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Six Tips for Using Social Media Safely

Social media has made it easier than ever to keep in touch and stay connected with loved ones around the globe. It’s also made users increasingly vulnerable to cybercrimes such as:

  • Data breaches
  • Hacking
  • Fake accounts and impersonation scams
  • Phishing
  • Sending malware via malicious links

But that doesn’t mean you need to swear off social media or delete your accounts forever. By following a few guidelines for safer social media use, you can post, like, and share to your heart’s content.

Here are six simple ways to decrease your risk on social media:

  1. Adjust your privacy settings. Every social media platform allows you to customize the amount of information you share. We recommend selecting the strongest security settings possible to maximize your privacy.
  2. Choose a strong, unique password. With data breaches on the rise, reusing passwords across multiple accounts is the easiest way to fall victim to hacking and identity theft. Use a different password every time, or try a password manager to help you generate and store strong passwords securely.
  3. Control what you share. Remember, nothing is really private online: everything you share can be shared with others. And once it’s online, it’s there forever. Think before you post and be careful not to share sensitive information like your address or your vacation plans.
  4. Watch who you add. Catfishing isn’t just a show on MTV, and fake accounts are growing increasingly sophisticated. Even people you think you know may not be who they say they are, so be selective with who you add. And remember: if anyone harasses you online, report and block them as soon as possible.
  5. Think before you click. Malicious links can expose you to malware or give criminals access to sensitive information. And with the rise of fake and hacked accounts, these links could easily come from people you know. Be wary of clicking links you’re not expecting, or ones accompanied by suspicious messages.
  6. Protect your computer. Install antivirus software and keep your browser, operating system, and software up-to-date. They’re your first line of defense if anything goes awry, so it’s well worth ensuring you’ve downloaded the latest security patch before you scroll through Facebook.

At DataVision, we care about keeping you and your family safe when using the internet. And if you have questions about your service, contact us—we are here and happy to help!

Internet vs. Wi-Fi: What’s the Difference?

“What’s the Wi-Fi here?”  

“This Wi-Fi is too slow”  

“We need better Wi-Fi”  

Sometimes we hear that internet and Wi-Fi are the same thing, or that someone doesn’t need internet service, they just want Wi-Fi. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they serve different purposes and have different functions. Folks just want their service to work, but it’s important to distinguish between the two to accurately diagnose any issues that may come up.  

The internet is a global communications system made up of thousands of inter-connected networks that allows users to access a wide range of online resources, like websites, email, games, video content, and more. While the global internet is not owned or operated by one organization, broadband service providers (BSPs) like DataVision typically own their own network. They buy and install the equipment and infrastructure that make it possible for folks to connect online.  

Think of internet service as the signal that is sent from a BSP’s central office to your home, either through traditional copper or cable lines or with faster, more reliable fiber optic strands like the ones DataVision uses. Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is the wireless distribution of some of that internet signal through the air by a device known as a router. A router is physically plugged into your home network, usually through an Ethernet port in the wall, and then broadcasts the Wi-Fi signal throughout the location. Devices can then connect to that signal without needing any cords to get online to stream, video chat, play games, send emails, and more.  

Fun fact: The term “Wi-Fi” is actually not an abbreviation for a longer, more techy term. Around the time the technology was created, the term “Hi-Fi,” short for High Fidelity, was commonly used to describe the high-quality reproduction of sound or images. In the late 1990s, a group of major companies in the electronics industry formed the nonprofit Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance, which is now known as the Wi-Fi Alliance, and they decided to call this new wireless technology Wi-Fi because it was a catchy name and sounded similar to Hi-Fi, which many people were already familiar with. So the name stuck, and we still use it today. 

Devices can also connect to the internet using an Ethernet cord, which provides a direct line right into your home network. Devices that tend to stay in one spot would be best fit for a wired connection if available, like home computers, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. While Wi-Fi technology and equipment continues to advance, a wired connection will always provide the best online experience as there is no possibility of interference that can occur on a Wi-Fi connection.  

If you ever experience any issues with your connection, remember that there are a variety of reasons why. There could be a disconnect between your router and the internet signal coming into your home, a problem with the internet infrastructure, or perhaps an adjustment needs to be made with the device itself.  

Tired of tinkering with your Wi-Fi network or trying to troubleshoot connectivity issues? DataVision offers a Managed Wi-Fi service that takes care of everything for you. A DataVision technician will install and set up new, advanced Wi-Fi equipment powerful enough to broadcast a strong signal throughout your home. And if any issues come up, our local team can troubleshoot and make adjustments remotely.

Learn more at or give us a call at 503.792.3611.  

Community Class: WiFi 101 – Thursday, June 21

FREE for DataVision customers, this first-ever Community Class will demystify the ins and outs of your home WiFi network. WiFi is an amazing tool that allows devices to connect to the internet wirelessly, but how exactly does it work? We’ll go over the basics of WiFi technology, how some older connected devices could be slowing down your network, the differences between a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band and why you might want to use one over the other, and solutions DataVision offers to improve your WiFi experience.

