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Guard Against Scams

Online scams, known as phishing, attempt to trick Internet users to provide sensitive account information to identity thieves. Messages are often delivered from email addresses that look convincing.

Providers such as Paypal, eBay and banks, will never request such information via e-mail

Please remember that NetPoint will never solicit information about your account via e-mail.

Never reply to an email requesting such information.

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Technology News SOPA and PIPA

Most internet users have heard of this proposed legislation by now. Many websites such as Wiki are protesting this legislation today by blacking out their website or otherwise letting their users know about it.

Americans should not have to tolerate this type of censorship. I encourage you to take action and to encourage others to do the same. The entertainment industry and others concerned about online piracy should use their own legal and technical resources to resolve the matter.

Online piracy is only one of many problems caused by the internet. The entertainment industry argues that it looses $30-$40 Billion to online piracy. Various groups argue that the loses are exaggerated and estimates the loses to be around $445 Million. Regardless of which figure you agree with, studies have shown that Unsolicited Bulk E-mail (SPAM) costs internet providers and employers $70 Billion annually. Other issues such as identity theft and security should be paramount ahead of the entertainment industry's profit.

If you are unaware of what SOPA and PIPA are, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the controversy. More information can be found in the links below.

Wikipedia, Google and others have provided convenient tools to locate quickly contact our representatives. Please take a moment of your time to let them know that our Freedom is important and SOPA and PIPA should not be passed.

Read the excellent information located at wiki
Google: Take Action
Electronic Freedom Frontier
americancensorship.org/

Craig Holland
CEO, Starpoint Communications, Inc.
 

Technology News Are Anti-Virus Programs Worth It?

Regardless of the antivirus program you use, it will impact your computer's performance.  Some more some less.  Even programs which incur annual subscription fees are not always cost effective when you consider how much they slow down your computer.  For many years we've recommended AVG and for the most part still do. There are a number of excellent antivirus programs that are free and do a terrific job. 

We would also like to let our user's know about the Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). This is a complete anti-malware package available from Microsoft itself.  So, if you are running windows XP (or newer) and your $50 copy of Norton or McAfee is about to expire, consider uninstalling it and using the MSE software.

 

Technology News Losses in the Technology World

Earlier this month, the technology world lost a prominent  individual, Steve Jobs.

Jobs of course was influential in the world of Apple Computers. He returned to Apple and help market the iPod and other fashionable electronic gadgets.

 

Technology News Office Hours

Fall office hours effective October 30, 2011:

Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Other times by appointment

Occasionally the office  maybe closed during these hours.  If possible, please call ahead. If you need assistance we have on call staff which can be reached at 507-532-9641 

 

Technology News Learn to recognize malware

What is Malware and how do you keep it off your system?

Many of the systems we find with problems are caused by malware. Malware is sometimes called foistware or spyware. Many of these applications are technically not viruses and often need permission to install so they are not caught by anti-virus programs. For this reason many of them have to disguise themselves as  familiar programs or helpful applications. Sometimes, even programs that are legitimate can cause problems. Many vendors want you to use their tool bar on your web browser. Too many tool bar applications can degrade your computer's performance and hinder your internet activities. 

Another potentially serious threat malware poses come from loader programs. Once installed, these programs can install new malware programs and with out having to request your permission again.

Learning to recognize alerts from legitimate  applications apart from malware applications can save a lot of time, money and trouble. This article will show some examples of malware....

 

Technology News 15 Years

NetPoint celebrates its 15th year as an Internet Service Provider.

In January 1996, NetPoint became the first ISP in the area to offer unlimited dial up Internet access. Shortly afterwards, NetPoint was incorporated into Starpoint Communications, Inc.

NetPoint was also the first in the area to provide web hosting, web site design and deploy a broadband wireless network. 

Many people in 1996 thought the Internet might just be a fad, like CB radios.
Here is a look back at 1996: