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MONTHLY TOPICS

IN THIS ISSUE

WEBCAM WARNING
Don't Give Crooks a Look
READ MORE

Whidbey Telecom News
Good for the Environment. Good for you.
READ MORE

Ask the Help Desk
How do I remove unwanted "stuff" from e-mails?
READ MORE

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

Short Tutorial
Customizing your browser's toolbar
READ MORE

FORWARD TO A FRIEND

   

Dear Valued Customer,

Spring is right around the corner so we've filled this March issue with ways to spring forward in your Internet knowledge. Did you know that hackers could gain access to your webcam and watch what you're doing? That "www" is gradually becoming a thing of the past? Or that setting up spell check on your e-mail program takes just a minute but could save you a lot of embarrassment? Keep reading to get the details. We'll show you how you can save the environment, while making it easier to pay your bill. Plus, check out fresh ideas for spring in Great Sites. You'll find free, simple desktop wallpaper to download, recipes for trendy 2011 foods from Paula Deen, tips on electronics recycling to help you clean out your garage, and more.

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

Here's what's inside our March eNewsletter:

    1. WEBCAM WARNING - Don't Give Crooks a Look

    2. Whidbey Telecom News - Good for the Environment. Good for you.

    3. This Month's FAQ - What's the difference between websites that use "www" and ones that don't?

    4. Sites of the Month - Great Sites to Check Out in March

    5. Short Tutorial - Setting Up Automatic Spell Check of E-Mail Messages

We hope you enjoy our eNewsletter!

- Your Whidbey Telecom Team

 
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E-MAIL WARNING

WEBCAM WARNING - Don't Give Crooks a Look

Chances are your PC or laptop has one of those tiny cameras above its screen. Or you may have a separate webcam installed next to your computer. While webcams are a fantastic piece of technology, especially for friends and relatives who want to connect when they're apart, they can also pose a threat to individual privacy and computer security. This is because hackers can seize control of a webcam via a Remote Access Trojan-type virus (fittingly abbreviated to RATs) that you unknowingly download to your computer by clicking on a link. Not only can RATs provide control of a webcam, but they can record keystrokes as well. Here's how to increase your webcam safety:

  • Enable your firewall. This helps prevent hackers from gaining access.
  • Make sure you have antivirus and antispyware software installed and that it's up to date.
  • If you're concerned, you may want to unplug your webcam or cover your computer's built-in camera with tape when it's not in use. Many webcams even come with a privacy shield that slides across the lens.
  • Pay attention to the links you click on. If you don't know where the link is coming from, don't click on it.
  • Don't do anything in front of a camera that you wouldn't mind the whole world seeing. Hackers may even be able to access your camera while you're using it with someone else and record your actions.
  • Rather than leave your PC or laptop on all day, consider shutting it down when not in use.

If you're a parent, you should also be aware of other online dangers for your kids via webcams. For more information on these threats, visit http://webcamsafety.org.

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WHIDBEY TELECOM NEWS

Good for the Environment. Good for you.

Did you know that if only 20% of American households switched from paper to electronic bills, statements and payments, each year the collective impact would:

  • Save 150,939,615 pounds of paper – that's over 1.8 million trees!
  • Avoid producing almost 1,297,663 tons of greenhouse gases!
  • Avoid creating almost 1.5 billion gallons of wastewater!
  • Avoid using 47,170,582 gallons of gasoline to mail bills, statements, and payments! Source PayItGreen.org

Would you like to help the environment, make your life easier, and even pay your bills faster? Switching to paperless billing with Whidbey Telecom helps you do just that. Paperless billing is also more secure, easier to track and organize, and best of all it's FREE! Simplify your life by not having to write checks, buy stamps, or drive to the post office, while lessening your impact on our environment.

Whidbey Telecom participates in being green and provides our customers with paperless payment options like eBill and AutoPay to help you eliminate paper and manage your account online.

With eBill get an invoice ready statement sent to your email, rather than a statement in the mail. This process eliminates paper waste and allows you to view your invoice, account balance, and payment information online from anywhere in the world.

AutoPay allows you an automatic deduction each month from your credit/debit card or bank account. Great for those who like to set it and forget it. You won't have to remember the due date and no more hassling with checks, stamps or dropping off payments. Plus, depending on what credit card you use, there may be rewards points you can accumulate as well!

Registering for these services is quick and easy. Start by visiting our Account Management page at https://myaccount.whidbeytel.com/, where you can learn about our online payment services and payment options. Once you've established a Whidbey Telecom eBill account you can review your account balance as well as current and past invoices, switch to a paperless invoice and sign up for automatic payments.

For more information on eBill and AutoPay or to sign up, please give us a call locally at
360-321-1122 or toll-free at 866-212-3161. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and are happy to assist you!

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ASK THE HELP DESK

What's the difference between websites that use "www" and ones that don't?

Question: What's the difference between websites that use "www" and ones that don't? I've noticed that sometimes I have to include the "www" when I put a URL into the search bar and other times not.

Answer: To answer your question, it's helpful to first take a look at the history of "www." In the past, it was expected that companies would have different servers (and thus different hostnames) for each of the Internet services they would provide: www.example.com for their websites, ftp.example.com for their file transfer services, and mail.example.com for their e-mail services. However, as the Internet and related technology evolved, prefixes became mostly unnecessary. Different types of servers didn't really matter that much anymore since one server can do a host of tasks.

