Over the past few weeks, ITC’s email system has dealt with an influx of millions of spam messages, like the one in the picture to the right, that significantly slowed down the processing of legitimate emails. This delay resulted from scanning every incoming email to ensure it wasn’t a spam message before reaching your inbox. Despite our spam filter’s typical 97% accuracy rate, achieved through techniques like real-time block lists and other advanced methods, when attacked with such a massive volume of spam, it becomes inevitable that some will evade the defenses and land in your inbox.
Long ago, mailbox sizes were measured in single megabytes, much like old floppy disks, and many people would print out their emails. However, over the years, email inboxes have expanded due to people’s desire to retain more emails to find old messages easily. ITC is thrilled to announce that we have made significant upgrades to your mailbox sizes. Whether you utilize ITC webmail.itctel.com or employ a program on your computer like Outlook or Thunderbird, this enhancement will grant you the freedom to store an even greater number of emails in your mailbox on our server than ever before, all without concerns about running out of space.
From streaming your favorite shows to remote work and connecting with people worldwide, having a reliable Internet connection has become almost as necessary as water and electricity. When constructing a new home or building, crucial wiring is often overlooked. While wireless technology is important, it’s still essential to wire your home for the Internet. (See graphic above.)
It’s important to have ethernet cables wired into your home to future-proof it. In the past, it was common practice to install various cables, but wireless technology has led to the misconception that wired connections are no longer necessary. In reality, the Wi-Fi signal we rely on is a product of a robust wired network.
In today’s world, the Internet is an essential part of our lives. We use it to stream movies, connect with friends and family, work remotely, and more. However, there’s nothing more frustrating than a slow and unreliable Internet connection. That’s why we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you improve your Blast Wi-Fi experience.
We have been using ITC Hosted Voice since 2020. We love it! One of the main reasons we switched was to add a remote location. It’s great as we can call the other site using only the extension number. We have two top features of the system; the support is the main one. If we need a quick change done with our auto-attendant, we e-mail the technician, and it is updated within the hour. Our second favorite feature is Voice Mail to E-mail. If a Voice Mail is left, whether the office is closed for bad weather or after-hours, we receive them in our e-mail. The voice quality is excellent; we are so glad we made the switch.” – Amanda, Rick’s Welding, Inc. & Powerlift Doors
A good Internet connection is essential for many things we do daily, like working from home, watching movies, or talking with friends. But sometimes the Internet can stop working correctly. If that happens, there are a few things you can do to try and fix it.
With Blast Wi-Fi Powered by ITC, you can take control of your Internet with the Blast Wi-Fi app. This app offers basic parental controls, bandwidth management features, a speed test, and more. You must first sign up for the Blast Wi-Fi service to get the app. There are two packages to choose from to meet your needs. Call ITC at 1.800.417.8667 to sign up. Need more than just a basic app? Read about the two additional apps to add to your Blast Wi-Fi service.
It can be frustrating when you purchase a new smart TV, mount it to the wall, try to connect it to the Wi-Fi, and it refuses to connect to the Internet. It may connect but then freezes up or starts having noticeable issues when you try to watch your favorite streaming service. Or your reliable TV may start to act up after years of working. Here are a few things to try to resolve the issue.
ITC offers businesses of any size an array of Managed Services, including Managed Firewall. By subscribing to Managed Firewall, ITC provides continuous security monitoring of your network. ITC will customize the Managed Firewall service to meet your needs by offering managed switches and managed wireless access points.
As you may have read in last month’s Bell Ringer, ITC is excited that we are rolling out faster Internet speeds for all customers. These speeds, in many cases, will double your existing Internet download speed. This is great news for streaming high-quality content to multiple phones, tablets, and computers. With the new Internet speeds and an ITC Blast Wi-Fi router, you can stream 4K video, still have room to play online games, and even get some work done.
Did you know that there are free channels available on your Roku device? You need two things to access these channels: a Roku device on your television and an ITC Internet connection. The channels can be added from the Roku main page under Streaming Channels. Many channels play advertisements, and some might require your email address. If prompted to create a password, remember to use one unique to the channel. None of the channels listed here require a credit card or other form of payment for the free content.
