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Virus Telephone Scams
We have received multiple notifications of a telephone scam occurring, in which the caller claims to be from Microsoft or the "service department for windows operating systems".

The caller offers to solve a consumer’s computer problems or sell him or her a software license, all in an effort to gain remote control access to the consumer’s computer.

Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:

-- Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords.

-- Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.

-- Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.

-- Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

Should you receive one of these types of calls, it is important not to give out credit card details or any personal information.

The best solution would be to just end the call.

"Return to Sender" messages
Are you receiving numerous returned or undelivered emails from messages that you did not send? If so, it is possible that your account's password has been stolen or "compromised".

The most common way for an account to be compromised is for the owner to respond to a Scam or "Phishing" email (Phishing is a term used to describe false emails from a spammer claiming to be sent from a legitimate company, such as your Internet Provider or bank) that asks for your account's username and password. Once the recipient responds, the spammer then has access to send (and receive) email with the account.

Another way that spammers can gain access to an account is if there is a virus on the computer that allows them to discover the email account's username and password.

To protect your account information, the first step is to install, update and run an anti-virus scan on all of your systems. This can be done with the anti-virus program of your choice. (Performing an Internet Search for "Free Antivirus" should provide a few programs to choose from.)

After the Anti-virus scan is complete and any virus-infected files cleaned, the next step is to have your account's password changed. This is done by contacting your Internet Provider's Customer Service office. Please keep in mind, when selecting a new password it is always best to avoid re-using a previous password or a commonly used one such as "password" or "1234".

Once you have contacted the office and the password has been reset on the server, you will need to make the change in your connection and email program(s). Should you require assistance with this, please feel free to contact Technical Support.

Copyright Infringement Complaints Increase
We have recently seen an increase of copyright infringement complaints tracing to our customers' connections.

Please keep in mind that most songs, games, movies and TV shows are protected by copyright. The unauthorized sharing (downloading or uploading) of this media is actionable as copyright infringement, even if done for personal use.

Distribution of copyrighted media is often accomplished by using “peer-to-peer” (P2P) software, such as LimeWire or BitTorrent, installed on individual computers. These types of programs allow your computer to exchange files with other computers that are running similar software. P2P services usually configure their software so that any files you download (and any other files in your “shared folder”) are automatically made accessible to anyone else on the P2P network that requests them.

If you are currently using a "peer-to-peer" program, we ask that:

- Stop downloading or uploading any song, game, copyrighted film or TV shows without authorization.

- Permanently delete from your computer(s) all unauthorized copies you may have already made of this media; and

- If you do not use P2P software for lawful purposes, delete it from your computer.

Other things to keep in mind:

If you are using a wireless router with your connection, please ensure that it is password protected. Setting a password will prevent others from using your connection without authorization. Should someone acquire access to your connection, (either with or without your knowledge), and they do something that causes your account to be suspended, You, as the account holder, must assume responsibility for that person's actions.

The distribution of files illegally puts you at risk of violating your Internet Provider's terms of service, as well as at risk of substantial monetary damages and in some cases, criminal prosecution.

Power-Net does not support nor endorse these programs but have found some of them helpful. Many of the programs and links found on this page are for third-party applications and are to be used at your own risk. Should you encounter problems with the tools, you may need to consult a computer technician for further assistance.