6 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Cybersecurity

6 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Cybersecurity

Children begin using the Internet for both educational and social purposes when they are very young. But when one in four people surveyed has been hacked or know someone who has been hacked, parents have reason to be concerned about protecting their children’s information online. Anyone can be a victim of hacking, and unfortunately there is no guaranteed way to prevent it. However, following safety best practices and implementing security protocols can help keep your children and their information safe from online predators. 1. Improve Your Computer and Internet Literacy You need to be familiar with safe computer and Internet tactics before you can teach your children how to behave online. Take a computer class, read a guide book, or browse online tutorials to learn more about Internet safety, computer viruses, and safely downloading and sharing files. Before allowing your child to download any programs or applications, read the user manual and fine print to learn about the data it may gather from your computer. 2. Teach Internet Safety Best Practices Educate your children about potential online dangers and how to protect themselves from becoming victims. Your children should follow these rules to improve their cybersecurity. Create strong passwords for each online account. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Never share passwords with friends or strangers or write them down on paper. Use a password manager if your child needs help remembering their passwords. Ignore requests or messages from strangers and unknown usernames or email addresses. Never download an unknown or suspicious email attachment, app, or software program. Never share personal information, such as home addresses,...

Technology that Connects Service Members and Their Families

Memorial Day is upon us and for many of you that means a weekend full of barbecues, vacations, and pool openings. All of these things are great, but this year our team decided to observe Memorial Day by creating a visual guide to help military members abroad connect with their loved ones at home. We know that our deployed military members rely heavily on the support of their families to protect our nation’s freedoms, and we hope that this resource will help in at least some small way to make connecting with their loved ones a little easier. Please feel free to share this resource with your friends and family this Memorial...
Is Virtual Reality the Future of the Internet?

Is Virtual Reality the Future of the Internet?

Virtual reality was once the fodder of science fiction, a simulated world that geeks drooled over but the rest of the world found laughably inaccessible. Eager engineers tripped around darkened living rooms with massive VR headsets, looking ridiculously obsessed with a vision no one else could see. But the line between perception and reality is shifting as technology advances and many high profile companies are convinced that virtual reality is the future of the Internet. What are they able to see about VR that we can’t? Let’s take a look. Even a cursory glimpse into today’s landscape of VR indicates our assumptions are outdated. As technology has advanced in recent years, so has virtual reality. The original aim of VR pioneers was to create an experience that would rival our senses and challenge perceptions about what the digital world could accomplish. Just a decade ago, VR’s ability to produce a fully immersive universe still seemed the stuff of sci-fi fantasy. Several key advances, however, have transformed the VR world and allowed the technology to become more responsive than ever before. Firstly, the rapid advance of smartphone technology has opened up the market for cheaper components and the dynamic displays that make VR possible. Pioneers in the medical field have developed what we refer to as BCI (Brain Computer Interface), allowing amputees and handicapped patients to utilize mechanized and digital components with an astonishing level of integration. This is the same technology that will help create the truly convincing interactions virtual reality has been unable to produce thus far. Increasing bandwidth and the expanding availability of high-speed Internet has made...
Netflix’s Exclusive Deal with Disney & Pixar Begins in September

Netflix’s Exclusive Deal with Disney & Pixar Begins in September

First up, Disney and Pixar. Next, world domination! Perhaps you heard the collective roar of triumph from an army of cord cutters yesterday that reverberated around the Internet. The jubilation was due to an announcement by Netflix that beginning in September, the streaming content provider would have exclusive rights to Disney, Pixar, Lucas Film, and Marvel movie releases. “From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar.” Ted Sarandos, Netflix Press Release This deal has been in the works since 2012, and marks the first time a major studio has partnered with a streaming provider to deliver theatrical releases. Netflix has indicated exclusive deals like this one are an important part of their strategy moving forward, in addition to investing heavily in developing their own programming. The deal is reported to have cost Netflix in the neighborhood of $300 million. An exclusive contract not only edges out other streaming service competitors like Amazon Prime, it also shuts out cable movie channels like Starz, who currently hold the rights to Disney and Pixar films. The deal goes into effect in September, but it will only cover 2016 and newer theatrical releases. You know what that means, Star Wars fans. The force is still awakening with Starz this fall, although Netflix will retain rights to stream the intergalactic blockbuster in Canada. Netflix will also get to offer their customers Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the popular Zootopia, although they’ll be dropping a few older Disney titles from the catalog to make room. As the movement to cut...
Compare High-Speed Internet Service Providers: AT&T vs. Cox

Compare High-Speed Internet Service Providers: AT&T vs. Cox

There has never been a better time to shop around for the best deals and fastest speeds in your area. But as you start checking out offerings, it’s important to evaluate all elements of a package — price shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when looking for the perfect Internet bundle. Whether you are shopping around to get out of your current deal or your contract has come to an end, AT&T® U-verse® and Cox® High Speed InternetSM are two premium Internet services worth checking out. When making comparisons, be sure to evaluate what speeds are available in your area, which bundles offer the best value and which provider meets your connectivity needs. This piece will take a closer look at Cox and AT&T offerings to ensure you have all the information you need to efficiently compare Internet packages and find the right fit for you. Connection Essentials AT&T and Cox Communications offer similar services, including a range of standalone Internet options at different price points. The method by which those services are delivered, however, is fairly different. AT&T U-verse is a fiber-optic service, meaning that data is delivered via fast and reliable light pulses over a fiber-optic cable. Cox, on the other hand, is a cable provider, so Internet is delivered over coaxial cable lines. Both providers are available across around the same number of states: AT&T U-verse® is currently in 21 states, mainly in the South and Midwest, whereas Cox Internet is available in 19 states across the country. Plans and Prices When it comes to geographical spread, AT&T U-verse and Cox High Speed Internet offerings...
Does Netflix’s Fast.Com Expose Throttling by Your ISP?

