Identifying Phishing Scams

Phishng scams are a nasty kind of spam email, designed to get access to sensitive information or spread viruses and malware.  Falling prey to one of these scams can result in identity theft, corporate security breaches, or infected computers.

Phishing emails have many of the same identifying markers as other spam emails.  Check the sender’s name and email address to make sure you recognize them.  If the email address looks strange, is misspelled, or doesn’t sound familiar, it may be a scam.  Some phishing emails say there is a problem with one of your accounts; in these cases, you can search the email address through Google or another search engine to find out if the address is legitimate.

Look at the subject of the email as well.  Anything that looks too good to be true or looks like an unsolicited offer should be a red flag.  Often, there will be mention of money or medicines at low prices; these are giveaways that the email is malicious.

If you end up opening a suspicious email, beware of any links it may contain.  Frequently, links in phishing emails lead to spoofed sites – websites that look like your bank or email account, but aren’t – or they download malicious code that can then be spread to other computers.  False links could trick you into giving up personal information or clearance permissions, leading to hacks to breaches.

Remember your common sense precautions.  Don’t open an email you’re not sure about.  Never give out passwords, banking details, or personal or other sensitive information in response to an email.  If you are worried about an account somewhere, go to that site and try to login.

Paying attention can keep phishing emails to a mild nuisance and allow you to enjoy your online experience.  For quality, affordable high speed internet service in your area, contact us today.

What’s the Difference Between Internet and Wifi

There’s an Important Difference Between Internet and WiFi

Many people use Internet and WiFi interchangeably, but that can get confusing when your connection isn’t working. Knowing the difference between your Internet connection and your WiFi network will help you figure out where the problem is.

When we talk about the Internet, we’re actually talking about the Internet Protocol, which is the language computers use to talk to each other. If we didn’t have that protocol, two computers wouldn’t be able to communicate, even if they were connected by a cable. That communication is the basis of all our Internet activity, because everything we do online is actually moving information from one computer to another.

When you visit a website, you’re actually accessing the server that website resides on. A server is a computer whose sole purpose is to hold information and serve it out when requested. Your computer sends the request, and the server pushes the website information back to it, so you see the website you’re looking for. The server is not the Internet, though. The Internet is all the connections and communications in between computers, the “web” or “net” that connects them all.

Your ISP provides a physical connection to that net, in the form of a cable or wireless connection, using a modem. The modem translates Internet traffic for your computer so it’s easily understood. You can plug devices into the modem directly, or you can plug in a router to provide wireless connection – WiFi.

WiFi is a radio signal that continually broadcasts out to your devices. As long as your device can pick up that radio signal, and the Internet is on the other side of it, your device can connect to the Internet. However, that radio signal will still be there even if there is no Internet connection on the other end. So your device may show plenty of bars, meaning it has a great connection to your WiFi, but still not find the Internet, because the Internet signal is not being fed to that router.

If your device is connecting to your WiFi, but not the Internet, the problem is more likely to be in your Internet connection. If you’re not getting any WiFi signal, your Internet connection might be fine, but your router may have a problem.

If you’re looking for reliable, affordable Internet service, Call High Speed Link today!

Keep Your Home WiFi Safe

You may know that an open WiFi network can allow others to use your Internet connection without permission, but it also leaves all your devices open to attack. Leaving your home’s wireless network unsecured is like leaving your front door unlocked. This is why wireless security is an important part of online safety.

Almost all routers now have some security enabled right out of the box, as opposed to a few years ago, when most were completely open. But these settings are chosen with quick start up in mind, so they’re usually broadly compatible and not as secure as they could be. To keep your network safe, you need to to make a few changes.

The first thing to change is the SSID, or network name. Many default settings include the name of the router manufacturer, which can give a clue to anyone looking to attack your network. You’ll want to change the SSID to something unique that you will recognize as your network.

Next you must set the WiFi password. It’s tempting to use an easy-to-remember word, but that’s not the best idea. Almost all devices will connect automatically or remember your password, so you won’t be typing it in every time. Choose a solid, secure password, instead.

What makes a solid password? The longer and more complex, the better. You can use a random password generator or think of a phrase on your own. You’ll want at least 8 to 12 characters, including at least one of each of the following:

  • Capital letters
  • Lower case letters
  • Numbers
  • Special characters (!, @, #, $, *, etc.)

This doesn’t have to be difficult. You can start with a phrase and then substitute other characters, like this:

  • 12Ch@ract3rs!
  • S3cureN3tw*rk
  • Y0uC@ntG3t1n

You’ll also need to change the password for the router itself. Each manufacturer has its own default password, and lists of those are widely available online, making them vulnerable. The same rules apply as for the Wifi password: long, complex, mixing letters with numbers and other characters. But don’t use the same password for both!

