Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Category: High-Speed Internet (page 2 of 23)

Tech Tip: iPhone Features Hiding in Plain Sight

There are many cool features that come with owning an iPhone and with constant upgrades, it can be hard to keep track of all of them. While some new features are obvious, some are hidden. Great Plains Communications wants to give you a guide to some of our favorite not-so-obvious iPhone features you may have missed.

  1. Add Someone to an iPhone Note

Did you know you can add people to your notes? Improve grocery shopping

What to do:

  • Open your Notes app and select the note you would like to share
  • Select the icon in the top right (highlighted below)
  • Choose how you want to share the note (message, email, etc.)
  • Decide who you want to share it with (as many as you want) and include a message

From there, your friend or friends will be able to view and edit the note in real time.

  1. Close All Safari Tabs at Once

We are all guilty of forgetting to close our tabs, including the last celebrity you googled, that roast chicken recipe you made last week – next thing you know you have upward of 30 tabs open. Instead of sitting there sliding each tab up to close one-by-one, use this hack to close them all at once.

What to do:

  • Open the Safari app
  • Hold down the tab icon in the lower right-hand corner (highlighted below) until a window pops up giving you the option to close all tabs

DONE!

  1. Use the Magnifier Tool

Have you been at a restaurant and forgot your glasses? Forget shoving the menu against your face to find your order and turn on the magnifier tool on your iPhone.

What to do:

  • Open your Settings and go to General
  • Click Accessibility
  • Open Magnifier and toggle it to “on.”

To access the tool:

If you have an iPhone X or later version – triple tap the button on the right-hand side of your phone.

If you have an iPhone that includes a Home button, tap it three times.

It’s Almost Tax Day – Online Tax Tools 2019

Tax Day is just about here, as Monday, April 15 quickly approaches. While filing taxes is never a super enjoyable task, it is something we all must do. Great Plains Communications wants to make the process a little easier for those who are still needing to file, with a few online tool options.

TurboTax

You can find the TurboTax Federal Free Edition software online to file your 1040 EZ and 1040A federal returns as well as your state returns. While the federal filing is free, state might cost extra, along with many upgrade options that provide additional help and an even smoother process. The software is very user friendly, as you can either upload your W-2 as a file or even snap a photo and TurboTax will auto-fill the right fields.

H&R Block Free File

Using H&R Block’s Free File program, you will be able to file both federal and state tax returns for free. If you have used another software in the past and are looking to switch to H&R Block, you are able to import tax returns from any competing software, upload tax documents and start filing.

TaxAct

Through a Q&A format, you can file your 1040EZ and 1040A federal returns, as well as your state returns for free through TaxAct. However, importing past year’s returns will cost an extra $5. They have both a desktop and online version of their software.

Choosing the right tax filing software depends on your specific needs. Luckily there are many options available and you can file from the comfort of your home with the convenience of online programs.

Spring Savings with Great Plains Communications

Spring is a time to refresh and renew. Great Plains Communications wants to help you do just that – out with the old and in with the new Internet speeds this spring! The Internet isn’t just for entertainment or research purposes anymore, it is a necessity in the home. From supporting security systems to being a requirement for a child to succeed in their education, make sure your family has the Internet speed they need.

Pick your spring savings!

Sign up for NEW Internet service or upgrade your current speed and receive up to a $100 bill credit!

Bundle with TV, Phone or both and receive an ADDITIONAL $25 bill credit!

+ FREE installation on all new services.

 

We want you to pick the speed and deal that best fits your family’s needs. If you aren’t sure what speed your family needs, check out our speed tool. For more information or to sign up for this great offer, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

It’s the 30th Anniversary of the World Wide Web

If you have done a Google search today, you might have noticed that the Google Doodle looks a little different. The search engine is celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal that was the creation of the World Wide Web. Today the terms, “Internet” and “web” are often used interchangeably, though they actually have different meanings. Before the World Wide Web, the Internet was only accessible by the military in a form known as ARPANET – a global network of computers that were able to communicate with one another developed in the 60s. It wasn’t until Berners-Lee’s proposal in the late 80s that created the web, or the public’s main access to the network.

