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MONTHLY TOPICS

IN THIS ISSUE

FRAUD ALERT
Tax-Related Identity Theft Is On the Rise
READ MORE

Whidbey Telecom News
Upcoming Planned Maintenance & WhidbeyTV Update
READ MORE

GO PINTEREST-ING!
Cool Stuff To Pin On Your Pinterest Boards
READ MORE

This Month's FAQ
What Can I Do To Protect the Privacy Of My Search History?
READ MORE

Sites of the Month for March
Make sure you take a look at these helpful websites
READ MORE

Two To View
A Couple of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss
READ MORE

Short Tutorial
What To Do If You Think Your Computer Has Malware
READ MORE

   

Dear Valued Customer,

If the month of March had its own color, it would be green. Between the green shamrocks of St. Patrick's Day and the first green buds on trees, March is all about nature's favorite hue. In this issue, you'll find online resources for festive green cupcakes in the Pinterest section as well as tips for eating more green vegetables in Sites of the Month.

Check out the Whidbey Telecom News section for an important maintenance announcement and an update on WhidbeyTV. This issue also includes a warning about tax-related email scams and how to prevent becoming a victim. You don't want someone stealing your identity -- or your tax refund. Check out this month's FAQ for guidance on protecting the privacy of your Google search history. In the Short Tutorial, learn what to do if you think your computer has been infected with malware. And just for fun, we give you the green light to relax and watch the surprising videos in Two to View.

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 March eNewsletter:

  • FRAUD ALERT
    Tax-Related Identity Theft Is On the Rise

  • Whidbey Telecom News
    Upcoming Planned Maintenance & WhidbeyTV Update

  • GO PINTEREST-ING!
    Cool Stuff To Pin On Your Pinterest Boards

  • This Month's FAQ
    What Can I Do To Protect the Privacy Of My Search History?

  • Sites of the Month
    Great Websites To Check Out In March

  • Two To View
    Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss

  • Short Tutorial
    What To Do If You Think Your Computer Has Malware

We hope you enjoy our eNewsletter!

- Your Whidbey Telecom Team

 
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ONLINE WARNING

FRAUD ALERT - Tax-Related Identity Theft Is On the Rise

The numbers are staggering. According to Congress' Government Accountability Office, the IRS detected 642,000 cases of identity theft in the first nine months of 2012, up from 242,000 in all of 2011. Nearly 16,000 taxpayers complained of problems related to identity theft to the Taxpayer Advocate in the first half of fiscal 2012, a 57 percent increase over the previous year.

Identity thieves use a taxpayer's identity, stolen by phishing emails or other methods, to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund. The legitimate taxpayer may be unaware that anything has happened until they file their return later in the filing season and discover two returns have been filed using the same Social Security number.

What can you do to avoid becoming a target? First, beware of emails that appear to be from the IRS. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or social media tools to request personal or financial information. The IRS also does not send emails stating you are being electronically audited or that you are getting a refund. If you receive this type of email, you can assume it is fake. Ignore it or, better yet, forward it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

Visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection for more details.

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WHIDBEY TELECOM NEWS

Upcoming Planned Maintenance & WhidbeyTV Update

Important Planned Maintenance

We have important news about a planned system-wide maintenance upgrade starting in approximately two weeks. We are excited to continue to upgrade our infrastructure, as this enhancement will ready us for additional advanced service offerings to our customers.

The scheduled maintenance will take place between 2 AM and 4 AM in planned phases throughout our service area. The process will upgrade 1-2 small local areas at a time, each morning, over several weeks. All areas we serve on South Whidbey will be upgraded. Services will be temporarily unavailable for up to 20 minutes in the local area being upgraded during this process.

We will be sending out notices through email and telephone messaging 2 days before your specific area is to be upgraded. Please keep an eye out for our next communications in your email or voicemail inbox. If you have questions, please call 321.TECH (321.8324).

WhidbeyTV Update

We get asked quite often, "When is WhidbeyTV going to be available?" We are happy to report that the first testing phase of WhidbeyTV is complete and the second phase is already underway! This means we are currently striving for a launch timeframe of late April early May 2013.

Initially, we will be rolling this service out in phases in select areas of South Whidbey. We look forward to keeping you updated as to when you can expect WhidbeyTV to be available in your area.

We want to thank all our customers who have been supportive through this process, either by their feedback or participating in our surveys. We are working diligently to bring WhidbeyTV to your area and look forward to introducing our newest value-oriented entertainment product to our South Whidbey customers.

Thank you for the privilege of serving you!

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GO PINTEREST-ING!