Not a month goes by without some new router exploit. The website routersecurity.org, which helps track these kinds of things, shows recent exploits in Asus, Netgear, Cisco, Linksys, D-Link, TP-Link, and many other popular brands of routers. The issues include outdated operating systems, old versions of software, and hardcoded credentials that can be used from anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, many users who own their routers don’t keep them up-to-date. While it is true that some newer router models automatically update themselves, many times, that feature must be enabled. Older routers may not have that feature at all, and sadly many popular routers have been abandoned by their creators without any security patches.
In past articles, I have discussed the importance of creating a strong password, not reusing passwords, and even touched on the utility of password managers. A strong password that is unique for every website is essential to Internet security. The number of high-profile security breaches in 2021 set a record, and there is no reason to think that the problem will decline soon. Although you might be unable to stop your information from getting out, you can find out what information has been taken.
No, that big-name company didn’t just call you to let you know you are having computer problems. No, they didn’t send you an email or pop up a webpage for you to find either. They aren’t contacting you any other way. Whether they claim to come from Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple, or another well-known company, typically, the claims are not real. Scammers use scare tactics to trick people into paying money to fix a computer that was never broken in the first place. According to the FBI, scammers stole $350 million from victims in 2021 alone. That is over twice as much as what they stole in 2020 and six times more than what they stole in 2019.
(Clear Lake, SD – August 19, 2022) ITC is excited to announce a fiber-optic expansion to the City of Ivanhoe, Minnesota. Along with ITC’s investment in the fiber-optic expansion, this project is funded by the City of Ivanhoe and Lincoln County. To ensure area residents have access to world-class telecommunications services, ITC continues to expand its network. This fiber-optic expansion to Ivanhoe, Minnesota, is another example of ITC’s continued commitment to this region.
Since the conversion to the new spam filter is complete, now is an excellent time to look at the new Spam Quarantine Report (pictured in the lower right.) This report is very similar to the old Daily Digest; however, there are a few interesting additions. Like the previous format, the new report contains a listing of emails marked as suspicious and held for your review. It also gives you the option to deliver the email to yourself.
Streaming video refers to entertainment delivered via the Internet rather than a traditional cable TV connection. Every year, streaming becomes more popular, with new streaming services constantly popping up. Streaming is becoming a replacement for current cable TV for more people. To start streaming, you need a fast and reliable Internet connection from ITC. In addition to the Internet, see what else you need in the box below.
Not a month goes by without some new router exploit. The website routersecurity.org, which helps track exploits, shows recent exploits in many popular brands of routers. The issues include outdated operating systems, old versions of software, and hardcoded credentials that can be used from anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, many users who own their routers don’t keep them updated.
While it is true that some newer router models automatically update themselves, many times, that feature must be enabled. Older routers may not have that feature at all, and sadly many popular routers have been completely abandoned by their creators without any security patches.
Most Internet users enjoy the many benefits of having a wireless connection. It enables you to move freely around the house with your devices and even enjoy the shady areas outside the home. Sometimes though, the connection seems slow. Clicking on a link appears to take several extra seconds, and streaming sometimes stutters out. This can get frustrating, especially when you are just trying to relax.
ITC’s current spam filter provider has helped keep our email safe for over a decade, but now it’s time for an upgrade. We will be moving to a new spam filter over the next few months for numerous reasons. While it will most certainly be a change for all of us, we anticipate that the new spam filter will catch the bad emails and let the good messages through more efficiently than the current filter.
Let’s take a closer look at what you can do with the Blast Wi-Fi app, which is included with our Blast Wi-Fi service. ITC’s Blast Wi-Fi options will help you manage your entire Wi-Fi network by letting you turn devices on and off, manage your bandwidth, and monitor your overall speed usage. You can do all of this directly from any device capable of running apps from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store (including iPads, Android tablets, and smartphones.)
Using the main dashboard in the app, you have complete control over the devices in your home. You can touch the big red plus symbol on the dashboard to create profiles for people and places, connect to new devices, and set up a guest network.
In last month’s article, I discussed various types of phishing-related messages designed to steal your personal information by criminals. Since we have continued to see an increase in phishing attempts, I wanted to include some concrete examples of what to look for in these messages.
When you sign up for Auto-Pay, your bill amount is deducted from your account every month. If you pay using your checking account, your bill will be deducted on the 10th of the month. If you pay with a credit or debit card, you can choose the date (from the 1st to the 17th of the month). Call ITC’s offices at 1.800.417.8667 to sign up.
