Keyboard Shortcuts for Faster Internet Browsing

Many of us spend hours a week surfing the Internet. So, we wanted to share a few keyboard shortcuts you can use to help save time while navigating the Internet.

Laptop symbol with the word spacebar showing on the screenSpacebar to scroll down:
When you scroll down on the page, you can use the scroll bar on the right side of the window or the scroll wheel on the mouse.  But, did you know that you can also use the space bar? You can use the space bar to jump down one screen-length on the page. To move up on the page, use Shift and Spacebar.

control-NOpen a new window:
To open a whole new Internet window, use Control – N.

control--tOpen and close a new tab:
To open and new tab in your Internet window, use Control – T.  And if you want to close a tab, use Control – W.

Laptop symbol with the word Tab showing on the screen

Move quickly between tabs:
Now that you have opened more tabs by using the tip above, you can use Control-Tab to move between the multiple tabs.

control---1-8Switch between specific tabs:
If you want an easier way to switch to specific tabs you have open, use Control – 1 (or any number 1-8).  The number you use will be determined by counting your tabs from left to right.

control-DBookmark webpage:
If you would like to bookmark some of your favorite webpages, use Control – D.

Control-Shift-TReopening a tab you just closed:
Sometimes you are moving so fast online that you accidentally close a tab that you actually needed. Don’t worry! Control-Shift-T reopens the last closed tab.

control-fFast find:
If you don’t want to read through a whole webpage to find what you are looking for, use the Control-F shortcut. This will open a small search bar in the top corner of your Internet browser window. Type in a keyword you are looking for and it will tell you how many times it appears on the page. Then, click the arrows on the side of the search box and it will show you the exact spot the keyword appears.

Fall TV Premiers

Man holding several TV remotes
It’s that time of year: kids are back in school, the football season is starting, and your favorite TV shows are heading back to the airwaves after a long summer hiatuses. The major networks have released the premiere dates, so we complied some helpful links and calendars to help you navigate through all of the new and returning shows. So fire up your DVR’s and get your ImOn TV Everywhere account ready!

Fall Premiere calendar from pmctvline2Calendar from: pmctvline2

4 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe on Their Mobile Devices

Mother watching boys using the internet on a phone image
Any internet-connected device, whether it’s a computer, tablet, or smartwatch, is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. But mobile phones—devices that track your precise location and contain vast amounts of personal information, photos, and contacts—pose an even bigger risk.

As parents, we want to protect our kids from online threats. But for most moms and dads, it’s impossible to supervise every second of online activity —not to mention on mobile phones where tech-savvy teens can delete their texts and hide their browsing history.

Eventually, we have to let our children learn to protect themselves and make responsible choices about their online security when we’re not around. But aside from setting rules and talking to your kids about online safety, you can make use of built-in features and downloadable tools on their phones for extra reassurance.


Restrict Access to Questionable Content
Most phones enable parents to password-protect features that can restrict access to websites, require permission to download apps or make in-app purchases, and block calls and texts from certain numbers. These features are great for preventing your kids from visiting sites with questionable content or going overboard in the app store, but they also limit access to less-than-legit sites that are laden with malware. Learn how to turn on restrictions on Apple devices here. For Android devices, go here.


Password Protect Your Devices
It goes without saying that every device in your household should be set to “lock” automatically once it’s turned off. While it sounds obvious enough, some people opt to forego password protection on shared devices and those primarily used by young children. Just remember, without password protection, if your device is lost and someone happens to pick it up, they not only have access to your contacts and your photos—they have access to any personal accounts (think Amazon or Facebook) that auto-fill your login information.


Keep Software Updated
Operating systems and apps continuously release updates to their software. Sometimes the updates are meant to fix glitches or improve user experience, but you’d be surprised how often those updates include bug fixes and security upgrades. Never skip an update! Make sure your phone is set to send notifications when updates become available, and teach young children how to identify these alerts.


Install Security/Privacy Software
If you’re looking for a more streamlined approach to monitoring your kids’ online activity AND protecting your private information, try installing a security app. There are a variety of providers like Norton Family and ESET that offer subscriptions that work across all your devices. They do a great job of filtering suspicious or inappropriate content, but they do an even better job of keeping track of your child’s online activity, as well as their calls, texts and app usage. As an added bonus, some apps even allow you to limit time spent on certain apps.