Cool Stuff To Pin On Your Pinterest Boards

Lucky People Get These On St. Patrick's Day
http://pinterest.com/pin/291537775848084193/

Sheared Alpacas Are So Cute! Sheer Genius!
http://pinterest.com/pin/291537775848089764/

Little Speaker Spheres Are Like Peas In A Pod
http://pinterest.com/pin/291537775848104385/

You haven't started pinning on Pinterest yet and you want to get started?
If so, https://pinterest.com/join/signup/ click here.

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ASK THE HELP DESK

What Can I Do To Protect the Privacy Of My Search History?

Question: I use Google for most of my searches and am concerned about privacy. What can I do to protect the privacy of my search history?

Answer: We understand your concern. The amount of information Google collects and what it does with your information makes many people uncomfortable. Google records all the search terms you enter and your search history can reveal a great deal about your hobbies, age, health problems, religion, and so on. Google uses this data to improve and customize your searches, as well as to serve you targeted ads.

Google does allow you to clear your Google Web History and turn off personalization to prevent Google from storing your search history in the future. The process is fairly easy and you'll find the steps to do so by clicking here: http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=465.

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SITES OF THE MONTH

Great Sites To Check Out In March

Movie Site Is A Big Hit
http://www.fandango.com/movie-trailer
Watch HD movie trailers and read reviews to decide what to see this weekend. Then check movie times and buy your tickets. You can also read detailed information about upcoming films to plan future movie nights.

You Won't Believe Your Eyes
http://www.thisiscolossal.com
Colossal explores art, design, and photography, with a focus on work that is non-digital in nature. It serves as a reminder that in this digital age there are still countless people making incredible work with their bare hands.

Eat More Green Vegetables
http://www.thekitchn.com/10-easy-ways-to-eat-more-vegetables-every-day-reader-intelligence-report-164945
Thanks to St. Patrick's Day, March is the month that celebrates green. Of course, green vegetables are always a healthy choice and this site shares easy ways to eat more of them each day.

Take A Trip To Mars
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/main/index.html
March was named for the Roman God "Mars" so it's an appropriate month to check out the Mars Mission. No spaceship is required. Simply visit this NASA site to see the latest news, images, and videos.

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TWO TO VIEW

A Couple of Amazing Videos You Don't Want to Miss

http://www.eNewsletterHome.com/_eNewsletter/2013/1303_VIDEO_A.htm

Surprise Light Show at Grand Central
On the night of Grand Central Terminal's 100th Birthday, commuters and tourists were treated to this surprise performance using LED flashlights and camera flashes. It spanned three floors of windows and created a spectacular show of light.

http://www.eNewsletterHome.com/_eNewsletter/2013/1303_VIDEO_B.htm

9-Year-Old's Ping Pong Ball Shots
If you're someone who struggles to throw a paper wad into a trashcan, you'll be impressed by this kid. He manages to skillfully bounce and throw a ping pong ball into a drinking glass from multiple starting points. We're told he's started basketball this year!

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SHORT TUTORIAL

What To Do If You Think Your Computer Has Malware

Malware is short for "malicious software." It includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.

Your computer may be infected with malware if it:

  • Slows down, malfunctions, or displays repeated error messages.
  • Won't shut down or restart.
  • Serves up a barrage of pop-up ads.
  • Displays webpages you didn't intend to visit or sends emails you didn't write.
  • Displays new and unexpected toolbars or icons.

If you suspect there is malware on your computer, take these steps:

  1. Stop shopping, banking, and doing other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive information.
  2. Update your security software, and then run it to scan your computer for viruses and spyware. Delete anything it identifies as a problem. You may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
  3. If your computer is covered by a warranty that offers free tech support, contact the manufacturer. Before you call, write down the model and serial number of your computer, the name of any software you've installed, and a short description of the problem.
  4. If steps 2 and 3 have not fixed the problem, you need to seek assistance from a local computer repair technician. For Whidbey Telecom Technical Support, please call us at 1.800.880.0886.
  5. Once your computer is back up and running, think about how malware could have been downloaded to your machine, and what you could do differently to avoid it in the future. Again, check with Whidbey Telecom Tech Support for suggestions on computer security solutions.
  6. If your security software or operating system was out-of-date, download the newest version and set it to update automatically. Be sure to change any online passwords that you used while your computer was infected.

If you think your computer has malware, the Federal Trade Commission wants to know. You can file a complaint at http://www.ftc.gov/complaint.

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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

We have used our best efforts in collecting and preparing the information published herein. However, we do not assume, and hereby disclaim, any and all liability for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions resulted from negligence, accident, or other causes.

©2013 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

 


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

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