It looks like the bad guys are trying to get people to click on bad email links again. We have certainly seen an uptick in these types of emails. Many people have fallen for these scams. According to Verizon, 32% of all successful data breaches happen because somebody clicked a link they shouldn’t have. This is true even though most businesses have an email filter. The last step of the cyber security chain is the person who decides to click the link. It is important to understand the kind of email attacks sent towards you so that you can avoid them.
Every day it seems like more spam gets sent out by criminals looking to scam somebody. They are also constantly changing their tactics to get around spam filters. While the overall volume changes every day, we continuously see a high volume of spam that gets caught. Unfortunately, some of that spam also makes it into your inbox. It also takes a few days for our spam filter to catch up to the newest techniques that the spammers are inventing.
With ITC’s new webmail interface, a couple of tasks are done a bit differently in the new interface compared to the old one. I thought I would take this month’s article to review a few of the most asked about features of the new webmail.
The black bar on the left is where you will do most of your navigating. If we were playing a game like Life or Monopoly, the black bar is the start square. The other options can be found after you select something from the black bar. Sometimes the options on the black bar will change, depending on what you select.
As you are probably aware, ITC has rolled out a new webmail platform designed to be more streamlined and efficient than the previous version. This platform was not just a simple upgrade but was a ground-up redesign focused on usability and security. So, let’s look at the features.
Sometimes it is fun to look to see how the world has changed over the years. On August 6, 1991, Tim Berners-Lee posted his World Wide Web project to the “alt.hypertext” newsgroup. This project was the very first website. Computer networks and bulletin board services existed before then, but this was the first time the Internet was published as we know it today. Since that date, the Internet has grown significantly.
A popular quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin that says, “When you are finished changing, you are finished,” makes me think of the changes I have seen during my career. Just when we get used to how things are, it is time to change yet again. When I first started working in the computer field, the Internet and email were only available to certain universities or through special dial-up services. Today, the Internet and email are a vital part of daily communication for many people. Since it is important, it is often the subject of attacks by criminals looking to exploit old programs.
ITC would like to congratulate all area seniors from the class of 2021! We would also like to recognize graduates who received ITC and Dean E. Anderson Scholarships. We wish you the best of luck next fall as you take the next step in your education and your future! This year, ITC proudly awarded 22 – $600 scholarships to graduating seniors. Scholarship recipients must live in the ITC territory and plan to attend a postsecondary institution located in South Dakota or Minnesota. One of those scholarships is awarded to a student who is open enrolled. The respective high school officials in each district determine who receives the scholarship based on activities, honors and awards, citizenship, community involvement, academic achievement, and effort in application completion. Congratulations to these exceptional students!
Today ransomware is a significant criminal business that can cripple and potentially destroy a business, utility, or government. So far this year, there have been over 100 high-profile attacks. High-profile targets have included the Colonial Pipeline, London, Australia, Apple, Acer, Solarwinds, the DC Police, and the NBA. Billions of dollars have also been collectively paid out by smaller organizations. In 2019 ransomware cost victims an estimated $11.5 billion. In 2020 the cost was $20 billion. This year is already close to matching all of 2020.
To say thank you for being an ITC customer, we’re offering a $25 credit when you refer a neighbor! Both you and your referral will earn a $25 credit on your ITC bill. Get rewarded for every new customer you refer, as many times as you want — there’s no limit! Call 1.888.201.2929 for any questions on the Refer-A-Neighbor campaign.
I have no idea how many printers I have owned since I got my first dot matrix for Christmas in the early 1990s. It was a slow, noisy machine that could be made to print at near laser printer quality with the right software. When I sent a print job, I had plenty of time to make a pot of coffee.
We have been notified that the splicing is completed in the northern part of the expansion project. If you are waiting to be installed, an ITC Customer Service Representative will be contacting you in the coming weeks to review your application and set a time for the installation of your new ITC services. We look forward to having you as an ITC customer!
ITC is giving out an early Christmas present this year. We will be increasing your Internet speed! All ITC Internet package prices will remain the same, but your speed package will increase. These upgrades will be happening all month. If you have already been installed on ITC’s new fiber-optic network, an email or call notify will go out when your area is upgraded. For those waiting for an installation, your package will be upgraded on installation day!
30Mbps/5Mbps will be upgraded to 50Mbps/5Mbps – $69.95/month
50Mbps/10Mbps will be upgraded to 100Mbps/20Mbps – $79.95/month
100Mbps/10Mbps will be upgraded to 250Mbps/30Mbps – $124.95/month
If you have any questions about your current speed, please give us a call at 1.888.201.2929.