Does Netflix’s Fast.Com Expose Throttling by Your ISP?

Looking to determine your internet speed? If you haven’t heard, there’s a new kid in town. Netflix launched Fast.com earlier this week; an internet speed tool that is simple and efficient, unfettered by advertising bloat. It was launched Wednesday by Netflix, the most popular streaming content provider in America, to highlight the disparity between promised speeds and the speeds you actually receive.  It was also intended to inundate Internet Service Providers with customer service calls, and stir the growing controversy surrounding throttling by ISPs. Fast.com is designed to work both on mobile devices and PCs, with or without a Netflix account. As soon as you enter the site, Fast.com immediately calculates your download speed in Mbps. It then offers to connect with an alternative test, speedtest.net, to help consumers determine if there is a disparity. The key here is that Fast.com is measuring your speed of download from Netflix’s servers. Speedtest.com instead measures your speeds from nearby servers. Netflix is making a pretty blatant inference that a disparity between the tests and your promised speeds means your ISP is throttling your connection. Netflix’s Tumultuous Relationship with Throttling There is much more than meets the eye here, however. To understand the implications and effectiveness of Netflix’s nifty, new tool, you’ll need a little context. Let’s back up to June 2014, when Netflix was embroiled in a bitter feud with both Verizon and AT&T. After some very public accusations that ISPS were throttling connection speeds to content providers in order to discourage consumers from cutting the cord, Netflix began to show these service messages. The typical loading or buffering message was...
XFINITY vs. AT&T Internet

XFINITY vs. AT&T Internet

Choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP) isn’t easy — and it can be even harder when you live in an area with two popular options available. Both AT&T ® and XFINITY ® are well-established ISPs that offer a variety of Internet packages and speeds. You can compare each company’s features and offerings, but the right choice will not be the same for everyone. Your decision depends on your Internet service needs. We’ve examined how XFINITY and AT&T measure up for the most important elements of an ISP. This will help you understand what makes these two ISPs unique and identify which one best meets your criteria. Type of Internet AT&T offers DSL Internet, which uses copper phone lines to transmit digital and voice data. DSL is popular in cities, but is also often available in rural locations because phone lines already exist in most populated areas. AT&T also offers fiber-optic Internet in select locations. XFINITY, on the other hand, provides cable Internet. Instead of using phone lines, XFINITY uses coaxial cable lines to deliver Internet and television service. Cable ISPs often offer faster speeds than DSL. However, unlike DSL, cable speeds can vary greatly depending on how many people access the Internet at once. Even if both AT&T and XFINITY are available in your area, you still may not be able to access all of their Internet packages. It’s best to find out exactly which products are offered in your area before making a final decision. Speed Your Internet speed with either AT&T or XFINITY depends on the package you choose. XFINITY cable Internet speeds range between 6 and...
Suddenlink vs. CenturyLink Internet

Suddenlink vs. CenturyLink Internet

When you live in a location with more than one great Internet Service Provider (ISP), it can be tricky to determine which is the best choice. The right ISP for you and your household is influenced by many factors — including speed, data limit, price, and customer service. Knowing how you use the Internet and what you want to spend helps make the selection process easier. If you’re choosing between Suddenlink® and CenturyLink® Internet, here’s a comparison of how they stack up. Speed Speed is an important part of your Internet connection. If you have multiple people and devices that need to access the Internet at the same time, you need to have the right speed. Both CenturyLink and Suddenlink offer speeds as fast as 1 Gbps, but only in select cities. Those fast speeds are ideal for households with multiple users who want to participate in online games and download movies on multiple devices at the same time. However, not everyone needs speeds that fast. For Internet users who like to check on social media, stream television and movies, or shop from the comfort of their bed, both companies also offer lower speeds. CenturyLink Pure Broadband download speeds range from 1.5 Mbps to 40 Mbps, and its basic package offers speeds up to 12 Mbps. Suddenlink’s basic plan offers speeds up to 50 Mbps, and its top-tier plan offers 150 Mbps download speeds. These basic plans speeds are perfect for streaming music, checking email, and video calling family and friends. Price How much you pay for Internet varies based on the plan you select. Both Suddenlink and CenturyLink...
How to Switch Internet Service Providers with Less Hassle

How to Switch Internet Service Providers with Less Hassle

Internet providers are notorious for making it difficult to switch to another company. Horror stories of people paying huge premiums for outdated dial-up Internet services are still far too common, and even the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recognizes that switching Internet providers is much too difficult for the average consumer. Combine that overly challenging process with the growth of faster, reasonably priced Internet offerings like Google Fiber plans, and you end up with a lot of frustrated Internet users trying to change providers. Fortunately, you don’t have to be stuck with your current Internet plan — this handy guide will walk you through the process of switching providers. Understanding the Effects of Switching Providers Switching Internet Service Providers (ISPs) is usually a financially beneficial move — hopefully one that also increases your Internet speed or reliability. But it’s not always possible to make a clean break. You’ll want to carefully examine all of the elements before you make the switch. Here’s a quick look at just a few factors that might influence your decision: ISP-Tied Email Account Loss: An important thing to consider when switching ISPs is your email account. If your email address is tied to your ISP, there’s a high chance you’ll lose it when you switch to a new provider. As such, it’s a good idea to start up an account with a site like Google or Yahoo and then forward over any important messages and alert your current contacts of your new address before you cancel the service. Hefty Termination Fees: If you decide to switch providers before your current contract is...