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2018 Tech Resolution Tips

It is 2018 and people are setting goals. While according to Statista.com, ‘Save Money’ and ‘Lose Weight’ are still the top two resolutions for 2018, people are also starting to consider that like a healthy eating balance there also needs to be a healthy tech balance. More people are setting goals such as, “Monitor Phone Use” or “Improve Cyber Security”. Great Plains Communications wants to help you succeed with some tips.

 

Monitor Phone Use

How often do you find yourself turning on the television to watch a show and end up missing over half of it because you were scrolling through your newsfeed or playing a game on your phone? If you are looking to cut back on the time you stare at that small screen, a first step could be to figure out how long you are currently on it. Apps such as Moment (iOS) or Quality Time™ (Android) help to not only track how long you are in specific apps but will also give you alerts when you have been on for a specific amount of time. You can customize the alerts to your goals and schedule.

 

Improve Cyber Security

There are many ways to improve your cyber security, but we have listed two main areas as a starting point: Password Management and Apps Management.

Manage your Passwords

Passwords are the lock and key to some of our most personal and sensitive information. Not only are we protecting financial information, but contacts and photos as well. If you are looking to better manage your passwords, work on changing them more frequently and always using unique passwords for different sites. We realize there are now passwords for everything and it becomes increasingly harder to remember all of them, especially if you change them often. Programs such as LastPass and KeePass work to remember your passwords, while also keeping them secure.

Manage your Apps

Do you have an app graveyard on your phone? Maybe you hit Candy Crush hard for a good two months then burnt out quick and haven’t played since. Or maybe you still have an app for that grocery store down the road from the apartment you lived in…three years ago. The kicker question is, have you still been keeping them updated or is that red bubble always above your App Store? You don’t use them, so why keep them updated? Well, all these things can actually leave you exposed to hackers gaining access to your information. But there is a simple solution; delete all those apps you aren’t using. Then taking it one step further and check your apps permissions for the ones you keep. For Apple users, go to Settings > Privacy and check what apps have access to things like your contacts, photos, and microphone.

Simple New Year’s Eve Party Tips

2017 is quickly coming to an end and Great Plains Communications wants to help you throw an amazing welcome party for 2018. Forget fighting the bitter cold weather that Old Man Winter seems to throw our way each New Year’s Eve and snuggle in with friends and family and our favorite party tips from cable channel, HGTV.

3 Easy Party Mix Recipes

It is always good to have some simple snacks you can place around the room for your guests as they arrive and settle in. With these three recipes, you will be sure to please the sweet, spicy, and salty cravings of the group.

 

3 No-Bake 5-Minute Appetizers

Sticking to easy access finger foods will allow guests to eat with drink in hand and continue to mingle around the room. With these quick no-bake and better yet, no-stress recipes there is no hassle of silverware or dirtying any dishes other than the ones you serve them in.

 

Champagne Jelly Shots

These champagne jelly shots are not only adorable, but they pack an additional surprise in the popping candy topper. Just add your favorite champagne, some agave syrup, and water to some plain gelatin and this party treat is sure to be a favorite. If you don’t want the popping candy, try adding your favorite fresh fruit pieces before chilling.

 

DIY Balloon Photo Booth Prop

Add a little extra fun to your party with this DIY balloon photo booth prop. You can truly make it specific to your style by changing up the colors of balloons, flowers and arrangement. As you can see in the video, they use PEX tubing and a connector for their base, but if you can’t find these items or just happen to have an extra hula hoop lying around it could easily be substituted in.

 

Great Plains Communications would like to wish everyone a safe and happy New Year!

Our Favorite Christmas Recipes

There should be just a few spots left on your advent calendar, because Christmas is almost here. This weekend will be full of last minute shopping, wrapping, and planning. As you venture out for those last few things, don’t forget to stop at the grocery store for Christmas dinner. Great Plains Communications has once again looked to our cable channel, Food Network and found some of our favorite recipes that are sure to impress your guests.

Baby Back Rib Crown Roast

Looking for something other than the traditional turkey and ham this year? This rib crown roast is budget friendly and will look stunning on your table, not to mention it’s delicious.

