How social media political ads will influence 2020 elections

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
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NYT Investigation Unveils Shocking Smartphone Tracking Practices

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.”

Kristy CooperNYT Investigation Unveils Shocking Smartphone Tracking Practices
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