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Internet Frequently Asked Questions

 

QUICK LINKS:  DSL SETUP & PERFORMANCE       USING EMAIL      INTERNET SECURITY       ABOUT THE INTERNET        GET BACK TO FULL ACCESS

 

 

DSL SETUP & PERFORMANCE

 

What is the netptc.net mail server address?

Incoming mail server (POP3):  mail.netptc.net

Outgoing mail server (SMTP): mail.netptc.net

 

Is there a way to find out my Ponderosa Internet speed performance?

Yes. Click on the Ponderosa Internet Speed Test for a quick bandwidth check at:  http://speedtest.netptc.net/

 

How can I be sure I am getting the optimum performance between the network and my modem?

"Ponderosa One", is a one-time, one jack, data-only conversion which will give you the optimum broadband performance, and eliminate the need for inline filters (see below). Ask us for details on this service. 

 

What is the function of a DSL inline filter and where do I install it?  

Even if you have working Internet access today, you may experience significant improvement by installing the simple inline filter on each of the other devices which are connected to your telephone service (telephone, fax, satellite TV receiver box). Unfiltered, these devices can create crossover noise to impede your DSL service. Ponderosa provides filters for your convenience. Confirm your filters are installed correctly by viewing these examples: View the inline filter installation guide.

 

 

USING E-MAIL

How do I address mail?
To send mail, you must know the correct address and fill it in at the To: prompt. Simple Internet mail addresses consist of a Username, an @ symbol, and the address, which will consist of at least two words, separated by periods, For example, this is a correctly formatted address:

To: jsmith@delphi.com

There is never more than an @ symbol in an address. Occasionally, you will encounter an alternate form of address that uses exclamation points instead of an @ symbol or one in which there are several levels of addresses in which one or more % symbols act as secondary @ functions.

How do I find someone’s e-mail address?
Most online services will not give out personal information like e-mail addresses. On the other hand, some people register them and make them widely available. Other e-mail addresses are collected from usage.

Is e-mail secure?
Whenever you send e-mail, it is relayed through successive sites, and is theoretically accessible to a couple of dozen or so postmasters and system administrators, who have access to everything that passes through their machines. As a practical matter, so many thousands of messages pass through their machines that the chances of anyone looking at any particular message are pretty small.

If you are using an e-mail account on your employer’s system, the courts have said that employers have a right to monitor e-mail on their systems. You’re probably run a somewhat higher risk of e-mail being read than you would with a large commercial provider.

On the other hand, suppose you have attracted the attention of an employer or law enforcement authorities for some reason. It is relatively easy to set up "sniffer" software to monitor every word of every message looking for your name or for certain keywords or combinations of words and to forward all such messages for special attention. If the organization’s security isn’t good and tight (many places aren’t), it is also possible for hackers outside the system to set up "sniffer" software in an e-mail system, too.

What this all adds up to is that unless you have reason to be a particular target, your chances of having mail intercepted and read is very small, but still exists.

 

 

If I want my own web site does Ponderosa offer web site design?

Ponderosa Internet does not offer in-house web design and programming development. Here are some tips on locating a Web designer:

  • Do it yourself! There are many software tools available and at varied price/feature ranges.

  • Explore the Web and locate a Web site design that you like, then ask them who their web designer is. Sometimes the Web designer is listed on the site.

  • Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find local Web designers in your area.

  • Prices for professional Web design can range from, $25 to $130 per hour.

  • Purchase a Web site design software package and do it yourself. There is a learning curve, but it is the least expensive option.

INTERNET SECURITY

What is a firewall?
Firewall refers to the concept of a security interface or gateway between a closed network and the outside Internet that blocks or manages communications in and out of the network. The security may be provided by passwords, authentication techniques, software, and hardware may provide the security.

What are cookies, and should you disable them?
If you clicked on the NY Times link, and it was your first visit there, you were asked to register and provide some information. If it was not your first visit and you had already registered, you were probably not asked to register again. How could they tell that you were a repeat visitor? The answer is that they planted a cookie on your system with information about you. When you connected, your cookie files were checked to see if you were a registered user, and you had elected to store your username and password in the cookie. This is an example of a persistent cookie, which remains on your system for a long time. Only the service that installed the cookie has access to it (beside yourself). It is either in a cookies.txt file on your browser’s disk drive or in a separate file of its own. Cookies may or may not be encrypted.

How can I protect my family from inappropriate content?
The use of software to block pornography and undesirable material from children is a controversial subject. There is plenty of material on the Internet that presents nudity and sexual activity, both in text and pictures, although the media has tended to overstress its presence. Some of this material is clearly obscene by United States legal definitions, such as pedophilia. Some of it is clearly protected by the law, although perhaps unsuitable for children to view. Since the Internet knows no national boundaries, material that is illegal in the US can be retrieved from other countries where it may be legal. There is little that US legislation can do to prevent the accessibility of such materials.

