Link to Park Region Telephone/Otter Tail Telcom/Valley Telephone

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Scam Warning
Fraudulent Rental Property Postings

Join Us for FUN Events!
June 7th - Movies in the Park
June 8th - Dora the Explorer

Two To View
A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss

This Month's FAQ
How Can I Tell If My Computer Might Be Infected With Malware?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In June

Short Tutorial
Changing The Default Search Engine On Your Browser


Hello prtel.com customers

Summer Full SwingSummer is now in full swing so itís time to enjoy everything the season has to offer. Youíll find plenty of inspiration in the June Great Sites list, which includes recipes for backyard parties, travel ideas steeped in history, and a handy way to simplify car care. The fun continues with two videos sure to make you smile featuring a strong baby and almost-human dogs.

On a more serious note, this issue gives you a heads-up on fraudulent rental property postings that are scamming victims out of money and shares common warning signs of malware on your computer. Youíll also learn how to change the default search engine on your browser for a fresh look at finding information.

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 prtel.com Internet Team
 

 

Scam Warning – Fraudulent Rental Property Postings

Rental HomeThe Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recently issued an alert after receiving many complaints from victims of rental property scams. The common theme in these scams is fraudsters using the Internet to try and capitalize on the desperation of people needing to find affordable rental property within a short amount of time.

Here's a typical scenario: You're searching online (on Craig's List or elsewhere) and come across an ad about a rental home in a great area at a great price. It appears to be legitimate so you start communicating with the "owner" by email. You're told the place is yours if you wire money to cover an application fee, security deposit, first month's rent, etc. You wire the money and then never hear from the "owner" again.

How does this happen? Scammers hijack legitimate home listings including the photos, change the contact information, and then list the modified ads on another site. Or they make up listings for places that aren't for rent or don't even exist.

Take these precautions to avoid becoming a victim:
  • If the rental price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Research average rental rates for similar properties in the area.

  • If you're communicating by email, check for common red flags like poor grammar, misspellings, character/spacing mistakes, and excessive capitalization.

  • Be suspicious if there seems to be an unusually strong sense of urgency to rent the property quickly or if the person insists on communicating only by email.

  • It's a red flag when the person says he/she currently lives overseas or is out of the country on business. Scammers often tell victims this to explain why they can't meet in person.

  • Never send money to anyone you haven't met or don't already know and trust.

  • Do your homework online. Search the rental address, the landlord's name, and any contact information used in the posting before you proceed.

  • Do not fill out a detailed rental application and return it to an unknown person either by email or postal mail. You put yourself at risk for identity theft.
Please be careful out there! You don't want that "home sweet home" to turn sour.

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Join Us for Two FUN Events!

Park Region Telephone and Otter Tail Telcom are excited to announce a fun family event on Thursday evenings this summer. Beginning on June 7th, we will be showing movies in the park on our giant big screen in conjunction with A Center For The Arts and the Fergus Falls Public Library. Movies in the Park will be held at 9:00PM at Roosevelt Park following the 6:30PM Concerts in the Park. Gather your blanket or your lawn chair and bring the entire family for a fantastic night of fun! 
Date 9PM Movie
June 7th Fathers Little Dividend
June 14th The Adventures of TinTin
June 21st Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides
June 28th My Favorite Brunette
July 5th The Wizard of Oz
July 12th Puss In Boots
July 26th Iron Man 2
August 2nd Grease
August 9th The Muppets
August 23rd Captain America
August 30th Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

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Two To View – A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss

Cool Video Number 1   Cool Video Number 2
     
Oh Baby! This Boy Is Strong!
At just 9-10 months of age, baby Jonas is already displaying an impressive combination of upper-body strength and determination. Take a look as he does chin-ups on the edge of the desk in order to try and see what's playing on the computer screen.
  Delightful Dog Duo Dining
With a little help from four human hands, two dogs enjoy a meal at a busy restaurant. You can't help but smile as you watch them politely dab their mouths with napkins, eat from china bowls using silverware, and interact with each other and the waitress.

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This Month's FAQ – How Can I Tell If My Computer Might Be Infected With Malware?

My Computer Might Be InfectedQuestion: Lately, my computer has been acting strangely and I'm concerned that something is wrong. Is there a way to tell if it's infected with malware?

Answer: There are common warning signs (listed below) of the presence of malware and if your computer is exhibiting them, it could very well be infected. Keep in mind, however, that some of these symptoms could be caused by other reasons; for example, slow performance could be due to insufficient hard drive space.

A sudden change in how your computer is running is often the result of malware. Watch for the following signs:
  • Slowness - Your computer suddenly takes much longer than before to run programs, access files or the Internet, or even shut down.

  • Freezes - Your computer frequently seizes up or you can't leave websites or close your Web browser.

  • Frequent pop-up messages - Be especially vigilant if these are warnings that you need to purchase software to remedy a security threat. (The software is generally fake.)

  • New browser homepage Ė Malware, once installed on your system, can change browser settings without your knowledge. A sign of this is an unexpected change in your browser homepage to a site you typically don't visit.

  • Mysterious messages - Your friends and family receive email messages from your account but you didn't send them. Or they notice status updates on Facebook or Twitter that couldn't possibly have been posted by you.

  • Automatic start-ups - Familiar programs on your computer (or ones you didn't know were there) start unexpectedly or you're randomly connected to unknown websites.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to malware so make sure you keep your computer's security software updated. Please contact us if you need additional information or recommendations.

