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.
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.
The holidays are here, and your wallet might already be feeling the weight of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but Great Plains Communications (GPC) wants to help you save this season. Discover the magic of our new Value Bundle and save up to 40% each month!
And that’s not all! Through January 4, 2019, you have a chance to receive up to a $100 bill credit plus FREE installation!
Looking to connect your devices with reliable high-speed Internet? All new Internet customers can sign up now for the new Value Bundle and receive a $100 bill credit with free installation.
Already a GPC Internet customer but thinking a higher speed might be what your family needs this holiday? Upgrade your speed now and receive a $25 bill credit! With the addition of any single service, you will receive free installation.
Call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 today to sign up!
From left to right: Tom Timmerman, John Scott, Dave Nelson, Dick Helvey, Chris Crews, Randy Squier, Mark Linquist, and Seth Kotouc
We are excited to announce that due to the overwhelming outpouring of support through social media, Great Plains Communications will be donating $1,000 to the Great Plains Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) in addition to the 25 Amazon Fire tablets!
Veteran, Dave Nelson with one of the 25 tablets donated to Great Plains PVA
Great Plains PVA is a non-profit organization that has dedicated over 46 years to helping paralyzed veterans and their families, as well as other children and adults with disabilities. They have their hand in advocating for solutions that afford equal opportunities for paralyzed veterans and other citizens living with disabilities, as well as effective healthcare for veterans living with a spinal cord injury or disease. Along with being a voice in legislation, Great Plains PVA is on the ground helping provide necessary resources such as handicapped accessible apartment complexes located across Nebraska as well as the one-of-a-kind Great Plains PVA Adapted Health & Fitness Center with individualized training programs.
Veteran, Dave Nelson shares his tattoo
We are honored to be able to support such an impactful and incredible organization. If you would like to learn more about Paralyzed Veterans of America Great Plains Chapter or how you can give, visit their website at http://greatplainspva.org/site/.
We talked turkey, now it’s time to focus in on some show-stopping side dishes your family and friends are sure to love this Thanksgiving. Again, we have looked to our cable channel, Food Network for some of our favorite comforting recipes.
Alton’s Green Bean Casserole
While canned cream of mushroom soup will hold a special nostalgic place in our hearts, this recipe shows how easy it is to make a rich mushroom gravy from scratch.
Sausage, Apple and Sage Stuffing
The sweet and tart notes of the apple play well with the savoriness of the sausage. A quick mix and pop it in the oven for a fall flavored side that will shine on your Thanksgiving table.
Alex’s 5-Star Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Looking to impress your family and friends with more than the gelatinous can shaped cranberry sauce? This recipe will add true cranberry flavor with warm hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Plus, it is a beautiful accompaniment to any turkey.
Ree’s Creamy Corn Casserole
If your family likes a little spice, this creamy corn casserole will have the slight kick you need to heat up the Thanksgiving spread. Add as much or as little jalapeno as you want and don’t worry about substituting frozen corn for fresh if that is what you have available.
We are talking turkey today. Thanksgiving is just over a week out, but some turkey recipes can take up to 5 days of prep! Great Plains Communications has turned to our cable channel Food Network to find some of our favorite turkey preparations, if that is a wet brine, dry brine, no brine, or even just the turkey breasts for a smaller crowd.
Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey
As Geoffrey Zakarian says in the video, “Don’t stress, because this is just a very big chicken.” Instead of worrying about room in your fridge for a wet brined turkey, this recipe requires just one shelf big enough for your roasting pan. The salt in the dry brine will dry out the skin to ensure it crisps in the oven and the seasonings provide a bright citrus note accompanied by familiar fall herb flavors.
Bobby Flay’s Cajun Brined Turkey
This recipe is if you are looking to jazz up the flavor profile a bit. Instead of using traditional thanksgiving herbs such as sage, rosemary and thyme, here Bobby Flay uses different chili powders and paprika for not only the brine but the dry rub as well.
Alton’s Butterflied Turkey How-To
A shorter cooking time, but also less area needed in the refrigerator – this recipe provides a new presentation of the turkey but still provides crispy skin and juicy meat. As Alton Brown explains, along with the other chefs in these videos, be sure to check the internal temperature of your turkey with a meat thermometer before assuming it is done. Do not rely on the pop-up “thermometers” that come with some turkeys.
Thanksgiving on 2 Sheet Pans
Maybe you are planning a Friendsgiving or your family is on the small side and a whole turkey would be way too much. This recipe provides season favorites such as sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and beautifully roasted turkey breasts – all cooked on two sheet pans!
As the holiday season begins, do you ever feel like you are constantly making lists? From grocery lists to guest lists and Christmas wish-lists. Great Plains Communications wants to remind you of one more list that you won’t want to forget and that is for winter safety. Temperatures may be moderate so far, but as any Midwesterner knows, winter is coming.