You do a lot through your network – pay bills, shop, handle your taxes and banking – that needs to be protected. These simple steps will keep your network and router secure.

For excellent Internet service in your area, contact High Speed Link today!

Are Updates to Your Browser Important?

Accessing the Internet from your home computer, tablet and mobile phone is now a daily, if not hourly, occurrence for most Americans. Unfortunately, while you’re exploring the most interesting world wonders, or watching the latest hilarious cat videos via the Internet, hackers are trying to break into your computer. One single error in your browser, can give these thieves the opening they need to snoop into your personal information, gather data and history about you, or even steal your identity.

That’s why browsers, such as Firefox and Chrome, release regular updates that correct any security flaws and add new features. To check your device and make sure that your most-used browser is up-to-date, click here.

Updating your Web Browser will give you the peace of mind to know that whoever and whatever is out there trying to breech business and personal information will not be able to hack into your life. It also usually comes with fun, new features that you didn’t realize you were missing, until you login and find that all of the sudden your browser knows you a little better than it did yesterday and in all the best ways!

High Speed Link is your first choice for business and residential internet, and voice services in Northwest Virginia including: Luray, New Market, Broadway, Timberville, Linville, Stanley, Shenandoah Township, Harrisonburg, Dayton, and Weyers Cave. We also serve Grottoes, Mount Sidney, Port Republic, McGaheysville, Bridgewater, Mount Crawford, Staunton, and West Harrisonburg. Contact us today for the internet or voice solution that is right for you.

How do IP phone systems work?

Many people do not know how the IP phone systems work. When understanding the IP phone systems you have to first understand IP.  IP phone system is routed using the internet or using your local provider. The IP phone systems has many advantages one of which includes reduction of cost.  Using a VoIP phone system is fairly simple.  You will plug your IP phone into the nearest LAN port.  The IP phone will register the VoIP phone system.  You will never have a new phone number because the IP phone system uses the existing phone number.  No matter where you plug in the Ip phone system you will be able to use it.   Being the IP phone systems are built with a PC it provides the most cost effective hardware out there.

For more information on IP phone systems you may contact technical support.

High Speed Link is a Virginia Limited Liability Company formed in 2002. Our mission is to provide customers in remote areas adequate broadband solutions.  High Speed Link can bring fast Internet access to you no matter where you live. We specialize in wireless deployments to bring customers broadband regardless of location.  We can wire your building or home’s Local Area Network (LAN) with internal wireless, wired, or a variety of different technologies to meet your company’s needs.

 

Understanding Fixed Wireless vs. Satellite

Understanding Fixed Wireless vs. Satellite

Fixed wireless is not the same thing as satellite internet service.   Both satellite and fixed wireless require a dish or antenna, and both provide a high speed internet connection without using phone or cable lines, but there are some important differences that make fixed wireless the more attractive option.

The most obvious difference is that fixed wireless is not affected by weather as satellite is.  A satellite connection can be interrupted by weather conditions in your area, or at the central server location, or anything going on in the atmosphere.  Fixed wireless, however, is usually no higher than 500 feet or so, and the signal never travels up through the atmosphere, so storms or other weather conditions won’t interfere with the signal.  Another important difference is latency, or lag time.  Because the signal has a shorter distance to travel, latency is significantly less when using fixed wireless than with satellite internet.  This means that all your streaming and real-time applications will function at maximum efficiency.

Have a look at this diagram, for a quick breakdown of how a fixed wireless connection works:

 

  1. The tower, which is about as tall as the average cell phone tower, is usually within 10 miles of your home.  The tower sends out the wireless signal which carries your internet connection.

 

  1. The antenna is usually on the roof of your house, or sometimes it might be on a pole or in the attic. It picks up the signal sent by the tower, and brings it to your home.

 

  1. A cable carries your internet signal from the antenna, through the walls, into the house. Where this cable goes depends on where your router is, and it can be run to any room you choose.

 

  1. Your router converts the signal into a form that your computer can use, and allows you to connect multiple devices to a single internet source.  You can plug devices directly into the Ethernet ports on the back of the router, or connect to its wireless signal with laptops, phones, tablets, etc.

 

  1. Your computer (or phone or tablet) sends information to the router, which sends it back through the wiring to the antenna, and from there to the tower. Information you download travels the same path in reverse: from the tower to the antenna, through the wiring to the router, to your computer.

After Hours Tech Support Available

 

tech_supportWith the latest technology, unmatched reliability, and world class customer service, High Speed Link has everything your business needs to stay connected in the 21st century.

Now High Speed Link offers after hours Tech Support, 7 days a week. For more information Contact us to see how we can help you fit your needs.