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Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In June

Fresh Recipes For Summer
food.com/recipes/summer –  What's on the menu for your family this summer? If it's backyard entertaining, picnics in the park, and shopping at farmers' markets, you'll find new recipes here to fit the bill perfectly. Try the Chipotle Taco Burger, Creamy Corned Zucchini and Peppers, Greek Salad Skewers, or Frozen Cappuccino Bars.
Learn About Teen Challenges
notmykid.org – The challenges kids and families face today are complex and have the potential to devastate lives and derail futures. This site provides facts and resources on topics including substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, safe dating, bullying, and Internet safety. Learn the warning signs and find out how to take action to help your child.
History Meets Mystery
mysteriousplaces.com –  Who made the head statues on Easter Island? How was Stonehenge constructed? Why did the Mayans build pyramids? You can explore sacred sites and ancient civilizations around the world by visiting this site. If you want an even closer look, check out the travel information to help plan trips to these exotic destinations.
Keep Caring For Your Car
carcare.org – To keep your car safe, dependable, and on the road longer, you need to keep up with recommended maintenance. This site can help by building a service schedule for your car when you enter the make and model. You can even have service reminders emailed to you. Also, be sure to check out the "Ask the Tech" and DIY sections.
Civil War 150th Anniversary
nps.gov/civilwar – Although 150 years in the past, the Civil War's causes and consequences still reverberate today. This new website from the National Park Service features an impressive collection of Civil War stories, photos, and illustrations as well as a timeline and map of battles. You can even get a firsthand account on Twitter by following @CivilWarReportr.

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Short Tutorial – Changing The Default Search Engine On Your Browser

Are you searching for a new twist to your computer routine? Perhaps changing your default search engine would do the trick. While Google remains number one in the search engine rankings, you may want to start regularly using one of the other popular options such as Bing, Yahoo! Search, or Ask. Simply follow the steps below for your browser and operating system.

IE 8 Icon Changing The Default Search Engine In The Search Bar When Using...
Internet Browser:
Internet Explorer 8
Computer Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7
  1. With Internet Explorer open, click your cursor arrow on the down arrow on the right side of the Search Bar (to the right of the magnifying glass) and select "Add" from the resulting drop-down menu.

  2. When the Manage Add-ons window opens, make sure "Search Providers" is selected and then click on the search provider of your choice. If you don't see your favorite search engine on the list, choose "Find More Search Providers" from the bottom of the window.

  3. Once you have chosen the new search provider, click the "Set as default" button and your new selection will be labeled "Default" in the "Status" field.

  4. Click the "Close" button to save your changes and close the Manage Add-ons window. The Search Bar will now show the name of your new search provider.

IE 8 Icon Changing The Default Search Engine In The Search Bar When Using...
Internet Browser:
Internet Explorer 9
Computer Operating System: Windows Vista and Windows 7
  1. With Internet Explorer open, click your cursor arrow on the down arrow on the right side of the Search Bar (to the right of the magnifying glass) and select the icon of the search provider you prefer from the bottom of the drop-down menu.

  2. If you do not see the icon of the search provider you prefer, click on the "Add" icon from the bottom-right of the drop-down menu.

  3. When the Manage Add-ons window opens, make sure "Search Providers" is selected and then click on the search provider of your choice. If you don't see your favorite search engine on the list, try sorting the list by selecting "most popular" from the top of the list.

  4. Once you have chosen the new search provider, click the "Add to Internet Explorer" button. You will have the option to make this your default search provider in the resulting pop-up window.

  5. Click the "Add" button to save your choice. The icon of your newly added search provider will now be available in the search drop-down menu described in step 1.

Firefox Icon Changing The Default Search Engine In The Search Bar When Using...
Internet Browser:
Mozilla Firefox*
Computer Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7,
and Mac OS X
  1. With Firefox open, click your cursor arrow on the down arrow on the left side of the Search Bar field and select one of the other search engine options from the resulting drop-down menu. If you don't see your favorite search engine in the list, choose "Manage Search Engines" to add even more.

Chrome Icon Changing The Default Search Engine In The Search Bar When Using...
Internet Browser:
Google Chrome*
Computer Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7,
and Mac OS X
  1. With Chrome open, click your cursor arrow on the icon that looks like a wrench in the far right corner of the screen and select "Settings" from the resulting drop-down menu.

  2. The Basics window will open. In the "Search:" section, click on the down arrow to display other search engine options. Select the one that you would like to make as the default. If you don't see your favorite search engine in the list, choose "Manage Search Engines" to add even more.

  3. Close the tab to finalize your changes.

Safari Icon Changing The Default Search Engine In The Search Bar When Using...
Internet Browser:
Safari*
Computer Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7,
and Mac OS
  1. With Safari open, click your cursor arrow on the down arrow on the left side of the Search Bar field (to the right of the magnifying glass) and select one of the other search engine options from the resulting drop-down menu.

  2. Alternatively, you can manage your default search engine on the "General" tab of the Safari Preferences accessed through the top Safari menu.
* Tutorial written for the latest non-beta version of the browser available at publishing time.

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Thanks for your business!

Best regards

The prtel.com Internet Team




Park Region Telephone Co.
100 Main St
Underwood, MN 56586

800-247-2706


©2012 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

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