How do you protect your kids on their mobile devices? Share some of your tips and tricks by commenting below!

Kickoff the Football Season with ImOn

Football on artificial grass
Whether its college or NFL, football fans are getting excited for the upcoming season. And this football season ImOn wants to make sure you keep up with every touchdown, every field goal, every turnover, and every shocking upset, all season long.

Make sure you have all the channels you will need to watch the teams you want! Many of the top games will be broadcast on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, ESPN2, Big Ten Network, and Comcast SportsNet.  However, some games may get shuffled to other stations like ESPNU, Big Ten Alternate 1 & 2, Comcast SportsNet Plus, SEC Network, NFL Network, and more. So if you are the ultimate football fan, we suggest subscribing to the ImOn Sports and Info Package to make sure you have every channel your team may be playing on. If you are a NFL fan, then the NFL Network and NFL RedZone are what you need.

ImOn is also making it easy for you to find the games. Just go to www.MyImOn.com/football
for the complete TV schedule of the Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, and UNI Panthers. Or, you can check out the complete college football schedule by clicking here. If you’re a NFL fan, just go to www.MyImOn.com/NFLSchedule for the full NFL preseason and season schedules.

We also know that life sometimes gets in the way of your football viewing. So if you aren’t home to watch your favorite team, you can use ImOn TV Everywhere to catch all the action. With ImOn TV Everywhere you can access the games anywhere on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or any other Internet connected device. And the best thing is that it is free with your ImOn cable TV subscription! It’s easy to get started! Just go to www.MyImOn.com/TVEverywhere for registration instructions and a link to the ImOn Watch TV Everywhere page.

And ImOn Communications is helping you go to the game as well. Loyal ImOn customers have a chance to get discounted tickets to select 2017 Iowa Hawkeye football games. For more information visit www.MyImOn.com/offers

What Is Fiber-to-the-Home and Why Does It Matter?

Fiber optic cables in shape of ImOn logo image
ImOn knows that the right connections make all the difference! One connection that matters is fast Internet. Fast Internet helps you make connections, by sending and receive emails, binge watching your favorite shows, gaming to your hearts content, working from home, checking up on family and friends through social media and so much more.

Remember when you had to dial into the Internet through your landline? Back then, we used the Internet so infrequently that it was OK to interrupt phone service to get online. Eventually you probably upgraded from dial-up to DSL or cable Internet. But now, people are starting to upgrade their Internet to fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) Internet.

What is Fiber-to-the-Home Internet, and why are people so excited?

ImOn fiber-to-the-home technology is the fastest and most reliable way to access the Internet. It provides a seamless, nearly instantaneous connection so you don’t have to worry about buffering, or pages taking too long to load. It also means that everyone in your household can play games, watch TV, work, and browse the Internet simultaneously, without slowing things down for everyone else. Here’s what’s different about ImOn’s fiber-to-the-home services:

  • Newer Technology: The difference between copper and fiber has been likened to the difference between the telegraph and the telephone. Fiber to the home uses fiber optic cable that contains strands of glass, thinner than a human hair. It carries digital information over long distances using pulses of light, instead of electricity, like traditional copper cable.
  • Speed: Internet over ImOn fiber-to-the-home is noticeably and measurably faster. In fact, ImOn offers speeds up to 1 Gig (1,000Mb)! You can easily share photos, videos, work from home, and do online gaming without a second thought. No more video buffering or waiting for your files to download.
  • Bandwidth: With fiber-to-the-home, slow or lagging Internet becomes a thing of the past. Light is efficient, so fiber cables carry more information – thousands of times more than copper wire. That means you won’t notice any slowdowns during the peak times of day when your neighbors are on the internet too.
  • Reliable: Fiber to the home technology is pretty much immune to many of the factors and interferences that affect copper cable. Also, it won’t falter under harsh weather conditions and electrical surges. That all adds up to less downtime for you!
  • Increased home values: A recent study found that fiber-to-the-home may increase a home’s value by up to 3.1 percent. And the great thing is that we install it for you.

