How Softcom compares to other local internet service providers

You’ve got choices – why choose Softcom? We’ve laid it out here with reasons why Softcom stands out from other internet service providers for the best wireless internet service in our area.

Installation & Service

When you call other companies to set up installation and service, you often have to wait two or more weeks before you can get on their calendar. Not with Softcom. Our headquarters and base of operations is based centrally where we provide our services. No long waits – in fact, most new customer installations and on-site services are scheduled within less than a week of inquiry.

Kristy CooperHow Softcom compares to other local internet service providers
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Watch out for “package delivery” scams

There’s a new form of phishing spam causing trouble lately and it’s coming in the form of text messages about package deliveries. Over the holidays there was a record amount of people shopping online while adhering to pandemic stay-at-home orders. Many companies offered the option of sending updates about packages by text, while big shipping companies such as Amazon, UPS, USPS, and FedEx, also would send texts (if you opted in) to let you know the package status, even providing links to track the package progress.

Kristy CooperWatch out for “package delivery” scams
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What you need to know about new coronavirus strains

Over the past few months, new variants of the coronavirus have started to emerge from the U.K. to South Africa and Brazil. A new strain recently discovered in California might be behind why our state experienced such a dramatic surge in numbers over the holiday season. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, researchers found the new strain while looking for signs that a highly transmissible variant from the United Kingdom had established itself here. Instead, they found a new branch of the virus’ family tree with distinctive mutations that may have helped it to spread faster.

Scientists are still studying what the differences are in these mutations, and how they affect us, the general consensus is that while none of the new variants have been associated with new or different symptoms, the differences may be seen in the way they spread, making it very important to stick to protocols set up to help stop the spread.  

Kristy CooperWhat you need to know about new coronavirus strains
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How National Weather Service bandwidth issues might affect your phone’s weather app

If you’re used to checking your phone every morning to see what the weather is, that might change in the future due to bandwidth issues, according to the National Weather Service. In a recent statement, the NWS shared that as their data budget is hitting a ceiling, and demand for access continues to grow, they may have to consider throttling the amount of users who can access their essential forecast data.

According to their statement: “As demand for data continues to grow across NCEP websites, we are proposing to put new limits into place to safeguard our web services. The frequency of how often these websites are accessed by the public has created limitations and infrastructure constraints.”

For the past decade, the National Weather Service has been struggling to find the best and most efficient ways to disseminate critical forecast and warning information. According to an in-depth look at this problem by the Washington Post, the combination of increased data collection and demand for access from private companies and hobbyists has created a bottleneck that at times has crashed NWS websites.

Kristy CooperHow National Weather Service bandwidth issues might affect your phone’s weather app
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The Best of Softcom in 2020

This year was definitely one for the books. But the bottom line is that we stuck the course, stayed true to our mission of putting our customers first, and continued to provide the best service we can. So as we say goodbye to 2020, we thought we’d take a look back at the best we shared. Miss anything? Here’s your chance to catch up.

Online safety and security

We’re always looking out for our customers and community, so we often share articles that not only give you knowledge to understand what’s going on out there, but information to take action to protect your home, family and business.

Kristy CooperThe Best of Softcom in 2020
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How routers sold at Walmart, Amazon and Ebay might be leaving you vulnerable to hackers and fraud

We post regularly about the importance of staying up to date on security knowledge and practices for everyone in your family who uses the internet. We even have a whole section of our blog dedicated to it that you can access by clicking here. Today, we’re sharing with you recent news of how some routers sold at Walmart, Amazon and Ebay might be leaving you open for hackers and fraud.

In a collaboration between CyberNews Sr. Information Security Researcher Mantas Sasnauskas and researchers James Clee and Roni Carta, suspicious backdoors have been discovered in a Chinese-made Jetstream router, sold exclusively at Walmart as their new line of “affordable” wifi routers. This backdoor would allow an attacker the ability to remotely control not only the routers, but also any devices connected to that network.

Kristy CooperHow routers sold at Walmart, Amazon and Ebay might be leaving you vulnerable to hackers and fraud
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Technology tips for working from home long-term

Like many others around the world, we’ve been working from home for eight months or more due to the pandemic and it doesn’t look like that will end soon. Most Americans working from home have created office spaces that provide the tools and tech they need, but without the professional IT staff on call they are used to.

Since it looks like working from home will continue for quite some time, learning how to become your own tech support will go a long way toward keeping your stress level down and your productivity up. With that in mind, here are a few tips from IT pros and experienced WFH professionals that all remote workers should know.

#1: WiFi is really, really important

If you’re working online every day, you must have internet service you can rely on. There’s nothing more frustrating, or anti-productive, as the inability to connect and communicate with your coworkers, colleagues or clients. Secure and stable access to the internet is essential for most all businesses to keep running. Here are a few tips for making sure your internet is up to speed:

Kristy CooperTechnology tips for working from home long-term
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Tips for safe holiday travel during the COVID-19 pandemic

If you’ve been sheltering at home during the pandemic but are now planning to travel for the holiday season, things have changed a lot. COVID-19 restrictions and safety precautions vary from place to place. Whether you’re visiting family members just a few towns away, or making flight plans for travels far away, there’s always been a risk of getting sick, but this year is extra risky due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One upside is that the number of people traveling this season will probably be considerably less than last year. While airlines are still operating, and the number of people traveling is slowly increasing, many people are choosing to stay home out of an abundance of caution this year. Transportation companies such as airlines have also set in place rigorous cleaning protocols that make it cleaner than ever to use their facilities.

Kristy CooperTips for safe holiday travel during the COVID-19 pandemic
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2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Just like the rest of this year, the holidays are lining up to be very different than in the past. Socially-distanced celebrations might be hard to get used to, but what we can rely on is the spirit of the season. Gift giving is always nice, and we’ve created a list of ideas that we think uniquely fit the new challenges and lifestyles that the pandemic has created. Another holiday favorite, volunteering, doesn’t have to take a back seat due to COVID-19 restriction. Virtual volunteering is alive and well and there are a lot of options to spread holiday cheer.

Giving Back / Volunteering

#VirtualVolunteering is trending on social media these days, showing that the idea of giving back during the holidays is just as alive as well as always. If you have a favorite charity or organization that you usually volunteer for, give them a call to find out how you can help. Even though in-person volunteering might not be an option, most organizations still need equipment, funds and resources to continue their work. Much of this can be done from home and is a great way to bring close family together.

Kristy Cooper2020 Holiday Gift Guide
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How COVID-19 is affecting internet availability for work and school at home

As more people rely on their home internet for work, school, shopping, and socializing due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not surprising that internet usage rates have dramatically increased, along with the amount of data to support everyone doing, well, everything. Unfortunately, one way that many internet service providers have chosen to deal with this increased usage is to reinstate data caps for their customers.

What are data caps? It’s when an internet provider limits how much data subscribers can use each month – putting a “cap” on how much they are allowed according to their plan.

Kristy CooperHow COVID-19 is affecting internet availability for work and school at home
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