We hope you love this February issue, which shares Valentine's Day inspiration and gives you a helping hand with timely challenges. It begins with a look at the Target data breach, since education is at the heart of what we do here each month. Be sure to read what steps you can take to fight back against hackers.
If February means cold weather where you live, don't miss the warnings about what freezing temps can do to your devices. This issue also includes handy tips on how to quickly find the content you're searching for online. Speaking of searches, if you're looking for a cute classroom Valentine idea, check out the Pinterest pins. And as always, enjoy the fun videos and fascinating websites we've selected for you.
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.
To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!
- The eCurrents Team
Fraud Alert – Take Precautions Against Data Breaches
Think your cellular data plan is "good enough" to use at home? You might want to think again. Most cellular providers measure your data usage on a monthly basis and bill extra for anything over a preset limit—as low as 2 Gigabytes (GB) per month.
3 Rivers High Speed Internet service offers "unlimited" data (the amount of data used, not download speeds) — use as much as you want! If you stream movies from Netflix, for example, consider what you will pay for data usage above your cap. Studies show the average household uses more than 20 GB of data per month. EVERYTHING is data: video, pictures, music, web surfing, gaming, etc. One HD movie can use up to 7 GB of data. So how much does your cellphone company charge per GB beyond your limit? You need to know that answer before you make any drastic decisions!
What about smart phones, iPads, tablets or streaming devices like Roku? How are they connected to the Internet? When you're home and connected via WiFi to your 3 Rivers Internet service, you're fine because our service is unlimited. But what if you didn't have 3 Rivers Internet at home? Try turning off your device's WiFi for a few days, connect through your cellular data and see how much data you really use (your cell provider has easy tools to do this). You'll find you reach your limit in a hurry!
3 Rivers is here to help you make an educated decision when it comes to your Internet needs and usage. Please don't hesitate to give one of our Customer Service Representatives a call if you have any questions at all!
This Month's FAQ – How Cold Is Too Cold For Gadgets?
Question: I sometimes want to leave my laptop or tablet in the car. Is it safe to do that when it's very cold outside?
Answer: No, it isn't safe to leave devices outside in very cold weather. That's because when a device is exposed to cold temperatures for too long, its battery will die and its LCD screen will likely start having issues. What's more, if you leave it in the cold and then bring it into a warm room quickly, you can cause condensation to build up inside the device, which has the potential for more long-term damage.
Generally speaking, bring your device inside when temperatures are below freezing. For more detailed recommendations, check your device's manual for the manufacturer's recommended temperature ranges for both operating situations (when it's turned on) and non-operating situations (when it's turned off). If you can't find the manual, look for it at manualsonline.com.
Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In February
Celebrate Black History Month history.com – Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of the achievements and contributions of black Americans. This site features videos on Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jackie Robinson, and more as well as an interactive Black History Timeline.
The Almost Invisible Man kleinsungallery.com – You have to see this to believe it. Liu Bolin is an artist who painstakingly paints his face and clothing in order to blend into the background. Check out this gallery of his work and see him virtually disappear in a grocery aisle, in front of a statue, in a forest, and in assorted other scenes.
Is Your Password As Unique As You Think? telepathwords.research.microsoft.com – Microsoft Research created Telepathwords to help identify an easy-to-guess password so you can create a stronger one. Start entering your password and Telepathwords will try to guess the next character before you type it. If it's able to guess lots of the characters, so could hackers!
Mingle With The Stars oscar.go.com – The Oscars will be broadcast on March 2, 2014, and if you're a movie buff, it's must-see television. Get prepared in February by visiting this star-studded site. Check out the Oscar buzz, relive the 2013 red carpet, test your knowledge of Oscar trivia, see a preview of the coming Academy Museum, and much more.
Two To View – A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss
Three Miles Beneath The Atlantic Join the adventure as Remote Operated Vehicles recover Apollo F-1 engines three miles beneath the Atlantic. The scene is described as an "underwater wonderland" and "an incredible sculpture garden."
The World's Smallest Movie As you may recall from science classes, an atom is the smallest particle of an element that can exist either alone or in combination. So it's a big deal that they were able to make this tiny movie: A Boy and His Atom.
Short Tutorial – Cheat Sheet For More Effective Searches
Want to find online content even more quickly and easily? Use the search tips below:
Wildcard. Insert an asterisk to get variable results in a phrase. Example: "parents pay * for *" This returns results about many different things parents pay for and how much they pay.
Word exclusion. Exclude what you don't want by typing a minus sign before a term. Example: "Drum -ear -oil" avoids results that talk about eardrums or oil drums.
Rare words. Use the most uncommon word or words possible. Results are more likely to address the intended topic.
Answer vs. question. Search engines are more likely to share information in the form of answers than they are questions. So type the query in the form of an answer. Example: The phrase (with quotes) "What is red dye made from?" will refer you to nonsense pages. The phrase (with quotes) "red dye is made from" gets the answers you want.
Synonyms. Use a tilde mark (~) in front of a word to search for its synonyms.
Similar content. To search for webpages that have content similar to a given site, type "related:" followed immediately by the website address.
Stop words. The most common words are ignored by most search engines to make the search function faster. This includes words like "the," "and," "a," "to," "of," and "is." Usually it doesn't matter that these words are left out of the search. However, if it's important for the search engine to recognize a stop word in your search, include it within a phrase surrounded by double quotes. Some search engines will recognize the stop word if you type a plus sign before the common word.