 

Christmas Pull-Apart Bread

Say good bye to your ordinary dinner roll and say yes please to this Christmas pull-apart bread. Melty cheese mixed with the herbs on top, this adorable tree shaped bread is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

 

Ugly Christmas Sweater Pie
This “knit” pie goes a step further by turning it into an ugly Christmas sweater. The crust lovers of the family won’t be able to get enough of this festive dessert.

 

Christmas Coal Candy

These cheeky candies would make great party favors or a playful prank on the kids. Either way, the cocoa-flavored candy is sure to create a few laughs.

 

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, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Wifi Christmas Social Giveaway Winner

Help us in congratulating our Wifi Christmas Social Giveaway Winner, Sara Nichols of Eddyville, NE!  When asked why she shops online, she responded, “I shop online because I hate dealing with large crowds and I like finding the best deal while sitting in my chair rather than searching the stores.” A feeling we can all probably relate to. By sharing this information and liking the Great Plains Communications Facebook page, Sara has won a $250 Amazon.com gift card.

Sara Nichols with her husband and three children

Sara Nichols with her husband and three children

We may have only been able to choose one winner, but there is still another way to receive an Amazon.com gift card this season. By adding Great Plains Communications high-speed Internet service, you could receive a gift card and FREE installation. Bundle your services to earn the maximum gift card benefit! To find out more, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 before the offer ends January 5, 2018.

Again, we want to congratulate Sara Nichols, and thank everyone who entered our Wifi Christmas Social Giveaway!

 

Some restrictions apply, residential customers only. Services must be maintained for 6 months. Failure to do so will result in an early termination fee equal to the amount of the gift card received. Speeds and availability may vary by location.

Keep Your Devices Secure this Holiday with Tech Home

Our lives have become a constant stream of information through news feeds, search engines, emails, and reviews. All accessible through our multitude of devices. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure you understand just where those connections are going and ensure they are all protected with our Tech Home service.

The program provides world-class security for all your devices, home and on the go, with web security and antivirus systems. Gone away is the worry of lost files when your device crashes or gets damaged. With Tech Home, you will be able to sync and back-up all your files, photos, contacts and additional important information. No matter where you are, or which WiFi you connect to, Tech Home will have you covered with a cloud-based protection keeping your personal information secure and convenient.

Round-the-clock technicians will provide help to setup, test, fix and enjoy your network. Up to four computers, laptops, phones or tablets are covered through Tech Home, with the low price of just $2.99 for an additional mobile device and $4.99 for an additional laptop.

With Tech Home, you’ll have the support you are looking for and the protection you need. For more information on the new product, call 1-855-853-1483 or visit our website at http://www.gpcom.com/residential/internet/tech-home-device-protection.

This Day in History – National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

We look to our cable channel, the History Channel for This Day in History as we recognized National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. December 7, 1941 is a day America will never forget as the US naval fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii experienced a devastating attack. It began at 8 a.m. and resulted in the death of 2,400 Americans, and 1,200 wounded soldiers. It being a Sunday, many military personnel had left to attend religious services off base. The Japanese air attack was a calamitous surprise. “Much of the Pacific fleet was rendered useless: Five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed,” it reads on the History Channel website.

It has been 76 years, and we pay tribute to the 2,400 Americans who lost their lives and recognize those who survived the devastating attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941.

2017 Holiday TV Schedule

Have your hot cocoa and fuzzy socks ready, because the holiday TV specials have officially begun. What do you look forward to the most? Maybe it is Hallmark Channel originals such as The Christmas Cottage or Christmas Next Door or do you stick to classics such as the 1951 A Christmas Carol airing this Friday on TCM, and don’t forget about 25 Days of Christmas on Freeform (previously ABC Family). Below, we have the full list of movies included in this year’s 25 Days of Christmas on Freeform, from today forward.

