How to access the stars from your home

In an era of news saturated with celebrities, scandals and lots of drama, take a break from it all by accessing these “real news” resources to learn about current advances in space technology that are flying under the radar, but important to know. (It’s a good way to get the kids off social media, too!)

Internationally, there have been massive steps forward in space technology and lunar missions, but unfortunately, they often don’t make the headlines. This is an important age in understanding our universe with so many issues that can and will affect us here on Earth; should we mine the moon for precious resources, should funding go toward rocket upgrades or space stations, should the use of “clean” space equipment be used by all (satellites, rovers that don’t emit greenhouse gases/use less fuel), etc. For those wanting to stay in the loop, here are a few websites and apps that will educate, entertain and just plain “wow” with news about the stars that the whole family will enjoy. 

Kristy CooperHow to access the stars from your home
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Using the internet to reduce paper waste

One of the best spring-cleaning tools you can use right now is… the internet! Using online services to cut back on paper is a great way to declutter your home or office. Plus, you’ll also be helping the environment. Did you know that Americans use more than 90 million tons of paper and paperboard every year? That’s an average of 700 pounds of paper products per person each year.

Here’s a list of ways you can use the internet to clear up the clutter, stop using paper so much, and get your life organized in a clean, green way.

Kristy CooperUsing the internet to reduce paper waste
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Best travel apps for a smoother, less stressful experience

From the time you start planning to the moment you’re back home and scrolling through all your photos, travel apps are a great way to make your next vacation or weekend getaway a breeze. Whether it’s spring break, summer vacation, or a weekend getaway you’re thinking of, we’ve rounded up a list of apps with the potential to make your travel easier, more fun, and stress-free.

Planning & Booking

Choose where you want to go, then book airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals and activities, all with the help of these apps:

Kristy CooperBest travel apps for a smoother, less stressful experience
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Technology advances to watch for in 2019

The only thing constant is change, and that’s definitely true when it comes to technology. If you’re wondering what the future holds for us in 2019, here’s a few things that tech experts are predicting will affect our homes, lives and businesses.

Cyber-attacks move into the real world

According to an Inc. Magazine article, experts are predicting that cyber-attacks will move from the digital world to the physical world in what they are calling “cyber-physical hacking.” Some examples include interference with things like manufacturing equipment, surveillance cameras, or data centers with the potential to shut down businesses or at least cost them a lot of money, along with even more invasions of identity and privacy. For everyone from the teenager using a computer at home to professionals and businesses, safe and strong security measures are an issue that will continue to be at the forefront of our future for a long, long time. 

Kristy CooperTechnology advances to watch for in 2019
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What is internet throttling and how do I check for it?

Did you know that ISPs are required to disclose certain aspects of their service to their customers, including things like data throttling? Here’s what that means, and why Softcom will never participate in blocking or throttling internet access for its customers.

Throttling is when an internet service provider (ISP) purposely slows down your connection speeds. We’ve rounded up the following information about throttling to educate our readers about this practice, give you the tools you need to research and take action, and assure you that Softcom does not participate in this practice.

Kristy CooperWhat is internet throttling and how do I check for it?
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Softcom policy on Chinese telecom equipment protects customers

There has been a lot of concern recently about telecommunications companies building their networks with gear made by Chinese telecommunications companies – namely, Huawei and ZTE. The concern centers around the Chinese government installing backdoors in the equipment to spy on users of the equipment. The equipment may be inexpensive, but the cost to security has been high, to the point that President Trump is considering signing an executive order to ban Chinese equipment from U.S. telecom networks.

Kristy CooperSoftcom policy on Chinese telecom equipment protects customers
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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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