Why cyberbullying is up – and what parents can do

As the pandemic led to an increase in using online platforms for education purposes, and kids spent even more time online, studies are showing that unfortunately cyberbullying also increased for elementary through high school, too.

Misinformation, hate and harassment are often sited by social media users as increasing in general for all ages, according to a Pew Research Center study. According to that study, 64% of Americans said social media had a mostly negative effect on the way things are going in the country today. When it comes to kids, however, it’s even worse. According to L1ght, an organization that tracks online harassment, there has been a 70% increase in cyberbullying in just a few months.

Kristy CooperWhy cyberbullying is up – and what parents can do
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5 Top Reputable News Sources Today

Public trust in the media, including social media, is at an all-time low. Considering the past year filled with fake news and misleading information from “alternative” news sources for everything from the pandemic to the Presidential election, this shouldn’t be a surprise.

According to research shared by the Pew Research Center last year, 72% of U.S. adults say social media companies have too much power and influence in politics today. In addition, about two-thirds of Americans (64%) say social media has a mostly negative effect on the way things are going in the country today.

Kristy Cooper5 Top Reputable News Sources Today
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6 new tech innovations for babies

This one’s for all the new parents out there! From those first few precious moments to months later as you juggle working from home and caring for your baby, it’s nice to have some help. Luckily the tech world has your back, and new devices are popping up all the time that can give tired parents the break – and peace of mind – they are looking for. Check out these new innovations:

Kristy Cooper6 new tech innovations for babies
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How to choose the best streaming music for you

Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, oh my! When it comes to streaming music, there are more options available than ever. Wherever you can connect to the internet – phone, car, computer, etc. – you can stream music. With so many choices, we realize it can be hard to decide, so we’ve rounded up the latest to help you select just the right one.

Some services, such as iHeartRadio and Spotify, have free options that let you try before you subscribe, while others, such as Apple Music, are strictly premium experiences. Many services display lyrics, so you can sing along with your favorite song. While others offer family plans that let a set number of household members share a premium account.

Kristy CooperHow to choose the best streaming music for you
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How Softcom can take you to the moon

“To infinity and beyond!” Astronaut-themed cartoon characters aside, here at Softcom we love that one of the powers of the internet is its ability to connect us with the final frontier. There are a lot of exciting things happening in space exploration, and all you need to go along for the ride is a good internet connection and a love of space, science and discovery. They say that understanding the universe that surrounds us can help us to understand our planet and ourselves much better, so here is a quick guide to what’s going on in space exploration and how to learn more.

Historic Helicopter Flight on Mars

While the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover continues to explore Mars’ surface, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is preparing for its first flight. According to a recent NASA statement, the Ingenuity aims to be the first powered flight on another world and, if successful, could further broaden the scope of what is possible with Mars exploration.

Kristy CooperHow Softcom can take you to the moon
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6 signs your phone might have malware, and what to do

Has your phone been slow to respond lately? Or maybe your battery is draining much faster than normal? It could be mobile malware. Malicious software can be harder to spot on a phone than a computer, but it can do just as much damage. As people rely on their phones to handle more and more of life’s daily activities for home, work, and school, malware is becoming an increasing problem infecting phones and causing all kinds of havoc.

What is mobile malware?

Besides creating annoying popups that make it hard to use your phone, mobile malware can do much worse, like access private information and use it against you. Common targets include:

  • banking credentials
  • device and app log in and password information
  • personal phone numbers and emails
  • contact lists

Once hackers have accessed this kind of information using malware, they can use it for everything from identity theft to draining your bank accounts to sending out malware threats to your entire contact list and infecting them too.

Kristy Cooper6 signs your phone might have malware, and what to do
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Biggest tech flops of 2020

If you ever wondered if we really needed technology, 2020 was the year that proved it. Between the pandemic, working and schooling from home, and the ability to stay in touch for just about everything else, there were a lot of big wins that came from the tech world. But there were also a lot of fails that happened too. Here are a few of the biggest technology “oops” we saw for both programs and practices in 2020 that we’re glad have moved on.


A star-studded debut followed by a spectacular flop was Quibi – Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s answer to creating a new kind of social media to compete with TikTok, YouTube and most meme creators out there. Promoting Quibi as a way to create and share “quick bites that tell big stories,” Quibi used big names to promote it including Steven Spielberg and Crissy Teigen. Unfortunately, even those big names couldn’t save Quibi, and it folded a mere 6 months after its debut.

Kristy CooperBiggest tech flops of 2020
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The top streaming services for 2021

It feels like every week a new streaming video service pops up, and after awhile it almost feels impossible to keep track of them, let alone figure out which one is best for you. Last year a number of major players like HBO Max, Peacock and Discover+ made splashy debuts, just in time for people in quarantine desperately looking for entertainment and distraction.

Established streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube remain solid choices for streaming, but if you like the idea of adding something new to your lineup, check out our list below highlighting some of the best options we could find.

Overall streaming service

It’s hard to pick out a “best” when it comes to an overall streaming service that fits almost all your needs, but for now many consider the Disney+ bundle to be at the top. The bundle comes jam-packed with a massive catalog of originals, popular franchises like Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel, as well as National Geographic documentaries, Hulu and all its content, and ESPN+. That’s a lot, so if you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all, this might be worth looking into.

Note: If you subscribe to the Disney+ Bundle, here’s a great guide from Gizmodo for how to get the most out of your subscription.

Kristy CooperThe top streaming services for 2021
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Coronavirus / COVID19 scams to watch out for

There’s an old saying, “Bad guys love bad times,” and the truth of this is shown in the proliferation of covid-related scams. Criminals know that we’re stressed out and distracted, and are trying to take advantage when our guard is down. There are the usual scams via email, robocalls, and smishing (phishing via phone texts). But there are a lot more that have gotten very creative, from roadside billboards to student loans and stimulus checks.

Here’s a list of some of the top scams to watch for that might pop up on your radar here in California. Needless to say, all of these contained links or other methods of contact that should never be used.

Remember: When in doubt, don’t click.

Kristy CooperCoronavirus / COVID19 scams to watch out for
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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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