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Arm yourself in the battle against botnets

Whidbey Telecom News
Yes, we do that!

Ask the Help Desk
Why Don't Pictures Within E-mail Messages Automatically Show Up?

Great Sites to Check Out This January!
Make sure you take a look at these helpful websites

Short Tutorial
Changing the Font (text) Size on Web Pages



Dear Valued Customer,

This month begins a new year filled with new possibilities and this issue contains content to help you in this journey of discovery. First, you'll find an explanation of the criminal use of botnets including what you should do to protect your computer. We also share the history and organizational methods behind flash mobs--the public events (such as singing or dancing) that seem to spring up out of nowhere. If 2011 is your year to join Facebook, check out the tutorial for a guide to creating an account and profile. And if you're looking for resources to inspire you in the areas of cooking, travel, home decorating, or money management, you'll find them in Great Sites.

We think you'll find the information contained in this newsletter to be a valuable tool for enhancing your Internet experience.

Here's what's inside our January eNewsletter:

    1. WARNING - Arm yourself in the battle against botnets

    2. Whidbey Telecom News - Yes, we do that!

    3. This Month's FAQ - When did flash mobs get started and how are they organized?

    4. Sites of the Month - Great sites to check out in January

    5. Short Tutorial - Creating a Facebook account and profile

We hope you enjoy our eNewsletter!

- Your Whidbey Telecom Team



WARNING! - Arm yourself in the battle against botnets

In the most recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, the company warns that computers with older operating systems are more susceptible to infections from bot-related malware. What is a bot? The term is short for robot. It refers to what your computer becomes when criminals distribute malicious software that forces your computer to perform automated tasks over the Internet--without you knowing it. Large numbers of bots form a network called a botnet.

Criminals use botnets to send out spam e-mail messages, spread viruses, attack computers and servers, and commit other kinds of crime and fraud. It can be difficult to tell if your computer has become part of a botnet but there are warning signs including:

  • Your computer slows down and seems sluggish.
  • You receive mysterious e-mails accusing you of sending spam.
  • You find e-mail messages in your outbox that you didn't send.

If you suspect your computer may be infected, you can visit and click on "I think my computer is infected" to access the online Safety Scanner.

To strengthen your computer's defenses in the battle against botnets, Microsoft recommends the following:

  • Install antivirus and antispyware programs from a trusted source.
  • Keep all software up to date.
  • Use strong passwords and keep them secret.
  • Never turn off your firewall.



Yes, We Do That!

"I didn't know you did that."

We hear this from time to time when consulting with our customers about Whidbey Telecom's many service offerings. Here are a few other professional services that Whidbey Telecom provides, that you may not be aware of, to keep you connected and make your life easier.

Did you know? Whidbey Telecom has a low voltage wiring team for network and entertainment wiring. We understand sometimes you need the phone moved across the room or want to access the Internet in the rest of the house but don't have the ability to run new cables. Instead of stringing long, unsightly cables or creating a mess of wires, let our professional staff set up your phone, entertainment center or network wiring the right way. Not only will it look much better, but work better too. And the estimate is free!

Did you know? We offer complete security and alarm solutions tailored specifically for your needs. Our complete security and alarm systems can even be outfitted with remote video monitoring, allowing you to observe and even adjust many aspects of your system from anywhere on the globe. You can turn lights on and off, arm and disarm the system, turn on/off your water heater and adjust your temperature from a smartphone or computer!

Did you know? Our Computer Repair Center provides preventative maintenance to keep your computer healthy and fix issues when they arise. These professionals can also build custom systems for those looking for very specific computer solutions. We have 5 Mac certified technicians on staff too! This team will also be available at our new Customer Experience Center in Freeland coming this year. Can't make it to our office? We can come to your home to support your computer needs!

Whidbey Telecom wants to be the center of your digital life. So next time you need help with anything related to computers, wires, security, the Internet, or wide array of communication services, please give us is call.

"Yes, we do that!"

Custom Wiring & Networking | 360-321-1122
Mac & PC Computer Services | 360-321-8281
Cloud Computing Services | 360-321-1122



When did flash mobs get started and how are they organized?

Question: Sometimes I see stories in the news about a flash mob, like the people who break into song in a shopping center. I'm curious--when did flash mobs get started and how are they organized?