Today, advances in search sites have made the "www" or "no www" question a non-issue in most cases. These sites are now smart enough to know that both URLs have the same content. In addition, the majority of websites use a forwarding strategy; this means that one domain will be used as the actual site and another domain will be used to forward users. So if a user types in example.com, it will automatically take them to www.example.com.

The bottom line is this: It usually doesn't matter if you include "www" when you enter a URL into the search bar but there are still some exceptions. Moving forward, the trend is definitely for websites to be launched without the "www" prefix.

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GREAT SITES

Sites of the month for March

Have you been "Facecrooked?"
http://Facecrooks.com
Facecrooks' mission is to "monitor and chronicle the seedy, unsavory and sometimes silly side of social media." Here you can view stories about the stupid or shameless things people post on Facebook; expose cheaters, haters, hackers, and scammers; or confess pranks you have pulled on social media sites. The site also features a Safety Center where you can learn about staying safe online.

Free Desktop Wallpaper
http://simpledesktops.com
Finding the right balance for desktop wallpaper can be a challenge: It needs to be interesting enough to provide some visual stimulation, but not so detailed that it distracts you from your work. Simple Desktops is a collection of hundreds of free minimal-distraction desktop wallpapers for you to download. Simple, yet whimsical subjects range from polar bears to musical instruments to famous works of art.

Create Superhero Comics
http://superherosquad.marvel.com/create_your_own_comic
Lots of superheroes, such as the Green Hornet, THOR, and Green Lantern, will be hitting the big screen in 2011. At this site, comic fans can get into the spirit by creating original superhero comics using a variety of existing layouts, characters, and backgrounds. Other site options include reading comics, watching videos, and playing superhero games.

Southern Recipes
http://pauladeen.com/recipes
According to The Food Channel, three of the top 10 foods to watch in 2011 will be pie, sweet potatoes, and grits. And who better to share recipes for these foods than the Queen of Southern Cuisine, Paula Deen? Do a search by keyword to find recipes for these and many other delicious favorites.

Recycle Electronics
http://epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/ecycling
You already know how important it is to recycle cans, plastic containers, and cardboard--things we normally think of as "trash." But there's another category of recycling to consider: electronics. This EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) site will help you learn more. Find out where to donate old electronic equipment, learn about regulations and standards for handling it, and use the "Where You Live" map to get state and regional information about electronics recycling programs.

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SHORT TUTORIAL

Setting Up Automatic Spell Check of E-Mail Messages

When it comes to composing e-mail messages, mistakes happen to all of us. But you can at least cut down on the number of typos and misspellings by setting up automatic spell check of your e-mail messages. It only takes a minute to do, and if you combine spell check with carefully proofing your work before you press "Send," you can avoid potentially embarrassing (or costly) mistakes.

Setting Up Automatic Spell Check When Using ...
E-mail Program: Windows Live Mail
Computer Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7

  1. With Windows Live Mail open, click your cursor arrow on the blue button to the left of the "Home" tab bar and drop down to "Options...".

  2. Select "Mail" from the resulting submenu. The "Options" window will open.

  3. In the "Options" window, select the "Spelling" tab.

  4. Check the box next to "Always spell check before sending."

  5. Click the "Apply" button to save your changes and then click the "OK" button to close the "Options" window.

Setting Up Automatic Spell Check When Using ...
E-mail Program: Mozilla Thunderbird 3.17
Computer Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

  1. With Thunderbird open, click your cursor arrow on "Tools" from the menu bar and select "Options..." from the resulting drop-down menu. The "Options" window will open.

  2. Select the "Composition" icon and then the "Spelling" tab. Thunderbird allows you to check the box next to "Check spelling before sending" and/or "Enable spell check as you type."

  3. Once you have made your selection, click the "OK" button to save your changes and close the "Options" window.

Setting Up Automatic Spell Check When Using ...
E-mail Program: Mozilla Thunderbird 3.17
Computer Operating System: Mac OS X 10.4 - 10.6

  1. With Thunderbird open, click your cursor arrow on "Thunderbird" from the menu bar and select "Preferences" from the resulting drop-down menu. The "Preferences" window will open.

  2. Select the "Composition" icon and then the "Spelling" tab. Thunderbird allows you to check the box next to "Check spelling before sending" and/or "Enable spell check as you type."

  3. Click on the red dot in the top left corner to save your changes and close the "Preferences" window.

Setting Up Automatic Spell Check When Using ...
E-mail Program: Mail.app 3.5
Computer Operating System: Mac OS X 10.4 - 10.6

  1. With Mail.app open, click your cursor arrow on the "Mail" menu and select "Preferences" from the resulting drop-down menu. The "Preferences" window will open.

  2. Select the "Composing" icon.

  3. Click on the button next to "Check spelling." Choose one of the following options: "never," "when I click Send," or "as I type."

  4. Click on the red dot in the top left corner to save your changes and close the "Preferences" window.

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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

©2011 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

 


Whidbey Telecom
14888 SR 525, Langley, WA 98260 - 360 321 1122 - www.whidbey.com

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