Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Category: Cable (page 1 of 34)

Tips on Spotting a Phishing Email

It is Shark Week on Discovery! But don’t think the only threats are in the water, there could be phishing going on right in your inbox.

Countless phishing or spam emails are sent every day all over the world. They might congratulate you on winning a great sum of cash or threaten you by claiming to represent your bank or credit card company. While unfortunately there is no one trick to telling a scam from a legitimate message, Great Plains Communications has put together some steps to take when trying to tell the difference.

Identify the Sender

Often phishing emails will come across as a company or person you know, appearing to be perfectly valid. But beware, URLs can be faked. By hovering the mouse over a URL in an email, you will see a hyperlinked address in most email clients. If the actual address appears to be different from the URL in the text, the link is probably not legitimate and most likely a scam.

Another tactic often used is taking a familiar domain and changing it slightly. We have included some examples below:

Don’t fall for the spoof. If you aren’t sure if the email is truly coming from Microsoft, for example, go to the website through your browser and find tech support through there rather than the email.

Screen the Links

Just because you have screened the sender does NOT mean you should freely click links included in the email. Emails can contain links to malicious websites while appearing to be websites you frequent daily. Like we mentioned with the sender URL, hover over a link or button (ex. Track package), and it will show you where it will take you. Sometimes it will pop up in a box next to your cursor and sometimes it will pop up in the corner of your screen. If you don’t recognize a linked website, it is best not to visit it.

Don’t Trust Attachments

While you can get some insight into the links included in an email, this isn’t the case with attachments and by blindly opening these files, you run the risk of malware disguised as documents.

Malware: an umbrella term for things such as viruses, ransomware and spyware.

Some familiar file extensions you may see are:

Other file extensions could be:

These extensions are called executables, which can make your computer perform specific actions or control your computer. If you receive an executable in an email from an unknown or lesser known source, it is best to assume it is unsafe.

Rely on Common Sense

It can be confusing when you are caught off-guard while skimming through your emails. If the email reads poorly with extreme lack of spelling and grammar, put your guard up. If an email is asking for personal information such as your password or a bank account number (something your bank already has), keep your guard up. Trust your gut and if something doesn’t look right, something is probably off.

Regarding emails including Great Plains Communications, please know that we will never ask for customer passwords via email. If you ever receive an email which includes our name and you feel it may be a scam, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and do NOT reply, open attachments, or click any links embedded in the message.

What to Expect From Discovery’s Shark Week

Discovery Channel’s Shark Week starts this Sunday, July 28. You can get ready for shark trivia, stories of true-life near-death experiences and much more shocking entertainment. Great Plains Communications has included some highlights of the 20 hours of shark programming that is scheduled to air on Discovery and Discovery Go.

Sunday, July 28

Expedition Unknown: Megalodon – 7 p.m. CT

Take at a look into the mystery of the mighty Megalodon, a 60-ton mega-shark that was known to swim the oceans for nearly 20 million years. But where is it now? That is what marine biologists have been wondering and you get a look into their findings.

Monday, July 29

Sharks of the Badlands – 7 p.m. CT

With a record 150 white sharks recorded off the coast of Cape Cod, Greg Skomal has teamed up with Andy Casagrande and shark expert Kina Scollay are looking to test cutting-edge technology for shark detection.

Legend of Deep Blue – 8 p.m. CT

Watch as Brandon McMillan and Jimi Partington head to Guadalupe Island in search of Deep Blue. Deep Blue measures around 21 feet long and over 2 and a half tons, believed to be the largest great white shark in the world.

Tuesday, July 30

Sharkwrecked: Crash Landing – 7 p.m. CT

Imagine crash landing into shark infested waters, that is exactly what you can watch when Paul de Gelder and James Glancy jump from an aircraft at 3,500 feet into Palau in the Pacific, known for a rich shark life and multiple plane wrecks.

Watch these, as well as many other heart-pounding shows as the Discovery Channel takes a very real look at the fascinating life of sharks. If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Fourth of July Side Dishes and Food Safety

Soon coolers will be packed, smoke bombs will be used as bug repellent and family gatherings will be color-coded with red, white and blue. As you prepare to celebrate Fourth of July with family and friends, don’t stress about what dish to take to the party. Great Plains Communications has looked to our cable channel, Food Network for some of our favorite portable side dishes that will be a great addition to any grilled feast.

Ree’s Picnic Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is “kid friendly” as Ree says, with big pieces of bacon and cheese, accompanied by a very mild dressing to not overpower any of the flavors.

 

Ina’s Crunchy Noodle Salad

Want to mix things up a little? Try this Asian inspired noodle salad that provides richness from the peanut butter and sesame oil but still has freshness from the peppers, rice wine vinegar and chopped herbs at the end.

 

Trisha’s Avocado Salsa

Instead of the tomatoes being the main component in this salsa, the avocado steps up and makes this a fun mix between salsa and guacamole. The tropical pineapple will have your friends delightfully surprised by the combination of flavors.