Answer: A flash mob is defined as a large group of people who gather at a public place to perform a pre-defined action--often a brief song or dance--and then disperse rapidly afterwards.

The first "official" flash mob was attempted in Manhattan in May 2003 (the early days of social media) and organized by Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper's Magazine. It was unsuccessful after the targeted retail store, Macy's, was tipped off about the plan for people to gather. Wasik avoided such problems during the second flash mob, which occurred one month later, by sending participants to preliminary staging areas where they received further instructions about the event and location just before the flash mob began.

Flash mobs are generally organized via social media or viral e-mails. Potential participants receive all necessary instructions including the date, time, and meeting point in the real world, as well as the action to perform. A video of the required dance moves, for example, may be posted for participants to review.

Click on the link below to play a video of a recent flash mob where holiday shoppers in a food court were surprised with a song to go with their sandwiches.



Sites of the Month for December

Recipes for Foodies
Each week, the American Public Media radio show, The Splendid Table, offers recipes and tips "for people who love to eat." Their website features recipes in categories including comfort, inexpensive, seafood, vegetarian, grilling, and holidays. Explore the rest of the site to hear recordings of the show, read tips and wine picks, and find great places to eat in your state.

Unusual Hotels
This site is called Unusual Hotels of the World and the name says it all. Here you'll find out about ice hotels, undersea lodges, castles, boats, treehouses, and lighthouses--all of which are places you can stay! Search by type of hotel, type of experience (wild, family, romance), or destination. You're sure to find a unique place to spend your next vacation.

Home Decorating Guide
Looking for some new decorating ideas for the new year? This site is a great place to start. You'll find key decorating strategies, paint and shelving ideas, and pointers for decorating with travel treasures or your favorite photos. Look for tutorials on topics like "How to Paint Like a Pro." Or try a DIY (do-it-yourself) project like making over a dresser, designing your own painted glassware, or creating a designer bouquet.

National Recreation Information provides access to information about federal recreational activities and reservations. You can use it to discover parks, forests, museums, and other destinations near your home; plan a trip to other areas of the country; make reservations for activities like picnicking, camping, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and boating; or book a tour at any one of a number of stunning national parks and monuments.

Financial Planning How-to
Bing Travel allows you to find the best fares for flights from most major U.S. and Canadian cities to destinations worldwide. Enter your departure and destination locations, and get a list of fares plus a Price Predictor that tells you whether to buy (if prices are rising) or wait (if they're dropping). Use the Flexible Search function to find the cheapest time to fly.



How to create a Facebook account and profile

Facebook now has more than 500 million active users and half of them log on to Facebook in any given day. In total, the site reports that people spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. If you're not yet part of this group of 500 million, it's easy to join. Simply follow the steps below to create a Facebook account and profile.

1) Visit and create a personal account by filling in the required fields as well as entering the encrypted password provided by Facebook.

2) Once you have entered your information, Facebook will send you a confirmation e-mail to the address you provided in the setup. Click on the link within the e-mail to begin personalizing your new Facebook account.

3) Facebook will take you through a series of steps in which you can add as much or as little personal information as you want. This information includes the names of the high school and college you graduated from, as well as your current company/employer. You can also upload a Profile Picture or take a picture with your webcam at this point.

4) Once you have completed the initial steps, the next screen will ask you if you want to find people you know or if you would like to view and update your profile. For this tutorial, we will update your profile page.

5) To update your profile, click on "Edit Profile" located in the "Fill out your profile information" section on the Welcome page. Here you can enter as much personal information as you are comfortable with in the Basic Information section. There are eight other sections to personalize. Again, only fill in information in which you are comfortable sharing. Remember to click on the "Save Changes" button located at the end of each section.

6) Many members choose to add a picture to their profile. There are multiple places along the way during the initial setup to add a photo. If you choose not to upload a photo during the initial setup process, it can be done easily at a later time.


We hope you found this eNewsletter to be informative. It's one of our ways of keeping you posted on news and information about our industry and our community. Thank you for the privilege of serving you!

Best regards,

Your Whidbey Telecom Team

©2010 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.


Whidbey Telecom
14888 SR 525, Langley, WA 98260 - 360 321 1122 -

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