Connections for February 2021

FEBRUARY 2 0 21 Cornerstone Group © 2021 114 East Main Street Panora, IA 50216 (641) 755-2424 Online: Office Hours: M–F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Win a $10 Bill Credit What three-digit number should you call before you dig? Answer: _____________________________ Name: ______________________________ Phone:_ _____________________________ Email: _ _____________________________ Clip and return by February 28, 2021 to Panora Telco, 114 East Main Street, Panora, IA 50216 or Guthrie Center Communications, 403 State Street, Guthrie Center, IA 50115. Congratulations to Jerry and Terry Clark, the most recent Panora Telco winner; and Raynette Baier, the most recent Guthrie Center Communications bill credit winner. One winner chosen at random per quarter. Contest open to Panora Telco customers age 18 and over. Applicants can win once per 12-month period. Other restrictions may apply. YOUR QUARTERLY DOSE OF TECHNOLOGY INSPIRATION Connections 403 State Street Guthrie Center, IA 50115 (641) 332-2000 Online: Office Hours: M–F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. but closed 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. for lunch Dear Valentine, We've GOT A GREAT CONNECTION! A great connection is what makes relationships thrive. It’s also what you need from your home’s Wi-Fi. Is your current Wi-Fi disappointing you with poor performance and spotty coverage? Then we wholeheartedly recommend our Managed Wi-Fi service. It provides advanced Wi-Fi hardware technology, an app for remote management, and local service and support—everything you need to love your Wi-Fi. For details, call Panora Telco at (641) 755-2424 or Guthrie Center Communications at (641) 332-2000.

PANORA TELCO • ( 641 ) 755-2424 | GUTHRIE CENTER COMMUNICATIONS • ( 641 ) 332-2000 Do Not Call Registry The National Do Not Call Registry lets you indicate you don’t want to receive telemarketing calls. Register your home or mobile phone numbers for free at or by calling 1-888-382-1222. After registration, most of these calls should cease within 90 days. However, some calls can continue to be made to you including those from political groups, charities, and companies with whom you’ve had contact. Before You Dig, Call 811 All sorts of utility lines, pipes, and cables could be buried on your property and easily damaged by even shallow digging. This can result in service interruptions to your entire neighborhood. So before you grab a shovel, grab your phone and call 811 to have utility lines marked. The affected local utilities will send a locator to your property, free of charge. Then you’ll know what’s below and be able to dig safely. To learn more, visit Shopping online is so convenient. However, to reduce the security risks associated with it, you must take precautions. They include using a credit card (rather than a debit card) to get maximum buying protection, checking your credit card accounts frequently for unusual activity, and not shopping while on a public Wi-Fi network. Perhaps the most critical precautions, however, are the ones related to choosing the sites from which you make purchases: Do your homework. If you’re wary of a site, perform your due diligence. The Better Business Bureau has an online directory and a scam tracker, and Yelp and Google are full of retailer reviews. Take the time to conduct thorough research before you give a seller your credit card number. Keep in mind that online reviews can be faked, so if you see nothing but glowing reviews from unverified buyers, be suspicious. Follow your instincts and make the purchase elsewhere. In addition, make sure you have a physical address and a working phone number for the seller. If things go bad, at least you’ll have a place to take your complaint. Call them before you order so you can clarify a return policy and where to go with any issues after the purchase. Stick to trusted sites. Search results can be rigged to lead you astray, especially when you drift past the first few pages of links. It’s generally best to stick with major, big-name retailers or companies with which you have an established relationship. Look for the lock. Never buy anything online from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. You’ll know if the site has SSL because its URL will start with “https” instead of just “http.”An icon of a locked padlock will also appear, typically to the left of the URL in the address bar or the status bar down below, depending on your browser. When Shopping Online, Choose the Sellers Carefully

