This last year has been one to remember when it comes to disasters across the United States. From fires and floods to hurricanes galore, the importance of being prepared was demonstrated time and again as we watched communities struggle to survive. But while most of the attention was focused on assembling emergency supplies like food, water, first aid kits, flashlights and batteries, not much is being said about digital disaster planning.
Forget about natural disasters. Something as simple as an electrical fire or broken water pipes can prove devastating for everyone from small business to solo entrepreneur. Even families are at risk of losing access and control of sensitive files and financial accounts in an emergency.
Kristy CooperHow to prepare for a digital disaster
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!
This past year has been filled with milestones for us. One of the most satisfying is the remarkable bond we’ve built with our customers since we launched 25 years ago. As we move into a New Year we’d like to thank you for your insight, feedback and support along the way. Throughout the year you’ve let us know what is interesting and important to you through every click on our blog, website or social media. In fact, we thought it would be fun to round up the Top 10 most popular articles of the past year. If you missed any, here’s your chance to catch up.
Kristy CooperYou clicked – we listened! Most-read articles of 2017
Ignoring emails from financiers in Kenya promising shipments of gold is pretty easy. But when an email arrives from a business you work with, a close friend, or colleague asking you to click on a link about your job, your account, or this weekend’s party, what do you do? Over the years, phishing emails have matured from obvious, laughable scams to sophisticated emails that cleverly conceal their deception while seeming to come from trusted sources. And no matter how smart or savvy we get about them, they just keep on coming. In fact, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), phishing attacks in 2016 shattered all previous years’ records with a 65% increase from 2015 and a 5,753% increase over the past 12 years.
Phishing scams work by tricking you into clicking on a link or attachment that can infect your computer or take you to a website that looks real, but isn’t, and can steal your private information. According to the APWG, 100,000 new phishing attacks get reported every month, and thousands of people fall for them.
Kristy CooperUnderstanding email phishing & how to outsmart it
Nothing’s more frustrating than when you’re right in the middle of a dramatic show, an important video chat, or super competitive game and – bam! – your internet stops working. While we do everything we can here at Softcom to ensure that your connection is fast, strong, and steady, the occasional outage can happen. Did you know, though, that often the cause of an internet outage can easily be fixed by the user at home? Before you pick up the phone and request a service call, we put together this quick checklist that might help you get back on track (or back in the game!) without too much time or stress.
Kristy CooperInternet not working? Before you call for help, check this…
You’d click through to log in to the internet, go make yourself a cup of coffee, and hope that by the time you got back to your computer you’d be logged in and ready to go. Luckily those days of slow internet are long gone and today’s connections just keep getting better and faster, even for those of us who live in rural areas. Unfortunately, though, slow-downs do still happen once in a while, even when you have a high-speed connection. They can happen for a variety of reasons, and thankfully some of them can easily be solved at home.
While we do everything we can to assure that our customers here at Softcom get the best – and fastest – service possible, keeping things working here at Softcom is only one part of the equation – your own equipment needs to be working properly for you to have the best internet experience. We know there are other factors that can affect speed, too, so put together a quick checklist to go through when slow internet speeds get you down.
The internet has drastically changed the way that people of every age interact with the world around them. Children now have a wealth of educational and social opportunities at their fingertips. Adults can work, shop, and connect with friends and family members all over the world. There are truly many wonders online, but there are also a vast number of dangers and pitfalls that lie in wait as well.
Even in homes where basic internet safety is practiced, there are still dangers that literally pop up online, even when doing “normal” activities such as reading emails, checking social media, or doing homework. For instance, 70% of kids ages 8-18 report accidentally encountering online pornography, very often when entering an innocent search term while doing homework. Personal crimes such as stalking or cyber bullying are growing at alarming rates. And cyber crimes including phishing emails and other internet scams cost Americans $800 million last year. In fact, According to Verizon’s “2016 Data Breach Investigations Report,” 30 percent of phishing emails are actually opened, and 12 percent of those targeted click on the infecting link or attachment.
Kristy CooperHow to keep your family safe on the internet
While the internet has opened the world to us, unfortunately it’s also opened us to the world. Attempts to gain unauthorized access to online accounts and computers have become an almost daily occurrence, and it’s become important for even the most casual of internet users to learn how to protect themselves.
From banking accounts to emails to social media, it’s important to be vigilant. While you may not always know exactly how you’ve been hacked, you can keep an eye out for common signs of trouble, and be ready to take action with a few quick strategies for countering and protecting yourself online.
Kristy CooperSigns you may have been hacked – and what to do next
A quick heads-up for our customers about an alarming trend we’ve seen recently. Hackers are continuing to target our customers with fraudulent emails which purport to be from Softcom in an attempt to get your account information. The most recent attempt came through as a clickable image which redirected you to a fraudulent web site which asks you to input your email address and password.
As a reminder, we’ll NEVER ask you for your account information in this manner.
Kristy CooperBe aware of scam emails pretending to be from Softcom
In today’s world of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other online resources for entertainment, audiences are dropping traditional cable and satellite, and turning to streaming for the freedom to watch what they want, anytime, anyplace. Streaming services are band-width hungry, though, and can use from 1 to 4 Mbps easily – per person! Finding the large amounts of bandwidth needed, however, can be difficult, especially if you live outside the urban areas where corporate carriers focus their services.
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.