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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What is COVID-19: Details and mythbusters about the Coronavirus

It’s all around us, but with non-stop news reports, emails, social media and old-fashioned gossip inundating us with random facts and figures every minute, it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to sort through all the information about what coronavirus COVID-19 really is and how it affects each of us. In an effort to slow down and simplify, we’re sharing a few basic facts from trusted sources to help readers get a better understanding of this new disease that is changing our world.

Coronavirus basic facts

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Most people infected with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Kristy CooperWhat is COVID-19: Details and mythbusters about the Coronavirus
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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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Studies show dangers of secondhand screen time

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
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Advanced social media safety tips

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.

Kristy CooperAdvanced social media safety tips
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Safer Internet Day tips for online safety

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
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Top 5 Tips for Social Media 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:

Kristy CooperTop 5 Tips for Social Media Safety
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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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Streaming bundles and special offers give customers more alternatives

If streaming price hikes or problems with unreliable apps are giving you a headache, you’ve always got alternatives. Special bundles offered by companies joining forces to give you better alternatives and more incentives for your dollars means you’ve still got choices – you just have to know where to look.

Because everyone has unique needs when it comes to streaming, there isn’t one solution that fits all. However, to help you explore some alternatives, we’ve outlined a few options that are being offered during this holiday season.

Kristy CooperStreaming bundles and special offers give customers more alternatives
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Best apps for holiday fun, family and safety

While we do highly recommend unplugging from your phones and tech when celebrating with friends and family this holiday season, sometimes the right app might turn out to be a lifesaver. So just in case, we’ve provided a list of some of the best apps that might come in handy.

Weather watching

DARK SKY: Winter weather can be fickle, even here in California. The Dark Sky app provides detailed information and predicts when it will rain or snow, down to the minute, at your exact location to help you plan for the day or week. The app uses your phone’s GPS to know exactly where you are standing and works remarkably well. Both free and paid versions are available for Android and Apple devices.

Kristy CooperBest apps for holiday fun, family and safety
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