Tuesday, December 5

7:30am/6:30c The Mistle-Tones

12:30pm/11:30c Four Christmases

2:30pm/1:30c Angry Angel

4:35pm/3:35c Elf

6:45pm/5:45c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

8:55pm/7:55c The Polar Express

12am/11c Eloise at Christmastime

 

Wednesday, December 6

7:30am/6:30c Snowglobe

12pm/11c Angry Angel

2:05pm/1:05c Eloise at Christmastime

4:15pm/3:15c Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

6:45pm/5:45c The Polar Express

8:50pm/7:50c Elf

12am/11c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

 

Thursday, December 7

7am/6c Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

11am/10c Snow Day

1pm/12c Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

2:35pm/1:35c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

4:45pm/3:45c Disney’s A Christmas Carol

6:50pm/5:50c Elf

9pm/8c Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story

12am/11c A Dennis the Menace Christmas

 

Friday, December 8

7am/6c The Little Drummer Boy

7:30am/6:30c A Dennis the Menace Christmas

11am/10c Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

12:40pm/11:40c Eloise at Christmastime

2:45pm/1:45c Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story Marathon

4:50pm/3:50c Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story

6:50pm/5:50c Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 2

9pm/8c Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 3

11:30pm/10:30c Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story That Time Forgot

12am/11c Arthur Christmas

 

Saturday, December 9

7am/6c Rudolph & Frosty’s Christmas in July

9:05am/8:05c Eloise at Christmastime

11:10am/10:10c Arthur Christmas

1:15pm/12:15c Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 2

3:25pm/2:25c Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 3

5:55pm/4:55c Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story That Time Forgot

Santa Clause Double Feature

6:25pm/5:25c The Santa Clause

8:35pm/7:35c The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

10:45pm/9:45c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

12:55am/11:55c Jack Frost (1979)

 

Sunday, December 10

7am/6c Jack Frost (1979)

8am/7c Snow Day

10:05am/9:05c Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish

12:10pm/11:10c The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

2:15pm/1:15c Disney’s A Christmas Carol

4:20pm/3:20c The Santa Clause

6:30pm/5:30c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

8:40pm/7:40c Elf

10:50pm/9:50c Four Christmases

1am/12c The Year Without a Santa Claus

 

Monday, December 11

7am/6c The Bells of Fraggle Rock

7:30am/6:30c Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish

11am/10c The Little Drummer Boy

11:30am/10:30c Disney’s A Christmas Carol

1:35pm/12:35c Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

2:40pm/1:40c The Year Without a Santa Claus

3:40pm/2:40c Four Christmases

5:50pm/4:50c Elf

8pm/7c Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings: Holiday Magic

9pm/8c The Polar Express

12am/11c Eloise at Christmastime

 

Tuesday, December 12

7am/6c Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

7:30am/6:30c Eloise at Christmastime

11am/10c Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

12:10pm/11:10c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

2:20pm/1:20c Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

4pm/3c Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

6:40pm/5:40c The Polar Express

8:50pm/7:50c The Santa Clause

12am/11c Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July

 

Wednesday, December 13

7am/6 ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

7:30am/6:30c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

11am/10c Rudolph’s Shiny New Year

12:10pm/11:10c Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

1:50pm/12:50c Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

4:30pm/3:30c Elf

6:40pm/5:40c The Santa Clause

8:50pm/7:50c The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

12am/11c The Year Without a Santa Claus

1am/12c Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings: Holiday Magic

 

Thursday, December 14

7am/6c Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas

8:30am/7:30c Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings: Holiday Magic

11am/10c Mickey’s Christmas Carol

11:30am/10:30c Christmas Cupid

1:30pm/12:30c Elf

3:40pm/2:40c The Year Without a Santa Claus

4:40pm/3:40c The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

6:45pm/5:45c Four Christmases

8:50pm/7:50c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

12am/11c Angry Angel

 

Friday, December 15

7am/6c Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups

9am/8c The Little Drummer Boy

11am/10c Eloise at Christmastime

1pm/12c Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish

3pm/2c Angry Angel

5pm/4c Four Christmases

7:10pm/6:10c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

9:20pm/8:20c Elf

11:30pm/10:30c The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

1:30am/12:30c Mickey’s Christmas Carol

 