Cornerstone Group © 2021 When people visit your home, one of their first questions is likely to be, “What’s your Wi-Fi password?” If your response is to give them the password for your main Wi-Fi network, you may want to think again. Revealing this information could pose a network security risk, since guests might accidentally download a malicious program or connect an already infected device to your network. A better approach is to set up a guest Wi-Fi network with its own password. A guest Wi-Fi network is essentially a separate access point on your router, which allows visitors to access the internet without compromising the security of your main Wi-Fi network. In addition to this aspect of increased security, there are several other reasons for having a guest Wi-Fi network, including: You can create a simpler password for guests. While your main Wi-Fi network should be protected with a long and strong password, it’s fine to make your guest Wi-Fi network’s password shorter and easier to remember. It’s safer for your smart home devices to be connected to a guest Wi-Fi network. Smart home devices—from smart lighting and thermostats to smart locks and security cameras—are more vulnerable to being hacked than your home’s computers with the latest updates installed. This means that if smart home devices are connected to your mainWi-Fi network and get hacked, cybercriminals could gain access to that network and the devices and data on it. However, if you connect your smart home devices to a guestWi-Fi network, even if one of these devices gets hacked, the data available to the hacker will be limited. You’ll have the ability to control bandwidth. With a guest Wi-Fi network, you can put a limit on the speed/bandwidth available to your visitors while you enjoy maximum performance and speed from your main Wi-Fi network. Our Managed Wi-Fi can help you set up a guest Wi-Fi network. For details, call Panora Telco at (641) 755-2424 or Guthrie Center Communications at (641) 332-2000. Good Reasons to Set Up a Guest Wi-Fi Network Important Information for Our TV Customers You may have wondered, “Why does my TV bill keep going up?” Well, it’s certainly not because Panora Telco and Guthrie Center Communications want to increase rates. It’s because of the rising fees we have to pay broadcasters to include their networks in our channel lineups. We did our best to negotiate with broadcasters in 2020 for fair fees so we can bring you the most affordable TV service possible. However, as always, we faced big challenges: • Consolidation among the major network media companies means they have negotiating power and programming leverage. • These media conglomerates may demand double or triple fee increases or more. The vast majority of your monthly TV bill pays for this programming. While we manage our internal costs with great efficiency, we have very little control over the fees charged by the networks. That’s why we’ll soon need to make rate adjustments for our TV service. If you have any questions, please call Panora Telco at (641) 755-2424 or Guthrie Center Communications at (641) 332-2000. charities, and companies with whom you’ve had contact.

Cornerstone Group © 2021 PANORA TELCO • ( 641 ) 755-2424 | GUTHRIE CENTER COMMUNICATIONS • ( 641 ) 332-2000 4 Good Reasons to Switch to eBilling Are you still paying your Panora Telco or Guthrie Center Communications bill by writing a check and mailing it to us? If so, we encourage you to consider switching to eBilling and paying electronically instead. You’ll enjoy benefits including: 1. More Security – Paper bills leave you vulnerable to sensitive information being stolen and used for identity theft. Your mail could be taken from the mailbox or from a garbage can. With eBilling, you communicate with us securely via a password-protected online portal. 2. Saves You Money – You won’t have to buy as many postage stamps or checks when you use eBilling. 3. Faster Than Traditional Bill Paying – Why waste time finding a bill, writing a check, looking for a stamp, and walking to the mailbox? With eBlilling, you can pay online in seconds or have your bill paid automatically with Automatic Payment. 4. Better for the Environment – Mother Earth loves eBilling! It reduces paper use and saves trees. To sign up for eBilling, visit or and follow the easy step-by-step instructions. If you’re planning to “cut the cord” from cable or satellite TV and switch to streaming over your internet connection, you’ll need a streaming device to support your streaming service(s). There are many device options availble, but these are widely regarded as the top picks for various types of users: Best streaming device: Amazon Fire TV Cube The Amazon Fire TV Cube is actually more than just a streaming device. Using Alexa, it lets you control almost everything in your entertainment center with just your voice. There’s only a minimal need for a remote. Best streaming stick: Roku Streaming Stick+ This tiny device (resembling a USB drive) is considered to be the best streaming stick on the market. It offers great features for an affordable price, and its interface is easy to use. Best premium streamer: Roku Ultra (2019) This powerful set-top box provides more speed and media options than the Roku Streaming Stick. It even has a “lost remote” button that will trigger a tone from the remote. Best budget streamer: Roku Express Penny pinchers will love the Roku Express, which delivers just the streaming basics for a low price. You won’t get “bells and whistles,” but you will get a bargain. Best streamer for Apple lovers: Apple TV 4K The Apple TV 4K is the obvious choice for Apple devotees who want a seamless TV experience across all their Apple devices. It comes with lots of streaming apps. Before you select a streaming device, be sure to do your homework online to review details about features and prices. It’s also a good idea to talk to friends and family to see what brand of streaming device they’re using. If you’re lucky, you may even find someone to help you with setup! To enjoy the best experience while streaming—free from annoying buffering—you’ll want a fast internet connection. Call Panora Telco at (641) 755-2424 or Guthrie Center Communications at (641) 332-2000 for information about our range of internet speeds. Which Streaming Device is Best for Your Needs?