We are continuing to install customers in the southern portion of the Lincoln County expansion project. ITC’s contractor continues to work on completing the splicing for the northern portion of the project. Once the splicing is complete in the north, we will be sending a letter about setting up an installation time. The weather has continued to cooperate to allow us to be ahead of the initial schedule. ITC’s fiber fast Internet and services will be worth the wait!
We have completed the fiber drops to the locations that have requested fiber optics for the Lincoln County expansion! We are currently finishing up the fiber splicing portion of the project and will be moving to the testing phase. Once the testing is complete we will sending letters out in phases to start installations.
Once you are installed to ITC’s fiber-optic network, you will have access to broadband options that will seamlessly support an onsite camera system. ITC camera systems are scalable to fit any size business or residence. The integrated cameras are available up to 8MP or 4K resolution and provide high-quality recordings, both day and night. You can maintain data on the NVR (Network Video Recorder) or archive video files to a separate location for future reference.
The NVR can also be programmed to overwrite the oldest footage to free up storage space. ITC has installed this camera system in local businesses, schools, farming operations, lake homes, and residential locations. One of the most significant benefits of this system is that you can monitor your premise from any Internet-enabled device while you are away.
Now is the time to contact ITC about scheduling a consultation. An ITC technician will visit your location and provide a quote for a camera system. Give us a call today at 1-877-200-0309 for more information and to schedule a consultation.
Construction crews have completed 62% of the fiber drops up to the homes and businesses. Crews are currently working along Highway 75 going north, north of County Road 17, and west of County Road 5. We anticipate that mainline fiber will be completed by the end of August. As a reminder, following the construction of the mainline and fiber drops up to homes and businesses, a cleanup crew will repair areas that were impacted by the construction.
The construction crews are making great progress on the Lincoln County fiber expansion! Mainline fiber crews are working north of County Road 117. In the coming weeks, drop crews will be working east of Ivanhoe along State Highway 19, moving towards Highway 5. Currently, crews have installed approximately 209 miles of mainline fiber to expand ITC’s fiber optic network. The contractor is nearing the 50% mark for completed fiber drops to the customer premise. As a reminder, following the construction of the mainline and fiber drops up to homes and businesses, a cleanup crew will repair areas that were impacted by the construction. For more updates and news on the project, please visit the updates page on our website.
One of the most common questions we receive is when installations will start. With construction well underway, it provides a clearer project timeline. Once construction is completed this Fall, we will move to the testing and splicing phase. The final phase of the project will be customer installations for those that have signed up for a service. We will be utilizing several crews for the installations and hope to be underway with this phase by the end of 2020. It is possible that weather or other elements could impact the timeline. We will continue to keep you updated on the website and via the monthly email update. If you have any questions on the timeline, please give our office a call at 1-888-201-2929.
Construction crews are continuing to work their way to the northern half of Lincoln County. Currently crews have installed approximately 150 miles of main line fiber to expand ITC’s fiber optic network. The fiber drops to the premise are 33% complete. Crews will be busy installing fiber in the coming weeks around Lake Shaokatan, in and around the community of Wilno and northwest of Ivanhoe. Following the construction of the main line and fiber drops up to homes and businesses, a cleanup crew will repair areas that were impacted by the construction. The cleanup crew is currently on the north edge of Tyler and will continue to follow the fiber contractor.
One of the questions that was asked on the pre-fiber installation survey was if you currently have Internet and/or phone service active at another building on your property. ITC has two options to extend services at your location with a Managed On-Premise Extension. The first option is for ITC to bury a hybrid cable and add equipment to extend the services to an additional location on your premise. The second option is to add wireless equipment to one or more locations on your premise. If you would like additional information on the pricing or would like to schedule a site visit with an ITC technician to review the options, please call our office today at 1.877.200.0309.
Construction crews are finishing up main line fiber in the north of Lincoln County. Additional crews that are installing the fiber up to the homes and businesses are moving north of Tyler. Following the construction of the main line and fiber drops up to homes and businesses the contractor will be sending a clean up crew to repair areas that were impacted by the construction. This will be completed once the construction is done. Please contact ITC if you have any questions about the construction process at 1-888-201-2929.
