Tips to avoid identity theft online

Identity theft continues to be a major concern, especially for those who shop or do business online. In fact, identity theft hit a record high in 2017, with more than 16.7 million people affected, according to recently released statistics. As consumers have become savvier, and new security measures such as credit card chip technology are fighting back, identity theft thieves are shifting their focus online. By stealing passwords and personal information, they can open accounts, order products, access existing funds and create all sorts of havoc in a very short amount of time.

We’ve addressed email phishing scams and how to outsmart them, plus tips for keeping your family safe online, and are continuing in our effort to help you have the best experience online with even more tips here for avoiding the dangers of identity theft online.

Kristy CooperTips to avoid identity theft online
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Ready to stream? Now is the perfect time to cut the cord

If you’ve been hesitating to cut the cord and start streaming, now’s the time to jump in. Deals from streaming services such as DIRECTV NOW, YouTube TV, Hulu and Amazon Prime, in addition to stable Internet service from providers like us, means it’s the perfect time to make the switch.

“Cutting the cord,” the process of getting rid of traditional cable TV services and switching to watching television by streaming it via the Internet, is a concept that has existed for some time. However, for people who live in rural areas where internet services were either too slow or not available at all, cutting the cord has been out of reach. Until now.

Kristy CooperReady to stream? Now is the perfect time to cut the cord
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The one thing you need before cutting the cord

Watching TV is not the same as it was when you were a kid anymore. In fact, it’s barely recognizable. Add to that the changes that the internet has brought to home, business, school, work and play and you’ve got a whole new world that is changing dramatically. At the center of it all lies something we’re very familiar with – understanding how best to connect to the world as it is today.

We’ve written about this a few times in the past and are not surprised at all to let you know that 2017 was the year that cord-cutting finally became mainstream. Fed up with high prices and bloated packages, millions of Americans continue to sever their relationship with traditional cable services, instead choosing streaming services that deliver low rates and the ability to get everything they want – and nothing they don’t.

Kristy CooperThe one thing you need before cutting the cord
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Our position on Net Neutrality

The repeal of Net Neutrality is a hot topic in America, and many of our customers have reached out to find out how we feel about it. Here at Softcom we believe that everyone should have the same opportunities to access the internet, no matter where they live, without us getting in the way of you getting the content you want.  In short, what does this mean for our customers? That we’ll continue to provide the best internet access and services to each and every customer without any net neutrality shenanigans. Or, in other words…business as usual!

Kristy CooperOur position on Net Neutrality
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Cord-cutting rates continue to skyrocket

Cancelling expensive satellite and cable company contracts, aka cutting the cord, and moving to internet-based streaming is continuing to grow at an outstanding rate. In fact, the speed at which people are leaving traditional pay TV is on track to be the biggest upset of the year. In the last quarter alone, approximately one million pay TV subscribers in the U.S. cut the cord and moved to internet-based streaming services. Even ESPN viewers, formerly some of the most loyal fans around, are jumping ship with the company losing more than 10 million viewers in the last few years. This shows a growing trend of consumers who either don’t watch sports, or are tired of the high price that comes with access for it. In fact, one recent survey suggests that 56% of remaining ESPN viewers would drop it in a heartbeat if it meant saving the estimated additional $8 price tag the sports network adds to cable subscriptions each month.

Kristy CooperCord-cutting rates continue to skyrocket
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The profound effect internet has on day-to-day life

(or) The day our tech got schooled by a 5-year-old

A funny thing happened to one of our techs during a recent service call. A family had reported their rural internet service was out and we sent Kurtis to the rescue. The problem was found and solved pretty quickly – some connecting cables had been accidentally moved inside the home. But the whole time Kurtis was there, the family’s little 5-year-old let him know how much this internet interruption had interrupted her life, with all the sass and authority only a Kindergartner could muster. Kurtis had trouble keeping a straight face – it was the best call of the day!

Kristy CooperThe profound effect internet has on day-to-day life
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Softcom Reveals The Truth About “Unlimited” Plans

The Hidden Limitations of “Unlimited” Plans

There’s a trend in the market today of big-name carriers offering “unlimited” data plans that seem like the perfect answer for heavy internet users. Promises of never-ending data may sound great, but before you answer the siren call of data without limits, be sure to take a closer look at what you’ll really get.

Data may be unlimited, but speeds are not guaranteed

While many carriers offer “unlimited” data to a certain extent, their plans are filled with a lot of asterisks and if/when scenarios that will affect the quality of your service. 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.” Depending on how much streaming or data-consuming work you do from your home or office, this could result in a week or two of streamlined internet speeds at the top of your billing cycle, followed by weeks of frustratingly slower connectivity.

Kristy CooperSoftcom Reveals The Truth About “Unlimited” Plans
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The Future of Watching Sports Online

People’s love of sports will never change, but the way they watch them definitely will. As many people are cutting the cord on traditional cable options, they are turning to on-demand viewing options for everything from the Olympics to the Super Bowl and in between. The future of watching sports is definitely changing, here’s what to watch for:

Viewers are turning to live streaming over traditional TV: According to Deloitte’s most recent “Digital Democracy Survey,” U.S. consumers are more inclined to stream entertainment from an Internet service than tune in to live TV. And internet-video services are valued more highly than cable or satellite TV among Millennials and their families.

Kristy CooperThe Future of Watching Sports Online
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Ultrafast and reliable access to election day results

It’s finally time to head to the polls and wrap up this election season. You may think you’ve had your fill of news coverage, school assignments, and waiting in line at Starbucks debates so far, but come the day of the election it’s a whole new ball game.

On Election Day, the focus of our nation will be fixed squarely on the latest results, exit polls, and commentaries from every media source, podcaster, and social media outlet available. In what has become the most unpredictable and nerve-shattering presidential race in recent history, the internet has proven itself an invaluable resource for political information. With the addition of alternative viewpoints, in-depth analysis, comedy sketches, fashion critiques, and a nonstop steam of off-the-wall insights you just can’t get in mainstream media.

Kristy CooperUltrafast and reliable access to election day results
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Free Streaming Opportunities for the Presidential Debates

For many of the people who have made the decision to cut the cord and ditch their pay TV services and turn to streaming services, one of the pitfalls they were forced to accept was that it wasn’t easy to be able to continue watching the large-scale events that were typically exclusively televised via the major networks and pay TV companies. In many instances, pay TV companies keep content which is being shown for free over the air behind lock and key to prevent non-subscribers from accessing events like the Olympic Games and 2016 Presidential Debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Until now, that is!

Kristy CooperFree Streaming Opportunities for the Presidential Debates
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