Saturday, December 16

7am/6c The Little Drummer Boy

7:30am/6:30c The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

9:35am/8:35c Mickey’s Christmas Carol

10:05am/9:05c Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

11:35am/10:35c Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas

1:05pm/12:05c Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

2:45pm/1:45c The Polar Express

4:55pm/3:55c The Santa Clause

7:05pm/6:05c Elf

9:15pm/8:15c Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas

11:55pm/10:55 Christmas with the Kranks

 

Sunday, December 17

7am/6c Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

8:30am/7:30c Christmas with the Kranks

10:40am/9:40c Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

12:20pm/12:20c The Polar Express

2:30pm/1:30c Disney’s Prep & Landing

3pm/2c Disney’s Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice

3:30pm/2:30c The Santa Clause

5:35pm/4:35c Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas

8:15pm/7:15c Disney’s Frozen

10:45pm/9:45c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

12:55am/11:55c Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

 

Monday, December 18

7am/6c The Little Drummer Boy

7:30am/6:30c Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

8:35am/7:35c Four Christmases

10:40am/9:40c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

12:50pm/11:50c Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

3:25pm/2:25c The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

5:30pm/4:30c Disney’s Frozen

8pm/7c Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic

9pm/8c Elf

12am/11c Arthur Christmas

 

Tuesday, December 19

7am/6c Frosty’s Winter Wonderland

7:30am/6:30c Arthur Christmas

9:40am/8:40c Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

12:20pm/12:20c Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic

1:20pm/12:20c The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

3:30pm/2:30c The Year Without a Santa Claus

4:30pm/3:30c Elf

6:40pm/5:40c Christmas with the Kranks

8:50pm/7:50c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

12am/11c Angry Angel

 

Wednesday, December 20

7am/6c Mickey’s Christmas Carol

7:30am/6:30c The Mistle-Tones

9:30am/8:30c Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic

10:30am/9:30c Angry Angel

12:30pm/11:30c Eloise at Christmastime

2:30pm/1:30c The Year Without a Santa Claus

3:30pm/2:30c Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

4:35pm/3:35c Christmas with the Kranks

6:40pm/5:40c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

8:50pm/7:50c Elf

12am/11c Four Christmases

 

Thursday, December 21

7am/6c Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

8am/7c Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

8:30am/7:30c Jack Frost

9:30am/8:30c Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

10:35am/9:35c Eloise at Christmastime

12:35pm/11:35c Holiday in Handcuffs

2:35pm/1:35c Christmas with the Kranks

4:35pm/2:35c Four Christmases

6:40pm/5:40c Elf

8:50pm/7:50c The Polar Express

10:55pm/9:55c Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

12am/11c Home Alone: The Holiday Heist

 

Friday, December 22

7am/6c Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

8am/7c Christmas with the Kranks

10:05am/9:05c Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic

11:05am/10:05c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

1:15pm/12:15c Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

2:20pm/1:20c The Year Without a Santa Claus

3:20pm/2:20c Arthur Christmas

5:25pm/4:25c The Polar Express

Santa Clause Double Feature

7:30pm/6:30c The Santa Clause

9:40pm/8:40c The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

11:50pm/10:50c Elf

 

Saturday, December 23

7am/6c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

9:10am/8:10c Four Christmases

11:15am/10:15c Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

12:50pm/11:50c Elf

3pm/2c The Santa Clause

5:05pm/4:05c The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

7:10pm/6:10c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

9:20pm/8:20c Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas

12am/11c Disney’s A Christmas Carol

 

Sunday, December 24

7am/6c A Dennis the Menace Christmas

9:05am/8:05c Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish

11:05am/10:05c Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

12:10am/11:10c Disney’s A Christmas Carol

2:15pm/1:15c The Polar Express

4:25pm/3:25c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

6:35pm/5:35c Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas

9:15pm/8:15c Elf

11:25pm/10:25c The Santa Clause

1:30am/12:30c ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

 

Monday, December 25

7am/6c Frosty’s Winter Wonderland

7:30am/6:30c Disney’s Prep & Landing

8am/7c Disney’s Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice

8:30am/7:30c Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

11am/10c Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

12:35pm/11:35c The Polar Express

2:35pm/1:35c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

4:45pm/3:45c The Santa Clause

6:45pm/5:45c Elf

8:50pm/7:50c National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

12am/11c Four Christmases

 

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to find out what services we offer in your area, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-583-1483.