 

Aarti’s Quinoa Tabbouleh

Looking for a little heavier side dish but still want to keep it on the healthy side? This tabbouleh is a party of fresh flavors, from the abundance of herbs mixed throughout to the tomato and cucumber.

 

With the high temperatures, here are a few tips on keeping food safe from the USDA.

  • If you plan to have a burger or hot dog toppings bar with items like mayo, sliced tomatoes or avocado, be sure to keep them cold by placing them on a tray of ice. Be sure to replenish the ice as needed!
  • Perishable food items should not be left outside for more than two hours if the temperature is at or below 90°F, and only one hour if the temperature is at or above 90⁰F.
  • Any leftovers should be refrigerated within 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are at or above 90⁰F) of being placed outside. If you are not sure how long food has been sitting out, throw it out immediately.

Summer Backyard Activities for the Whole Family

Make your backyard the place to be this summer! From how to do some small budget decorating upgrades, to creating your own water blob for the kids, we have found some of our favorite backyard tips from our cable channel, HGTV.

3 Outdoor Upgrades Under $100

DIY Backyard Kerplunk Game

How to Make a Backyard Water Blob

DIY Pool Noodle Kids’ Games

Backyard Camping Ideas for the Whole Family

 

Want to jazz up your backyard even more? Don’t forget to enter our Summer Story giveaway where we will be giving away a 36 in. Endless Summer Deep Drawn Bronze Fire Pit! Just go to our Facebook page and find the SUMMER SOCIAL GIVEAWAY – WEEK 2 post for details on how to enter.

Another way you can win this summer is by saving with our summer promotion!

  • Add any new service and receive FREE installation.
  • Upgrade your Internet speed and receive a $25 bill credit.

To sign up for this great deal or learn more about this promotion, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

2019 Grilling Father’s Day Recipes

Looking for the perfect gift for that special man who has been there to stick on the band aids, check under the bed, and walk you down the aisle? Father’s Day is this weekend and Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorite grilling recipes from our cable channel, Food Network that will please dad from the inside out this holiday.

How to Grill the Perfect Steak

Does your dad enjoy a nice juicy steak with a healthy char from the grill? Watch as the cooks from The Kitchen explain how to cook different cuts of beef so you can pick the right one for your budget and family.

Bobby’s Garlic Mustard Beef Skewers

Looking to enjoy a beefy flavor but want to mix things up a bit? Try these skewers that pack a punch through the different types of mustards and raw garlic.

How to Grill Salmon Steaks and Fillets

If you are looking for something other than beef, consider trying grilled salmon. People can be intimidated by grilling seafood; afraid it will break apart on the grill. This video will show you how to prepare both fillets and steak cuts of salmon.

DIY Outdoor Grilling Caddy

With Father’s Day still a few days away, make this easy and very handy grilling caddy from HGTV. It includes a bar to hang his grilling utensils and a bottle opener for his refreshments – this is a thoughtful and rather cheap DIY gift he is sure to enjoy.

Big Season Premieres Coming this Month

There are quite a few fan-favorite shows starting back up this month! To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action, Great Plains Communications has included start dates and the trailers for the upcoming seasons below.

 

Wednesday, June 5

The Handmaid’s Tale – Hulu

The adaptation of the classic novel by Margaret Atwood is heading into it’s third season of The Handmaid’s Tale. While society has been fighting against a plunging birthrate, there is a much larger battle at hand.

 

Black Mirror – Netflix

As fans know, Black Mirror has separate stories for each episode, but we have included the trailer for Smithereens, the first episode airing Wednesday, June 5. As each story is intense in its own way, this first episode of the fifth season looks to not disappoint.

 

Sunday, June 9

Big Little Lies – HBO

After a chart-topping first season, Big Little Lies is back for more and is adding Meryl Streep to the star-studded cast. While many of the mothers are bonding together after the traumatic season 1 finale, one mother is now looking for answers and it doesn’t seem as if she is going to stop until she gets them.

 

Thursday, June 13

Baskets – FX

Chip Baskets played by Zach Galifianakis is back for a fourth season with big changes coming. He is finally ready to move out of his mom’s home, but it seems it might be a tough and humorous transition.

 

Tuesday, June 18

The Detour – TBS

Back for a third season, The Detour will take us on a worldwide tour with the Parker family as they search for Delilah, after she has run away. They will search tirelessly and stop at nothing to find their daughter, while also angering many people along the way.

 

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn more about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Take WatchTVEverywhere on All Your Summer Trips

Planning a big family vacation this summer? The kids traveling for sports? While you are enjoying your busy summer schedule, don’t think you have to miss out on your favorite shows! Catch them all on your wireless devices with WatchTVEverywhere from Great Plains Communications. If you are a cable customer of ours and have access to an Internet connection, you can view Food Network, HGTV, ESPN and much more through your Roku, laptop, tablet, mobile phone and more.

The first step to getting your WatchTVEverywhere account is to register. You will need to go to www.watchtveverywhere.com and do the following:

Select Great Plains Communications from the list of TV providers in the drop-down menu and click on Submit

Click on “Register”

You will need two pieces of information to register: your account number and the correct spelling of the last name on the account.