So, you have your batteries and extra blankets, but do you have a landline telephone? You may be wondering why you would need a landline, when all the members of your family have cell phones. Cell phones are great on the go and bring some of the best technology right to your fingertips. But with cell phones come batteries that need power to recharge, which isn’t always available through a power outage brought on by extreme weather. Here are just a few advantages to having a landline telephone this winter:
Security in an emergency, with consistent reliable 911 connection
No need for batteries or charging when using a corded phone
Elimination of potentially faulty connection and dropped calls
Top-quality sound and clarity
Remember, if the power isn’t working in your home, most likely neither are your cordless phones. Keep your family safe this season and make sure you have a corded phone plugged into a wall-mounted phone jack. That way you can be sure to have a clear and reliable connection throughout any storm headed our way. For more information on how you can get phone service with Great Plains Communications, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.
It is a common misconception that daylight saving time was created in the aid of farmers, to allow an extra hour of sunlight to work their fields. As we turn our clocks back this Sunday, November 4, 2018, Great Plains Communications has teamed up with our cable channel, History Channel to bring you the real reason we “fall back” and “spring forward”.
The real reason we adjust our clocks twice a year is based on energy conservation and an attempt to match daylight hours to times when the majority of people are awake, dating back to 1895. According to the History Channel, “the first real experiments with daylight saving time began during World War I,” on April 30, 1916. In an effort to conserve electricity needed for war effort, Germany and Austria enforced a one-hour clock shift. The United States later adopted daylight saving in 1918.
Jack-o’-lanterns line the sidewalk, patiently waiting to greet your little Dinosaurs, unicorns and pirates alike, lighting the way through the festive night. The doorbell rings and an assortment of candy fills each bucket and bag. Tomorrow is the big night, and there is more to plan than what shoes will look best and if there are enough treats to go around. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure everyone has a safe Halloween with some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide.
Have a Safe Walking Plan: Children’s excitement level is often escalated on Halloween as they see the sweet potential in each house, no matter if it is across the street or down the block. Help them to remember to look left, right, and left once more before holding the hand of an adult and crossing the street. Also, don’t forget to put down any electronic devices as you cross, and choose spots further away from the street to stop and take pictures.
Find Creative Ways to Add Safety Precautions to Costumes: Have your kids use fun metallic stickers or reflective tape on their candy bags, it could be a fun way to personalize their goodies and help them be seen by passing drivers. Glow sticks could be another fun way to brighten up the nighttime walk!
Be a Cautious Driver: Just because you are not in costume, does not mean you are not a large factor in Halloween safety. As a driver, make sure to eliminate any distractions inside the car and be especially alert in residential areas. Allow extra time to look for kids between parked cars and at intersections. Typical trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., so buckle up and stay alert for all the little witches and skeletons walking the streets.
For more tips, check out the Safe Kids Worldwide website and remember that Great Plains Communications hopes you have a fun and safe Halloween! Let us know what creative safety tricks your family uses each year in the comments section on our Facebook page.
Halloween is next week, which means there is still time to do some fun and festive crafts to prepare for the spooky night. We are thinking outside the box and found some of our favorite Halloween crafts that the kids will love – and they don’t include cleaning or carving a pumpkin!
Last-Minute DIY Halloween Décor
These five quick ideas include things like toilet paper rolls, old socks and ice – all things you already have in your house.
3 DIY Halloween Wreaths
Who said wreaths were just for Christmas? These creative creations will add a little Halloween flair to your front door.
3 Spooky Mason Jar Crafts
Who doesn’t have a few mason jars laying around the house? Have the kids help create some fun and beautiful decorations to light up the porch for all the trick-or-treaters.
DIY Pool Noodle Halloween Costumes
Looking for a last-minute costume idea? Here is a way to use pool noodles to create costumes for the whole family!
We found all these great ideas from our cable channel, HGTV. 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.
Great Plains Communications is raising awareness on one of the Universal Service Funds’ varied programs to help provide affordable telecommunications services to Americans. We are looking at the Nebraska Lifeline Program or Lifeline Phone Bill Assistance.
The Lifeline Program ensures that low-income households have access to quality telephone service. It could be combined with Link Up and Toll Limitation Service. The Lifeline program reduces the price for monthly telephone charges for basic service and allows those with income constraints to enjoy the benefits of a telephone service.
Eligible subscribers include those who participate in:
Federal Public Housing Assistance / Section 8
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
Tribally Administered TANF
Head Start (income qualifying / residents of Tribal Lands only)
We know how important having a landline can be for safety and convenience of your family, particularly in rural Nebraska. For additional information on the Nebraska Lifeline Program, visit http://www.phone-bill-assistance.com/lifeline/NE. If you have any questions or would like to apply, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.