ImOn is committed to expanding our fiber-to-the-home service to accommodate our customers’ increasing need for more bandwidth in their homes and businesses. Would you like to experience the ImOn Fiber-to-the-Home difference? Give us a call at 319-298-6484 or visit www.ImOn.net/Fiber today.

Family-Friendly Fall TV Shows That Teach a Lesson

family-watching-tv
It’s not always easy for families to land on a TV show that everyone can agree on. But luckily, the fall 2017 TV lineup is filled with programs for all-ages that will surprise and delight viewers. From touching sitcoms to fascinating docudramas, there’s plenty of high quality programming to choose from. The best part? These shows won’t make you feel guilty for spending time on the couch—instead, they’ll make you feel a little smarter, more compassionate and optimistic for the future!


Sitcoms Worth Your While

Hokey sitcoms with laugh tracks and cheap jokes are (thankfully) heading out the door and making room for a new breed of TV shows that feature compelling story lines and strong characters. Among many fantastic series, Modern Family and Speechless stand out from the crowd for their thoughtful, family-friendly content that inspires reflection.

  • Modern Family – Now on its ninth season, this “mockumentary” series follows patriarch Jay Pritchett and the families of his adult children. Known for its over-the-top characters and clever (and clean) sense of humor, the show’s format (similar to the Office), allows the characters to speak directly to their audience and explore the challenges and joys of raising a family in the present era. This five-time Emmy winner for Best Comedy Series returns Wednesday, Sept. 27 to ABC.
  • Speechless – Returning for its sophomore season, Speechless follows the DiMeo family and supermom Maya (Minnie Driver) as she strives to make the world a better place for her nonverbal son, JJ, who has cerebral palsy. This outstanding show is both hilarious and honest, and has earned praise for its high caliber acting, as well as raising awareness about families impacted by disabilities. Season two premiers Wednesday, Sept 21 on ABC.

 

Reality Shows That Redefine the Genre

Our favorite nonfiction series aren’t your typical reality shows that rely on foul language or staged drama for entertainment.

  • MythBusters – MythBusters is finally returning to TV, this time with new hosts and a new team to put scientific misconceptions and urban legends to the test. A great blend of humor, science and pure entertainment, this show will make you forget it’s actually educational. Catch the reboot on the Science Channel every Wednesday starting November 15.
  • Finding Your Roots – Sit down with host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as he helps celebrities like Samuel L. Jackson, Derek Jeter and Barbara Walters explore their ancestral roots and discover what’s hidden in their family trees. This show is great for prompting discussion with older kids on historical topics, and might even inspire you to take interest in your own family history. The series returns Wednesday, October 3 to PBS, with notable cameos from Sean Combs, Mia Farrow and LL Cool J.

 

Documentaries That Won’t Put You to Sleep

Forget the dated, boring documentaries you were forced to watch in school. These high-quality docs will keep you glued to your seat and teach you more about the world we live in.

  • Beyond A Year in Space – This documentary follows up on A Year in Space (2016), which captured a year-in-the-life of astronaut Scott Kelly as he worked onboard the International Space Station. The new sequel follows Kelly as he returns to Earth and participates in NASA’s Twin Study with his twin brother Mark, a fellow astronaut. Catch the highly anticipated premiere this November on PBS.
  • Honey Badger Grit – This documentary made for the Smithsonian Channel follows Grit, a fearless 18-month-old honey badger as he braves the harsh wilderness of Namibia for the first time on his own. See why honey badgers earn their reputation as one of the toughest, most resilient species in this captivating hour-long special that premieres Wednesday, August 9.

 

For Kids of All Ages

  • OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes – Cartoon Network’s latest original show, OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes premiered early August and is already catching people’s attention. This zany, optimistic cartoon from the creators of Adventure Time and Steven Universe is superbly animated and filled with a talented cast of voice actors. Some of the jokes will go over the heads of younger audiences, but are sure to land with parents, making this one series that your kids will love and you’ll actually enjoy!
  • Odd Squad – this series packs in as much fun as it does educational content. As the characters work together to solve real-life, math-related mysteries, the audience is invited to join in and work through the problems as the show progresses. Catch a mix of new episodes and re-runs every day on PBS Kids.

