Category Archives: Technology

How scammers get your email

How scammers get your email

We’re getting reports of a new round of phishing emails hitting inboxes which means it’s time to brush off your phishing-spotting skills.

Phishing attempts typically try to scare you into clicking on links and/or open a Google form and provide information. Remember: any company you do business with should already have the information being requested. And, when in doubt, contact the company directly rather than using links or information included in an email (get a refresher on five ways to spot a phishing scam).

If you’ve ever wondered how scammers even get your email address in the first place, here are some of the ways they do it (according to MicrosoftThe Balance Everyday, and others):

  1. They use web crawlers that look for the @ symbol. Scammers have developed sophisticated automated tools that search the internet and gather email addresses. These can be found in insecure files, blog comments, winner lists, or even on social media profiles.
  2. They guess. Scammers will gather lists of common names and words, and combine them with popular email address services/internet service providers and just try and and see if it works. Again, scammers are using tools to do this by the thousands.
  3. They buy lists. Read the privacy policy on any website before handing of your email—the company may be able to legally sell your information, including your email address. On the dark web, there are also illegal lists available to purchase.
  4. Hacking. Cybercriminals are not above hacking into databases to get email addresses. They can use them, or they can sell what they find—or both.
  5. Fake websites. Fake sweepstakes are a classic method for getting people to readily give away their information. Always double check that it’s legitimate by checking out the company tied to the offer, and looking out for misspellings, bad grammar, and vague details.

One thing is for sure, phishing isn’t going anyway any time soon—not as long as people continue to fall for these scams. In the meantime, stay on your toes, and be sure to refresh your memory about how to spot a phishing scam (with real-life examples of attempts our customers have received!).

If you receive a phishing email, the Federal Trade Commission says you can report it at and forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at (If scammers contact you by text message or phone, report that, too.)

P.S. If you’re wondering if an email request for information is real, contact the business who “sent” it—but don’t use any links or phone numbers provided. Instead, look up their website yourself and/or give them a call (you should look that info up yourself, too). It’s the safest way to confirm whether the request in your inbox is for real.

NFTs for beginners

NFTs for beginners

NFTs are increasing in popularity, and articles about investors becoming rich from NFTs are becoming more frequent. But what is an NFT? Put simply, NFT stands for non-fungible token. It is a digital code that represents a digital item which could be pretty much anything—music, art, memorabilia, videos, a tweet, and even virtual furniture that… Continue Reading

BendBroadband blocking more spam calls than ever

BendBroadband blocking more spam calls than ever

In recent years, what has been the No. 1 complaint to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding telephones? If you answered spam calls, often in the form of “robocalls,” you’re correct! Robocalling is defined as automated calling used to deliver a prerecorded message, often for illegal purposes. Back in January 2021, TDS announced plans to… Continue Reading

The 20 worst passwords of 2021

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TDS has not detected issues with Apache Log4j

The security and operations teams at TDS Telecom and BendBroadband are focused on mitigating risks associated with the new Log4j threat. At this time, we have not detected any successful exploit attempts in our systems or services. We continue to monitor our environment for new exploit attempts while also strengthening our posture against the vulnerability.… Continue Reading

Maximizing and preserving your devices’ battery life

Life is continuously made simpler and more convenient with the help of technology. Your phone and laptop can play music, send messages, take photos, and provide directions. But everything has its shortcomings. In this case — battery life. Here are several solutions for a battery that dies fast and suggestions to optimize the battery’s health.… Continue Reading

The growth of Esports

Today is National Video Game Day—a day to dust off old game cases, cartridges, and consoles and enjoy the nostalgia that is video games. While many view video games as a popular leisure activity, the competitive gaming industry’s rise in popularity over the last few decades is hard to ignore. Esports (also called “electronic sports”)… Continue Reading