“Information Management: A Proposal”

In March of 1989, Tim Berners-Lee was a young software engineer working at Switzerland’s European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. He was working on ideas combining “broad connectivity and openness” when accessing information. So, he wrote his first proposal, “Information Management: A Proposal.” According to an article from CERN, the proposal was for “an internet-based hypertext system to link and access information across different computers.” By Christmas, Berners-Lee had implemented components we know today as HTML, HTTP and URLs.

Keeping Things Open

In April of 1993, CERN released a freely available version of the WWW software to the public, which was the beginning of the open platform we know today. They encouraged the public to not only use it, but improve upon it through open source software, open hardware, open access publishing and the CERN Open Data Portal. This is what allows you the opportunity to create a website right this minute, or two websites, or 50. According to Statista, in January 2019 there were around 4.4 billion active Internet users and according to Internet Live Stats, there are just under 1.7 billion websites on the web and the count continues to rise.

2019 Safer Internet Day and Tips for Parents

Are you a parent, scrambling to figure out ways to keep your children safe online? As children grow up with technology from before they can take a step or speak a full sentence, there are many questions and troubles that can arise. Striving to address an emerging online issue each year, the Insafe organization has shed light on topics such as cyber-bullying and social networking. This year, Safer Internet Day 2019 has the theme “Together for a better Internet.”

Safer Internet Day (SID) started as an initiative and has grown into a landmark event. Forming in Europe, the Insafe organization has grown above and beyond its original geographic zone and now celebrates in more than 100 countries worldwide, across all continents.

The idea is that no matter what language you speak or what country you call home, we all face issues brought forth by the Internet. As our children become emerged in the culture and effects of technology, cyber safety becomes increasingly important and we need to play our part in making the Internet a better place.

One resource of SID 2019 is a program called Family Online Safety Institute. The site provides parents with, “advice, tips and tools empowering you to confidently navigate the online world with your kids.” You can filter the content by specific topics such as: safety, privacy, social media and more. Great Plains Communications wants to help provide information, so families enjoy all the Internet has to offer, but in a safe manner. For more information on SID 2019, check out their website at http://saferinternetday.us/.

2019 Fit Social Giveaway

According to statista.com, The Statistics Portal, the top two resolutions for 2019 are to, “Diet or eat healthier” and “Exercise more.” It can be hard to know where to start and what steps to take to reach your goals. Great Plains Communications wants to help get someone off on the right foot with our Fitbit Charge 3™ social giveaway! The advanced fitness tracker helps monitor steps, calories, 24/7 heart rate, sleep tracking and much more.

To enter the giveaway, go to our Facebook page and find the post including the picture above. Then follow these instructions:

  1. Like our Facebook page
  2. Like the post
  3. Tag a workout buddy in the comments

The giveaway will run until January 21, 2019 and the winner will be announced here on our blog on January 22. So, get after those goals and up your speed in 2019!

If you are looking to up your speed in more ways than one, check out what Internet speeds we offer in your area and let our reliable network keep all your family’s devices connected!

Last Chance to SAVE with Our Holiday Promotion!

You don’t have much time left! The holidays might be over, but there is still time to take advantage of our great holiday promotion. Discover the magic of savings with Great Plains Communications and our new Value Bundle. Connect all your devices with reliable high-speed Internet and you could receive up to a $100 bill credit.

The Value Bundle includes:

Upgraded equipment

FREE Wireless

FREE HD Cable Channels

FREE Long Distance & Calling Features

 

New Internet customers can sign up for the bundle now and receive $100 bill credit and FREE installation. If you are already a Great Plains Communications Internet customer but are looking to increase your speed to fit your family’s needs, receive a $25 bill credit when you upgrade now. This promotion ends tomorrow, so call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 to sign up for this great deal while it is still available!