 

Looking to add more educational or family-friendly programming to your watchlist? ImOn’s Channel Lineup brings quality networks like Nat Geo Wild, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet straight to your TV. Go here to see a complete listing of featured channels.

The Age of Information = The Age of Cyber Crime

Hand writing differed words dealing with cybersecurity imageTrying to remember a time before the World Wide Web, personal computers, iPads, and smart phones is comparable to trying to imagine a time before there were cars and highways.  How did we ever get anything done?  The advantages of the information age allow humankind to access and share massive amounts of information, perform commerce, and interact across diverse populaces on a grander and more rapid way than ever imagined when that first Apple PC appeared the late 1970s.  However, as with all great and amazing human achievements and technology advances, new dangers and threats emerge that we must defend against.  One such threat are cyber criminals.  They lurk in the dark corners of the World Wide Web waiting to steal your personal and private information, obtain your username and passwords, access your bank account or credit cards, and to sabotage your personal computer and the network it is connected to each day.  Here are a couple things we all can do to defend against these cyber scoundrels.

Phishing anyone? 

One of the most common methods the cyber rat uses is called Phishing.  A person might receive an email from a seemingly trusted source directing them to click on a link or open an attachment.  So you click on the attachment or link. Suddenly a message appears saying, “Send $300 or all of your data will be destroyed.”

Another Phishing email might look like it is from a friend, someone a person has known for years.  The email might say, “Hey there, so nice seeing you last year.  Pictures from the concert are located in this Google Dropbox (The Phisher might provide an attachment instead). When the person clicks on the link or the attachment a virus is downloaded.

If it doesn’t feel right, check with the source via a phone call, or sending a separate email. Also, check out that email address.  What is the part of the address that appears behind the sender’s name?   Another thing you can do is hover the mouse over the hyperlink that is in the email, BUT don’t click on it.  The actual URL (Internet address) will appear.  If the email is supposedly from Amazon, but the URL shown says something else, delete the email.

How do they know so much about me?

Social media connects people with each other from different walks of life and interests.  The Phishers aren’t lazy. They do their homework. They follow social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.  They connect the dots from the information people post about themselves. Then the Phishers develop their story.

Security Awareness

Phishing is just one method that cyber criminals use to gain access to your personal and financial information.  If a person has a computer or a mobile device connected to the Internet, it will be probed. Having up-to-date protection on your PC and devices is important.  The use of strong passwords that are at least 8-12 characters and contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols is advised.  Changing these passwords every 4-6 months is also strongly advised.  Visiting our previous post “Creating Strong Passwords” to learn more tips on creating good password.
While these basic fundamental things will help prevent most hacking attacks, it ultimately is the user that personally invites the fox into the hen house. Be diligent. Be vigilant. Be aware.

To learn more about ImOn Communications and the services we provide, visit www.ImOn.net

Here Comes ImOn!

ImOn-EmployeesWhether you are a first time customer just getting your ImOn service installed, or you’re a long time customer needing help with your service, sooner or later an ImOn technician will be visiting your home. All of our ImOn technicians are nationally certified and strive to provide the best service possible for our customers.  So here are a few things you can do before our technicians arrive to make sure your installation or service call is as stress-free as possible and also safe for our technicians.

  • Make sure someone 18 years or older is present during the duration of the installation or service call.
  • Be prepared to show the technician around your home or business wherever you may want an Internet device, TV, or phone activated. Even if it is currently wired, we will make sure the wiring meets today’s demands so you get the performance you expect. We will also program your TVs to ImOn channel lineup and take signal readings to make sure you receive all the channels you are paying for.

  • Clear a path for the technician to work. They may need access to where your utilities enter your home or garage. The technician will also need room to work around your computers, TVs, Ethernet jacks, and cable outlets.
  • Please have furniture moved at least three feet away from the work area. This will create a safe work environment and guarantee our technicians don’t accidentally damage or break something if we have to move it.
  • Clean personal belongings and pictures away from your TVs and computers. These things matter to you and we don’t want to accidentally damage them.
  • If you have any pets, please make sure they are secured while our technicians are in your home. The technicians will likely be going in and out of your home and possibly into the back yard. We would hate to accidentally let your pets out or have something happen to our technicians.
  • Please make sure all gates and fences are unlocked, as the technician may need access to the outside of your home.