You will then be asked to:

  • Provide a valid email address. This will be your username.
  • Provide a password
  • Select a password reset question
  • Supply the answer to the password reset question
  • Click on Register

Check the email address you just provided. You will find an email message with your WatchTVEverywhere activation link. Click on the link to complete the registration process

You are done and can begin to enjoy your favorite channels!

 

If you have any questions regarding your Great Plains Communications cable service or accessing WatchTVEverywhere, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Tips and Tricks to Camping in the Rain

Memorial Day Weekend is almost upon us, which often means hitting the road to your favorite camping spot. While it may be the end of May, Nebraska’s weather has proven time and time again to be temperamental or a bit unstable, so Great Plains Communications has a few tips and tricks for camping in colder wet environments.

Create Sheltered Outdoor Living Space

The rain often comes in the evening, when you are looking to relax and eat dinner. Pack a few extra tarps that won’t only keep the ground dry but can be strung up between trees as a rain shelter. This way, everybody won’t have to cram into the tent or camper all night but instead, enjoy the sound of the rain and spring weather without getting soaked.

Warm Your Clothes to 98.6 Degrees

Tent camping can lead to cold clothes, sometimes damp from dew, and that is not what anybody wants to step into – especially after sleeping on the ground. Be your own clothing warmer and place your clothes for the next day in a small, breathable bag and put it inside at the base of your sleeping bag the night before. As you sleep, your body heat will warm them, and your sleeping bag will protect them from the dampness of morning.

Flip Your Water Bottle

As we have seen in the past weeks, temperatures across the state have varied in the most extreme way, which is exactly what it can do from daytime to night. Here is a trick to make sure you always have water at the ready even when the temperatures dip. Flip your water bottle over before going to sleep. Since water freezes from the top, when you flip the bottle back over to get a drink, any ice that has formed will fall to the bottom and water will remain on the top.

 

With rain and the spring season come bugs. We have looked to our cable channel, HGTV for a video on natural bug repellents to consider taking this weekend.

3 All-Natural Bug Repellents – HGTV

 

Great Plains Communications would like to wish everyone a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

2019 DIY Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Sometimes it is hard to think of a gift for mom. Want to do something other than the annual scarf, candle or necklace? Great Plains Communications has looked to our cable channels, the DIY Network and HGTV for some of our favorite DIY gift ideas she will love this Mother’s Day.

Turn a Cooler into a Storage Table

Jazz up the screened-in porch or patio with these deceptively cheap storage tables. All you have to do is buy a polystyrene cooler, some fabric mom will like and legs that easily screw into the foam.  Assembly is quick and something the kids could help with!

Colorful, Modern Headboard

While in the video they are making it for a kid’s room, there is no reason this headboard couldn’t be painted to match mom’s décor. As Rosa Armstrong explains in the video, you will just need to cut the wood pieces to fit the bed.

DIY Succulent Sphere

Succulents are beautiful and low maintenance. Rather than buying her an ordinary succulent garden, create this gorgeous sphere that will be a statement piece to any yard or porch.

DIY Outdoor Movie Screen

Rather than a physical gift, how about you create an experience for mom? With this easy set-up, you will have your very own outdoor movie theater for a fun night under the stars the whole family can enjoy and remember.

2019 Cinco de Mayo Party Recipes

Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May), is a celebration of when the Mexican army was victorious over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War. What has become a significant holiday in the United States, according to the History Channel, Cinco de Mayo has never been much more than a minor holiday in Mexico – while some areas of Mexico don’t recognize it at all. Rather than focusing on the original meaning around a military victory, the United States has turned celebrating the day by recognizing Mexican culture and heritage through parades, music and street festivals.

Great Plains Communications would like to help you celebrate this weekend by sharing some of our favorite recipes from our cable channel, The Food Network.

Mexican Tortilla Pizzas with Chorizo

These tortilla pizzas are great for a party because they are easy and customizable. You could prepare the tortillas and leave different toppings out for your guests to pick and choose what they love best. Planning to have the party outside, you could even try grilling the tortillas rather than baking them!

Potato Poblano Gratin

This is not your traditional potato gratin, but one with a light heat and smoke from the roasted poblanos mixed throughout, accompanied perfectly by little pops of sweetness from the corn. A few simple steps of layering the potatoes and cheese with the poblanos and corn will leave you with this rich and decadent side dish your family and friends will love.

Queso Fundido con Chorizo

Looking for a quick appetizer for your Cinco de Mayo get-together? This queso fundido is cheesy, tangy from the Mexican-style lager and a little spicy from the chorizo. It is truly a crowd pleaser and goes well with a drink in hand.

Easy One-Pot Pork Carnitas

These carnitas make entertaining easy. With one pork roast, you can feed a whole party. The citrus notes from the orange peel permeate the pork adding a light flavor against the earthiness of the bay leaf. And don’t skip the last step of crisping up the pork, because it is that texture against the smooth avocado and fresh onion toppings that makes the whole dish come together.

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