Don’t Forget Your Landline This Winter

There is a lot of beauty in a Midwest winter. A white Christmas is a special thing; and there is a certain feeling of satisfaction as you crawl into your handmade snow fort. Though, anyone who has lived in the area knows that with the beauty comes some difficulties. Snow drifts can reach taller than your car and ice covers power lines and roads.

Most people have a list of winter essentials, but a landline telephone often isn’t one of them. 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. So, when we get hit with a Midwestern blizzard your cell phone may not work through a power outage. Great Plains Communications wants to shed some light on just a few of the 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 no matter what Old Man Winter throws our way. For more information on how you can get a landline telephone, visit our website or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

I’m Dreaming of a Wifi Christmas

The turkey leftovers are finally starting to dwindle. You swap recipes for Amazon wish lists and smile at the thought of 2-day shipping. You notice Disney’s The Santa Clause trilogy is coming to Netflix December 12 and set a reminder in your calendar. The Internet has become a helping hand through the holidays. From Cyber Monday deals you can do in your pajamas, to streaming a crackling fireplace on your television because it has become a tradition the kids look forward to each year. The more we lean on that helping hand, the more bandwidth we demand and higher speeds are needed.

Make sure all your electronic devices operate smoothly this Christmas season by adding Great Plains Communications high-speed Internet service. In addition to receiving the top speeds in your area, we’ll include an Amazon gift card and FREE installation! Bundle your service to earn the maximum gift card benefit!

 

Not sure what speed is right for your family?

Click Here to take our interactive test.

 

Call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 to learn more about what’s available in your area.

Some restrictions apply, residential customers only. Services must be maintained for 6 months. Failure to do so will result in an early termination fee equal to the amount of the gift card received. Speeds and availability may vary by location.

*Restrictions apply, see amazon.com/gc-legal

Stay Secure this Cyber Monday

People often associate chaos and risk with Black Friday and not so much Cyber Monday. Rather than mobs running through aisles, they picture themselves safe on their couch with a blanket and cup of coffee. What people don’t understand is that all Cyber Monday has done is take the craziness of Black Friday and opened it up to the World Wide Web. Great Plains Communications wants to provide tips to protect yourself when shopping online.

The three tips we will cover are:

  • How to spot fake shopping websites
  • Keep your software updated
  • A credit card is safer to use than a debit card

 

Fake Websites

With targeted ads and pop-ups, it can seem as if the best deals are right in front of our faces. But even a secure looking ad or link could take you to a fake shopping website. From there, your computer could either be infected the moment you arrive or by malicious links within. However, where you want to be the most careful is during the checkout process. Below we have listed some giveaways that will help spot a fake website.

  • Is it a strange URL like the one in the graphic above?
  • Are they selling an odd selection of products? For example, you went to the website for the dress you saw in the ad but see they also sell computer parts.
  • Does the copy have an abundance of grammar and spelling errors? Most companies will have a copywriter whose job is to expertly write intros and product descriptions.
  • Is the customer service contact email a little off? For example, it would not be ebaysupport@support.com but support@ebay.com. Don’t get tricked by familiar terms.
  • Are the prices too good to be true? Is the website trying to sell an iPhone X for $100? It is probably a scam.

 

Software Updates

Having out-of-date versions or unpatched software is like having a target for malware, leaving you vulnerable to exploit kits. At the least, make sure to have your browser updated when shopping online. This will ensure your cookies and cache are more secure against data leaks.

We are all guilty of rolling our eyes at the little update bubble. It’s time consuming and most of the time the changes are behind the scenes so we write them off as insignificant. But it is the information behind the scenes that is keeping your data protected.

 

Credit Card vs. Debit Card

The main advantage to using a credit card versus a debit card is that a credit card has better consumer protection. In the case that someone did obtain your information, you wouldn’t be liable for fraudulent transactions. With a debit card, depending on when you report the missing card or fraudulent transactions, you could be on the hook for the entire amount. No matter what kind of card you use, it is always smart to monitor your accounts after online shopping.

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