  • Make sure all equipment you already have (wireless cards, modems, routers, cable cards) is available to the technician. Also know that all TVs and computers you want connected should be in your home at the time of installation or service.
  • Please make the technician aware of underground obstructions, attics or crawl spaces, invisible dog fence, utility lines, and anything that may pose a hazard to ImOn technicians.ImOn Employee working on equipment imageTo learn more about ImOn Communications and the services we provide, please visit www.ImOn.net

What is an IP Address?

Internet; blue background with flowing binary digits, internet address in browser search bar imageI’m sure you have probably heard the term “IP Address,” but unless you are in IT or a computer science major, you probably don’t know much about it or how it works.

IP Address stands for Internet Protocol Address. It is a unique group of numbers that computers, tablets, and smartphones use to identify themselves and communicate with other devices on a network.

In layman’s terms, an IP address serves the same purpose for a computer as your street address serves for your house. Just like you would address a letter to send in the mail, computers use the IP address to send data to a specific computer on a network. Without a unique IP address, you would not be able to communicate with other devices, users, and computers on the Internet.

An IP address uses a set of 4 numbers, ranging from 0 to 255, separated by periods. An example would be 72.50.253.121. Also, did you know that instead of a domain name for a website, like http://www.MyImOn.com, you can enter the actual IP address into the website browser. But, since it would be hard to remember the unique set of numbers for each website you wanted to visit, your computer translates each website URL into the specific IP address for you.

Interested to find out what your computer’s IP address is?  It’s easy. Here are instructions from http://smallbusiness.chron.com.

Disadvantages of Cutting the Cord

Man holding several TV remotes5 Things You Miss When You Cut the Cord

Thinking about cutting the cord? Streaming services have come a long way in the past few years, but they still lag behind traditional cable when it comes to the things you want most in your TV watching experience. Apps like HBO GO (free when you subscribe to HBO through ImOn) make great supplements to your cable TV package, but can they replace your subscription altogether?

For die-hard TV fans and movie buffs, there’s no matching the sheer volume of current TV shows, new and classic movies, sports, and spontaneous live moments available on good old-fashioned cable TV. But we can think of five other great reasons why cable is still king:

  • A streamlined experience.

One of the best parts about cable TV is having access to hundreds of channels and programs from one convenient hub. There’s no going back and forth between apps and devices to find the show you want to watch (if it’s even available), or trying to remember your login as you sign in and out of different apps.

  • No worrying about spoilers.

Why wait weeks, months, or even longer for your favorite shows to become available to stream? Watch your favorite shows live with the rest of the world and avoid the dreaded “spoiler alert.”

  • A local connection.

There’s a lot we take for granted when it comes to local news stations: getting up-to-the-minute weather coverage, severe weather alerts, breaking local news, school and business closures—even jingles from your favorite mom & pop shops. Local news channels like KCRG, KWWL, and KGAN come standard with every ImOn cable TV package, meaning you never miss out on updates that affect your community.

  • Live sports.

All of the year’s most important games are on live TV and Pay Per View—replays and recaps just aren’t the same!

  • Channel surfing.

There are times when you just don’t know what to watch—so you roll the dice and flip through the channels to see if something catches your eye. Looking at a list of available titles can be helpful, but sometimes you don’t know what you want to watch until you land on the channel and give it a chance.

Technology gets better by the day—and so does the cable experience. With a DVR, you can pause and record live programming, skip over commercials, and keep track of when your favorite shows will air. And with ImOn Watch TV Everywhere, you can tune into your favorite channels—even when you’re far from your cable box.

What’s not to love?

 Save on Internet, cable TV, and phone service when you bundle through ImOn! Check out these limited time offers that come with ImOn’s 2-year price guarantee, and see why ImOn has been named “Best Local Internet Service Provider” six times by the Corridor Business Journal.