Category Archives: Tips from Employees

Our employees know our technology and our customers better than anyone else. Each month we will feature a new tip and a little bio about one of our office personalities.

Own IT, Secure IT, Protect IT: Cyber Security Awareness Month

Own IT, Secure IT, Protect IT: Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month – the perfect time to give your accounts and devices the protection they deserve, and learn about the current threats you face online. While there is no sure-fire way to completely defend your different accounts and devices, there are some general guidelines that everyone can use to fight back against unwanted intrusion at home and in the workplace.

Your first line of defense is keeping your information private. Privacy on the internet is one of the most important pillars of safely navigating our interconnected world. Whether it be your online medical records, your credit card information, or simply the password to your e-mail, criminals will gladly take anything they can get. Here’s a list of helpful suggestions to improve your privacy on the internet, and potentially save you from internet thievery.

  • Passwords are like toothbrushes: you should be changing them regularly. You know you probably don’t do it enough; and although changing passwords may feel like a chore, having a solid, new password could make a difference when a data breach occurs. In addition to changing your passwords, sites like com and Google Chrome’s Password Checkup extension are both tools you can use to see if an e-mail or password exists in any databases of stolen information.
  • Know the difference between secure and unsecure sites. According to com, website addresses that include HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) are less secure than sites that begin with HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). HTTPS websites includes an encryption layer that allows for secure transfer of information between servers and browsers.
  • Free Wi-Fi? Not so fast. While you may appreciate that your neighbor doesn’t have a password on his or her internet connection, or that McDonald’s has great connectivity (and fries); your information is at risk when using a free Wi-Fi network. Because you don’t need a password to access the service, neither do hackers, who can perform “Man in the Middle” cyberattacks to digitally eavesdrop on your activity and potentially steal your information. The solution? According to com, if you must use Wi-Fi publically, try to use your smartphone as a hotspot (although beware of incurred data charges). If that is not an option, make sure to stay away from non-HTTPS websites, and never attempt to access valuable or personal sites such as online banking, medical records, or tax information while on a public hotspot.
  • Accept those security updates! Yes, having to quit what you’re doing for the latest iOS or Android update can seem like real pain, but those security updates are a small price to pay for peace of mind while using your devices. Often the updates include patches to “holes” in the security software of the device, as technology companies try to stay one step ahead of any “bugs” or gaps that hackers are constantly trying to discover and exploit.
  • Install with caution. Apps that may appear in your device’s virtual store may also carry with them malware that seeks to take your information or open up your security system from the inside. Use discretion when downloading new software onto any device. Take time to read reviews, judge the site from which it originated, and use good judgement when looking over an app. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

This year’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s (NCSAM) theme is ‘Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.’  So remember to remain vigilant of your data and think hard about where you give out your information. As we become more and more reliant upon technology, it only makes sense to make sure we protect our privacy, and by extension, our digital assets.

BendBroadband is helping its customers stay ahead of online criminals with the recent launch of Internet Security from TDS. Internet Security is available for residential and business high-speed Internet customers and BendBroadband is offering a 30-day free trial of the product. Order today at 1-541-803-8087.

By Joe Pueschner
Joe is a TDS Communication Intern, and a senior at the University of Wisconsin Madison who loves to cook, hit the gym, and listen to podcasts.

 

Kids spend how much time online?

How much time do you think your kids spend using media everyday—Three hours? Five hours? Try NINE. According to some recent research, no joke, kids ages 8-18 spend about nine hours using media on any given day (more than they might sleep!). That includes watching TV, videos, movies, playing video games, listening to music and… Continue Reading

13 Mother’s Day gift ideas

13 Mother’s Day gift ideas

There’s just a few shopping days left until Mother’s Day, but no worries. We’ve got you covered. Missy Kellor – a blogger with BendBroadband’s parent company, TDS Telecom – gathered some moms and brainstormed gift ideas and some pro tips to help you maximize the impact of your present. Prices range from zero dollars all… Continue Reading

Time to reboot your modem

Our new Internet packages are now effective. In order to enjoy higher upstream speeds, Gold Internet customers should reboot their modems. The instructions are simple. Simply switch the power off to your modem or Alpha gateway for several seconds and power it back up. According to our tech guys, 40% of Internet problems can be… Continue Reading

Phone scams leave you hanging

Phone scams leave you hanging

Phone scams are getting more persistent, even in Central Oregon. Scam artists are taking to the phone, and people are getting hooked. Crooks are selling dream vacations, bogus stock tips, or promising a stake in huge lottery winnings. The offer sounds really good: “You are the winner of an all-expenses paid vacation to Europe. All… Continue Reading

Password safety tips

Password safety tips

We live in a digitized world. Paying bills, checking your bank account, and socializing used to be done in safe, private settings. Today we hop onto the Internet to manage social networking, apply for jobs or pay bills. To be safe, you need to protect your personal information with secure passwords. BendBroadband’s information security officer,… Continue Reading