Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Tag: Safety

More Ways to Protect Your Internet Security

Recently we posted an article about Top Ways to Protect Your Internet Security.  Here are a few more ways to make sure that your online experience stays safe.

Beware of outdated versions of Adobe Reader/AcrobatAdobe Reader, the most popular program for reading PDF documents, comes pre-installed on most computers.  However, vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat (another program for reading files) are a very popular way for viruses to get into your computer.  Make sure that you have the latest version, with the most up-to-date protection, at all times.   Updating is easy since Adobe searches for updates automatically and will prompt you to run updates on the program.  If you do want extra help, check out our online PC support options.

Don’t click on pop-ups that claim your computer is infectedIn our last post, we advised that you get to know your anti-virus software.  Knowing how your computer is protected will help you avoid programs known as “scareware”, which  can pretend to be anti-virus programs who have detected hundreds of viruses on your computer.  They offer to “clean” your computer if you purchase the full version of the program.  The thing is, your computer wasn’t infected to begin with and you are effectively paying to get rid of one virus pretending to be real software.

If you see one of these programs appear on your screen run a scan with your actual anti-virus program.  Whatever you do, don’t give the program any credit card or other personal information, as these programs will send the data right back to the scammers and put your identity at risk.

Logging into an account from a link received in an e-mail, IM or other suspect sourceThe risk you run by logging into your online accounts (banking, social media, etc.) from an e-mail link is that you could be taken to a fake landing page set up by a scammer to take your personal information.  When in doubt, go to the log-in page directly by typing the URL in yourself and log-in from there.  (If you ever have trouble remembering your passwords, check out our earlier blog post Say Goodbye to the Frustration of Forgotten Passwords)

The benefit of keeping a landline

According to a recent report by the CDC, 17% percent of consumers no longer have a landline telephone choosing to only use cellular telephone service.  While a cellular phone may be acceptable most of the time, there are occasions when keeping a landline makes sense.

If your power goes out – If you lose power for more than a day, not an odd occurrence in many parts of the country with tornadoes, blizzards and other extreme weather patterns, your main sources of communication are likely to be unusable.  Cell phones and computer devices will run through their batteries rather quickly and once the batteries die, you may be left without a way to communicate to the outside world.

A simple landline accessed with a corded phone will remain reliable without electricity.  When emergency situations take place, it’s also possible for cell towers to become overwhelmed and  unable to place calls.  This is especially true in areas that are highly populated or have very few (maybe even only one) towers around.

If you don’t get cell reception in your kitchen or bathroom – If you choose to only use a cell phone, make sure that every area in your home has cell service.  Should you be injured in your home and unable to move to an area with better cell service, it could severely decrease your chances of receiving timely help.

On a related note, it was customary to have multiple phones spread around the home.  Given that most cell phone users only use one device, it’s important to make sure that your mobile device is nearby when in accident prone areas including the kitchen and bathrooms.

If you leave a dependent at home for any length of time – If you have kids or elderly persons who are left alone for any period of time, it’s a good idea to have a land line.  Children aren’t known for their sense of innate responsibility and with their heavy usage patterns they can easily drain a cell phone battery.  Having a landline means that even if their cell phone is no longer usable, they can reach you or other emergency contacts if needed.

If you have any questions about adding landline services, you can contact our Customer Response Center at 1-888-343-8014.