The issue of censorship is a highly controversial one. Under the US Constitution and court interpretations, freedom of speech protects a lot of material that some find objectionable, particularly for children. The courts have ruled repeatedly that the goal of protecting children cannot be used to enact means that will also block materials from adults. Since it is difficult to impossible to block obscene materials from appearing on the Internet, and since it is impossible to get agreement on what should be blocked, action is left to individuals and families to find their own solutions. Schools and libraries with Internet access also have to deal with these issues in legal ways.

There are a number of approaches using software that can be used by parents and schools and libraries to restrict undesirable materials. Some are based on maintaining a list of sites that should be blocked on the basis of their content. Since such sites come and go very rapidly, this approach requires frequent updates to the software to be effective. Other software uses an on-the-spot evaluation of site content by analyzing vocabulary to determine what should be blocked. Some software uses a combination of these techniques.

The criteria used to block sites vary widely from one software package to another. Some packages are very restrictive, and have fallen under criticism for blocking too much. Others are designed to give the parent or administrator maximum control of what is blocked. Do you want to block sexual material only, or do you want to block out sites dealing with drugs, violence, and hatred, too? Do you want to restrict language usage in both directions? Do you want to control newsgroups, FTP sites, chat rooms, and message bases? Do you want a record of what sites your children visit? 

Ponderosa offers an effective Parental Control Solution in our SecureIt Plus Security product.

LET'S GET YOU BACK TO FULL ACCESS

I have been notified my account is on restricted access. How do I get back to full access?

Your membership in the Limited Access group is designed as a very temporary, stop-gap measure to ensure that your computer will not infect other computers on the netptc.net network or the Internet, while still allowing you all the Internet access necessary to take care of the issue(s). The entire thrust of the Limited Access program is to get you back on Full Access as fast as possible. While your account is on Limited Access, you will not be able to send e-mail using a regular desktop e-mail program. You may, however, use our Web Mail page http://mail.netptc.net for sending e-mail. You can follow our step-by-step plan to get you back to Full Access if you are comfortable with the following computer related activities:

1. Browsing to a site by clicking on a link.

2. Downloading a program and installing it.

3. Paying for a software product online (if necessary).

4. Following post-installation directions.

If you are uncomfortable with any task on the list above you might consider one of two options, have a friend or relative that has computer savvy clean your computer or take your computer to a reputable computer store and pay to have it cleaned. Either way, Ponderosa Internet is not responsible for any loss of data or revenue due to any process you go through to clean your computer. It is important that you back up critical data prior to attempting to clean your computer (keeping in mind that the virus/trojan/worm may be in the data you are backing up so you would need to scan it thoroughly prior to restoring it to a cleaned machine).

Steps back to Full Access

Step 1. Install an Anti-Virus program. Update the virus signature file immediately after installation (following the vendor’s instructions) and then immediately scan your entire computer including memory. Minimal configuration suggested would have the program automatically scan files ‘on access’, scan your entire computer on a daily basis automatically and update its signature file(s) at least on a daily basis automatically.

Step 2. Install a Firewall program and update the program immediately after installation. Minimal configuration suggested would have the program automatically check for updates on at least a daily basis.

Step 3. Download and install all applicable Critical Updates from Microsoft, Apple or your favorite Unix or Linux Support Site. If available on the vendor site (as it is on Microsoft’s) you should probably set the Critical Updates to download and install automatically as new critical updates become available. There is some possibility that a particular critical update might affect the functionality of some program you have installed on your computer so you’ll have to weigh that possibility against the comfort level of having all critical updates installed immediately when available.

Step 4. Contact Ponderosa Internet AFTER you have cleaned all computers that use your Internet connection.  Please e-mail aidstation@netptc.net and explain what action you took to repair and secure your computer. Your computer will be on monitored access for 2 weeks to ensure the repairs were successful. During this 2 week period you will be able to do everything that you did before you were placed on Limited Access except talk to mail servers (other than netptc.net) on the Internet directly. If the malicious traffic ceases we’ll return you to Full Access automatically in 2 weeks. Please note that you will have to wait until normal business hours for restoral. You might consider a free password change to ensure that no one else (possibly with an infected machine) can log on as you. This should only be necessary if you believe someone has access to your username and password and is using your account without your permission.

NOTE: Security software is widely available online, at software and computer stores and from Ponderosa Internet. Third-party vendor software support is the responsibility of the vendor and not Ponderosa Internet. Please read the software license(s) carefully before downloading any software online. If you are interested in learning about Ponderosa Internet SecureIT Plus security services which includes all of the requirements above at a very reasonable price, please click this link: SecureIT Plus

Thank you for your patronage. We apologize for any inconvenience you may experience during this necessary process.

 

 

 


 
 
 

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