March 2013 Newsletter

Kalona Cooperative Telephone Company eNewsletter

Link to Kalona Cooperative Telephone Company
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Fraud Alert
Tax-Related Identity Theft Is On The Rise
KCTC Spam & Virus Protection Report 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 Sites To Check Out In March
Two To View
A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don’t Want To Miss
Short Tutorial
What To Do If You Think Your Computer Has Malware
Dear KCTC Internet Subscribers
Download Graphics to View 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.
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.
The goal of each of our eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you’ll find this information interesting.
- The KCTC Internet Team
Fraud Alert – Tax-Related Identity Theft Is On The Rise
Download Graphics to View 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 www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection for more details.

Privacy Notice

Your privacy matters to us. We pledge to protect your privacy and keep your trust. As we provide services to you, we gather information about the quality, technical configuration, type, destination, and amount of products and services you use. We also gather data during application processes. This information is known as Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) and “Non public Personal Information”.

Under federal law, you have a right and Kalona Cooperative Telephone Company has a duty, to protect the confidentiality of your CPNI.  Kalona Cooperative Telephone Company will not disclose or sell this information, unless required to do so by law; or upon receipt of an affirmative written request by a customer.

Kalona Cooperative Telephone Company may share or permit access to your CPNI on a limited, as-needed basis with trusted agents and contractors (billing and technical support vendors) that assist us in providing services. They share a duty to protect your CPNI. Know that we limit access to your personal information to employees, agents or contractors who must use the information to provide products and services to you. Further sharing of this information is restricted by our employee handbook, non-disclosure agreements and the law, in order to guard your personal information.

 

KCTC Spam & Virus Protection – Report Update

TOTALS FOR February 2013


Email messages sent to KCTC customers: 4,029,208
SPAM email messages blocked by KCTC filters: 3,636,840
Percent of email received by KCTC servers as SPAM: over 90%
Virus-infected email messages blocked by KCTC: 310
As always,you can check the KCTC Quarantine Report to see which messages are being filtered out by the KCTC spam filters, or use the “Quarantine” tab on KCTC Webmail. These standard features of all KCTC email accounts. For more information on the Quarantine option, go to the support page

KCTC offers a CONVENIENT monthly service to our customers who are tired of pop-ups and spyware, don’t want the responsibility of maintaining Microsoft Critical Updates, or don’t know when to download the latest virus definitions. SecureIT from SecurityCoverage and KCTC provides you with:

 

 

 

 

  • Fully managed 24-7 virus protection
  • Automated patch management for critical Microsoft patches
  • Fully managed spyware detection and removal
  • Hard drive optimization & notification
  • Integrated Internet pop-up blocker
  • Urgent alerting & notification
  • Monthly summary report

For more information about the SecureIT service, please visit http://www.kctc.net/SecureIT, or call or stop by the KCTC office at 510 B Ave., Kalona – 319.656.3668, or email kctc@kctc.net.
Please note: this service is only available to Windows users.

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?
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?
Download Graphics to View 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.
Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In March
Movie Site Is A Big Hit
www.fandango.com – 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
www.thisiscolossal.com – Take a visual vacation at this site that explores art, design, and photography. It features a collection of incredibly unique images including ice-laden trees, rainbows of tulip fields, and “architect gone mad” buildings.
Eat More Green Vegetables
www.thekitchn.com – 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
www.nasa.gov – 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.
Two To View – A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don’t Want To Miss
Cool Video 1 - Download Graphics to View Cool Video 2 - Download Graphics to View
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.
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!

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

Download Graphics to View 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 3 and 4 have not fixed the problem, you need to seek assistance from a local computer repair technician. Your Internet service provider may offer this service or be able to make a recommendation to you.
  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 your Internet service provider 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 www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Stop worrying about Internet Security. With SecureIT we’ve taken the guesswork and risk out of enjoying the Internet by safeguarding your computer and providing the right level of support.  Click Here to learn more about SecureIT from KCTC!


We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It’s our way of keeping you posted on the happenings here. If, however, you’d prefer not to receive these bulletins, click here.
Thanks for your business!
Best regards
Gary Davis
General Manager
Kalona Co-op Telephone Co.
510 B Ave
Kalona, IA 52247
319-656-3668
©2013 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.
Trademarks: All brand names and product names used in this eNewsletter are trade names, service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.