Even though this month has been designated National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we feel that your security is an all-year-long issue that everyone should be aware of. It’s no longer enough to watch for suspicious emails and think that you’re too small a target to attract the attention of cybercriminals. As criminals get savvier and their efforts more targeted, everyone from individuals to large organizations need to be aware and vigilant in using positive and protective cybersecurity practices.
Held every October, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. NCSAM was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance & the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in October 2004 and continues annually.
Kristy CooperOctober is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
While technology has made it easier to do many things, when it comes to streamlining your bills it can still be pretty confusing. If you’ve successfully cut the cord and lowered your bill by moving to streaming services, it’s natural to take the next step and look for money-saving moves to help cut internet costs. You can save money, but it’s important to know what to look for – and what to avoid – or you might end up paying more in the long run.
Internet service provider (ISP) marketing campaigns would have you think that by choosing a new service you’re guaranteed to pay less. But those splashy, too-good-to-be-true offers don’t give you the whole picture. And as the saying goes, the truth can be found in the details. So here’s what you need to know about how to cut internet costs:.
Kristy CooperHow to Cut Internet Costs Without Degrading Your Service
Understanding and managing your money has come a long way from the days where all you needed to know was how to balance your checkbook and put away some money in a few CDs. Today’s technology has put every aspect of personal finance at your fingertips, however, with apps for everything from apps for budgeting to investing for financial growth.
There are a lot of apps available with a variety of functions, so if you’re new to this market we’ve put together a list of top-rated apps you can check out to get started. One of the best things all of these apps share is accessibility. You have the ability to manage your finances wherever you go – on the computer, on your phone, on vacation or at home.
Kristy Cooper7 Top Apps for Budgeting, Managing and Growing Your Money
We’ve all had that feeling. You turn on your streaming service, a colorful menu with an ocean of options pops up. You pause and stare at the screen. So many great choices. New shows to try out. Old favorites to revisit. Movies, sitcoms, documentaries, concerts, the list goes on and on … and on. Suddenly it’s 20 minutes later and no decisions have been made. It’s called streaming paralysis. And it’s affecting so many Americans that news of this issue is popping up everywhere from broadcast news shows to Nielsen reports.
According to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report, adults in the United States spend 11 hours and 27 minutes per day connected to media, and more than half of that usage is with digital media. And even though seven in 10 homes now have streaming service, which would indicate a general sense of comfort and proficiency with using the technology, nearly 21% of people indicated frustration with not being able to decide on something to watch and eventually walking away.
Kristy CooperNielsen’s report: Too many choices can lead to streaming paralysis
What defines privacy is constantly evolving in these modern times. Smart phones, live streaming video chats, family safety tracking apps and smart home devices have made life much easier. But the flip side of these devices mean that GPS location tracking, microphones and cameras accessible via most any wireless devices have made “living off the grid” an impossibility. Reasonable expectations of privacy have become the subject of debates ranging from our nation’s highest courtrooms to the family kitchen table.
As you read this article, for instance, there are currently 2,000 satellites orbiting in the skies above us. By 2025 as many as 1,100 satellites could be launching each year, including SpaceX’s Starlink plans to add 12,000 small satellites by 2027. These satellites are being created and launched to provide everything from weather monitoring to global GPS positioning to boosting internet accessibility and taking pictures of every angle of the Earth.
Kristy CooperRedefining privacy in these modern times
Robocalls. Fake neighbor spoofing. Cell phone spam. Whatever you call them, these types of illegal calls are getting worse, and definitely getting more annoying. In fact, according to YouMail’s Robocall Index, last month Americans received 4.4 billion robocalls during just that month. That breaks down to 145 million per day, or 6 million per hour, or 1,700 calls per second. In addition to the inconvenience, robocalls also pose a danger to those who fall prey to fraudulent scams that attempt to invade people’s privacy and often their bank accounts. So how can we block robocalls and the like?
While registering on the “Do Not Call Registry” was an initial solution that helped a little, lately it doesn’t seem to matter how careful you are, they still get through. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the U.S. government is taking action.
Kristy CooperHow to Block Robocalls and Fake Neighbor Calling
Wireless data allows us to access the power of the internet from practically anywhere we want to, and a recent study shows that Americans are putting that easy access to use as wireless data use more than doubled in the U.S. in 2018 as compared to 2017 and continues to grow at an impressive rate. In fact, mobile data use was up more than 82 percent growth last year – more data than was used in the first six and a half years of this decade all together.
This growth in voice calls, texts, and data is driven in part by the increasing number of wireless devices in the U.S. In 2018, Americans connected another 21.5 million mobile devices for a total of 421.7 million devices. But it’s not just about smartphones anymore as people are using data-only wireless devices that connect on-the-go such as watches, cars, health and fitness monitors, and household items with use growing 10 percent in 2018 to reach 139.4 million devices.
Kristy CooperU.S. consumers use record amount of wireless data in 2018
If you like the idea of adding smart technology to your home, but are worried about complications or expense, you’re in luck. All you need is a smart phone and high-speed internet and you can easily add “smart technology” such as thermostats, smoke detectors, garage door controls, home security cameras, doorbells and locks to your home. The good news is that a lot of this kind of tech can be installed quickly and easily by the homeowner and without spending a lot of money.
Ready to get started? Here are a few ideas for smart home-tech upgrades that are easy to DIY.
Kristy CooperSimple ways to add smart technology to your home
If you use AT&T, they are probably aware that you are reading this article right now, where you are reading it, what you click on before and after you read it, and storing all of that information to use in targeted marketing and advertising later on. It’s not just AT&T, either, but we’re sharing this info with you after a recent profile of AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson in Fortune magazine in which he openly laid out the mega-company’s plan to profile and target customers for advertising.
AT&T has transformed itself into a media colossus by buying Time Warner, adding to its incredible array of content from holdings including HBO, CNN, TNT, and others in combination with a huge distribution network across mobile broadband, DirecTV, and U-verse. Stephenson shared his vision of permanent, across-the-board surveillance of all those customers for extremely targeted – and personal – advertising.
Kristy CooperHow AT&T plans to use private customer info you may not be aware of
Keeping up to date with technology is important for every kind of business – even ones that have nothing to do with technology. Technology is inescapable part of life and business. Farmers carry smart phones, vineyards utilize drones, and brick-and-mortar businesses have sophisticated security systems. Crafters use the online shopping carts to sell their products, and cupcake makers use tablets to accept payments on the road. These are just a few examples of how everyone needs access and familiarity with technology to help their business thrive.
The risks of ignoring or trying to do without technology can harm a business in many ways, but the rewards can mean getting ahead of your competition and thriving in the long run. Here’s a few reasons why.
Kristy CooperWhy keeping up with technology is good for business
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.