Congratulations to our Social Media Giveaway Winner – Debra Wegner!

Help us in congratulating our Make it Snow Social Media Giveaway winner, Debra Wegner of Scribner, Nebraska! By liking our Facebook page, the giveaway post and commenting with her favorite snow gif, (emojis were also accepted) she has won an Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet!

The giveaway is part of our holiday promotion, which is still going on and that means there are still ways to win this season!

Discover the magic of savings with our new Value Bundle and you could receive up to a $100 bill credit.

The Value Bundle includes:

Upgraded Equipment

FREE Wireless

FREE HD Cable Channels

FREE Long Distance & Calling Features

New Internet customers can sign up for the bundle now and receive $100 bill credit and FREE installation. If you are currently a Great Plains Communications Internet customer but are looking to increase your speed to better fit your family’s needs, receive a $25 bill credit when you upgrade now. Call to find out what speeds are available in your area and sign up for this great deal – 1-855-853-1483!

2018 Holiday Social Giveaway

Discover the magic this holiday season with Great Plains Communications. By entering our social media giveaway, you could win an Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet.

How to Enter:

We want to make it snow on our Facebook page.

  1. Like our Facebook page
  2. Like the post titled “SOCIAL GIVEAWAY”
  3. Comment on the post with your favorite snow emoji or gif

 

The giving doesn’t stop there! Discover the magic of savings with our new Value Bundle and our holiday promotion. Connect all your devices with reliable high-speed Internet this season and you could receive up to a $100 bill credit.

The Value Bundle includes:

Upgraded Equipment

FREE Wireless

FREE HD Cable Channels

FREE Long Distance & Calling Features

New Internet customers can sign up for the bundle now and receive $100 bill credit and FREE installation. If you are currently a Great Plains Communications Internet customer but are looking to increase your speed to fit your family’s needs, receive a $25 bill credit when you upgrade now. Call to find out what speeds are available in your area and sign up for this great deal – 1-855-853-1483.

How to Spot a Scam While Shopping Online this Holiday

Online shopping has added convenience in many ways. We no longer have to physically search through store after store, or even worry about parking during the busy holiday rush at the mall. And can you say, “two-day shipping?” Though with this convenience comes the risk of deceit in the form of a phishing email, a cloned URL, a corrupt link or anything else the scammers come up with – and they are creative. Great Plains Communications wants to provide a few common scams to keep watch for, and tips on protecting yourself from cyber criminals this season.

Fake Website or Cloned URL

There are different ways to spot a fake site. The main thing you should look closely at is the URL. Many people are in a rush to get their holiday shopping done and pay little attention to the address bar at the top of the screen. Scammers will try to “clone” or create sites indecipherably different from the one you are looking for. For example, amazon1.com rather than amazon.com, but when you googled it, the link title said “Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel…” Scammers can put whatever title they want but the difference is in the small URL underneath.

Phishing Emails – Getting More Creative All the Time

One of the new scams that has been reported this holiday season is one that mimics an update shipping email from Amazon. It will say that there has been an issue in the shipping process and they need your information again – including shipping address and credit card information. Do not give your information to any company through a link in an email. If you are worried about your purchased item, such as in this example, open a new tab and type in the website’s URL and check through your account.

Public Wi-Fi

While online browsing is fine, avoid doing any online purchasing while on public Wi-Fi. Even if they have a password, hotel room numbers or the restaurant name + “public” written on the chalkboard by the door are not keeping your online activity safe. Anyone on the same public network with a computer and the right know-how could potentially view what you’re doing online and take any data that you’re sending over the network.

It is easy to get wrapped up in the convenience of online shopping and the stress of the holidays. But by simply staying alert to the dangers of scams, just as you would in the physical world, the risk of falling victim to one decreases substantially. Double-check URLs of the sites you visit, be overly cautious of emails from companies and unknown senders, don’t share or enter any personal information while on public Wi-Fi and a last tip would be to keep all software and devices updated.

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