There are a number of steps to installing the fiber optics to your property. A sign that the construction crews are close is when locate flags and markings appear on your property. It is not to late to get on the list for fiber optics! Please give our office a call at 1-888-201-2929 if you have questions about the construction process or to get on the list.
Anderson Underground, ITC’s contractor, continues installing the fiber optics in the southern part of Lincoln County. If you or your neighbors haven’t contacted ITC to complete the site survey, please call us at 1-888-201-2929 or complete the site survey by clicking here. The site survey is the next step in joining ITC’s fiber network. Don’t let the construction crew pass you by, give us a call today!
(Clear Lake, SD – April 20, 2020) Anderson Underground, ITC’s contractor for the fiber expansion project in rural Lincoln County, has started plowing fiber in the southern part of the County and will continue to the north. ITC plans to bring fiber to every location included in the project. This fiber optic connection will be installed at no cost or obligation to the property owner.
With the recent pandemic, now more than ever, households depend on a reliable Internet connection. With the added requirements of working from home, and distance learning, a reliable High-Speed Internet connection is vital. This new fiber optic connection from ITC will offer residents and businesses a reliable, unlimited, high-speed Internet connection, along with the option for local phone service.
Anderson Underground, ITC’s contractor, has started to plow fiber in the southern part of Lincoln County and will continue to the north. The next step in the process is to gather information about your property in preparation for the fiber optic installation. This information is needed to help ITC staff and the construction crew determine the best route for the fiber on your property.
If you prefer, you can also give our office a call at 1-888-201-2929 to complete the survey over the phone. After filling out the survey, the next step will be an ITC technician contacting you to determine the best location for the fiber housing on the side of your home or business. The construction crews will be on site at a later date to plow the fiber. You will know when the crews are coming soon when locate markings are put on your property.
If you have any questions on this process, please give our office a call at 1-888-201-2929.
This was an exciting week for the Lincoln County expansion project! ITC has begun construction in the southern part of rural Lincoln County. Anderson Underground, along with ITC staff, JCS and R & L Splicing, will be doing the work. ITC staff will be contacting customers to complete a site survey. If you have any questions about the project, please give the ITC office a call at 1-888-201-2929.
In cooperation with the Lincoln County Commission, ITC is expanding its fast fiber Internet network to include the majority of rural Lincoln County, Minnesota, not already within the service area of ITC. Bryan Roth, ITC’s CEO adds, “The Lincoln County Commissioners were very forward-thinking in approaching ITC for this expansion. This partnership will provide the rural residents of Lincoln County access to world-class telecommunication services today and in the future. ITC has plans in place to get started with construction as soon as the weather cooperates this spring.” This new fiber optic connection will offer residents and businesses a reliable, unlimited, high-speed Internet connection, along with local phone service. Please click on “Can I Get It?” above to verify your location and sign up for service. Please give the ITC office a call at 1-888-201–2929 if you have additional questions.
We hope to have a final decision on the proposed fiber expansion by the end of the year. Thank you for your patience as we continue to review the data. In the meantime, please continue to reach out to your neighbors on the proposed project. We will continue the referral program until December 31st. As a reminder, you will receive $10 for every person who puts your name as a referral. Encourage your neighbors to get on the list for fiber optics! If you have any other questions about the referral program, please contact Katie Heller at 1-877-200-0309. Happy Thanksgiving!
CNS recently completed the staking of the proposed fiber expansion project in Lincoln County. We have heard from about 25% of the potential customers on their interest. The referral program is going strong. Thank you for helping us spread the word! Dan Popowski is currently in the lead by encouraging 24 of his friends, family, and neighbors to sign up. Thanks Dan! As a reminder, you will receive $10 for every person who puts your name as a referral. Encourage your neighbors to get on the list for fiber optics! If you have any other questions about the referral program, please contact Katie Heller at 1-877-200-0309.
Come see us this Saturday in Tyler for Aebleskiver Days! We will be set up from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. If you have questions about the proposed fiber project or would like to register your interest, please stop by and see us.
ITC has launched marketing efforts to contact potential customers included in the proposed fiber optic expansion project in Lincoln County. It is important that we hear from those that are interested in the project. Please help spread the word by sharing the link to this website and contacting your neighbors to make sure they have reached out to ITC. The staking phase of the project is well underway. You may be seeing ITC and CNS personal in your area. Please email ITC at email@example.com or call us at 1-888-201-2929 with any questions or comments.