What: DataVision Community Class: WiFi 101
When: Wednesday, June 21 at 7:00PM
Where: Remote on Zoom

Click here to register for the class with your name and email address.

After registering for the class, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom along with reminders leading up to the class. You can join the class meeting room up to 30 minutes early using the link provided in the confirmation email or reminder email you’ll receive. If you register and are unable to attend, we will email you a recording of the class to watch on-demand. You do not need a camera or microphone to join the Zoom class, but you will need a screen and speakers to see and hear the presentation along with access to a keyboard to type questions into the chat. You may also email questions you have beforehand to and we will attempt to address them during the session.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Customer Care Team at 503.792.3611 or email We hope you will join us for this informational class!

2023 Annual Meeting Recap

What Happened at the Annual Meeting?

On April 11, DataVision customers, staff and Board of Directors gathered to review the key successes of 2022 and the roadmap for 2023. We always enjoy hearing what customers have to say at these gatherings. If you were unable to join us, here is a recap of the speech given by Todd Berning, Assistant General Manager:

Fiber optic internet connections are the future. They provide the purest, fastest experience for the end user and can accommodate the most amount of data. At last report, just 43% of the United States have access to a fiber optic connection. DataVision intends to have 100% of Gervais service area connected to fiber by the end of 2025.

In 2022 we connected the North part of Manning Road, Marthaler Road, Blevins Lane, parts of French Prairie Road and Highway 219. This grouping allowed 89 existing customers to converted to a fiber connection as well as explore adding many individual services that were previously constricted with the former speeds and infrastructure.

Efforts continue to be focused on converting existing homes and businesses as well as new constructions to a fiber connection as possible. This includes partnering with new developments like Ivy Woods and working with property management for the pending Winfield Street apartment complex. Encompassing expansions like these as well as continuing with our fiber construction plans has increased the overall number of DataVision subscribers to help the company end the year in a positive financial position to enter 2023.

We are in year 4 of our 5-year plan to finish building out the Gervais exchange with fiber optic connections. Expansion plans for 2023 will encompass a second section of Manning Road, Highway 99 South, Miller Road, and Checkerboard Road. In 2024, the plan is to install fiber to Duck Inn Road Northeast, Butteville Road Northeast, and Keene Road Northeast.

In October of 2022, DataVision was awarded a $150,000 cost-sharing grant from Marion County to provide approximately 24 farms and residences as well as the Holy Trinity School with a fiber connection. This area will encompass Howell Prairie Road at the intersection of Waconda Road to the North and Rambler Drive to the south. The project will also travel down Rambler Drive and Saratoga Drive. It is anticipated to finish by the end of 2023.

Overall, 2022 was a productive year for customers and staff alike. We look forward to continuing to provide you with dedicated connections and exemplary customer service for years to come.

2.4Ghz vs. 5Ghz and Wi-Fi 6 — What’s the Difference?

Understanding the differences between Wi-Fi frequencies is a low priority for most people, who often have more important things on their minds as they go about their busy day. But, in the evening, when they sit down at their computer or in front of their TV set to relax and stream their favorite movie, they may feel its impact more strongly without even realizing the cause—because the connection problems they experience may simply be chalked up to “slow internet.”

Why Wi-Fi frequencies are important

Currently, there are three standard frequencies used to transmit Wi-Fi signals. In plain language, Wi-Fi signals are the wireless signals that get sent wirelessly from your internet router to any connected device, such as your laptop, tablet, streaming TV, or smart speaker.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 2.4 GHz band provides the greatest coverage in terms of distance but transmits data at the slowest speeds.
  • 5 GHz band provides less coverage but transmits data at faster speeds.
  • 6 GHz band, introduced with the Wi-Fi 6 standard, transmits data at the fastest speeds of the three frequencies.

As frequencies push higher, wireless range decreases because higher frequencies cannot penetrate solid objects, such as walls and floors. However, higher frequencies allow data to be transmitted much faster than lower frequencies—so the higher frequencies allow you to upload and download files more quickly than 2.4 GHz.

Furthermore, your Wi-Fi connection on any particular frequency band can be affected by interference from other devices. Many household devices, such as microwaves and garage door openers, also use the 2.4 GHz band.

The 5 GHz band tends to have less overcrowding than the 2.4 GHz band because fewer devices use it and it has more channels available.

The 6 GHz band is relatively new and is exclusive to devices that support Wi-Fi 6. This band also supports almost twice as many channels as 5 GHz. Fewer devices, more spectrum, and more bandwidth means less interference and network congestion.

Want to know more about Wi-Fi and whether or not you have the best router for your needs? We’re here and we’d love to hear from you!

DataVision is here to help!

At DataVision, we value our role as your trusted advisor when it comes to making the most of our internet services.

Cyber Security Awareness Month

Seven Cybersecurity Steps to Keep Your Devices & Accounts Safe

What’s more important to you: the safety of your data and online accounts, or having an easy experience when browsing the web? According to a 2021 Norton study, you probably picked the latter: more than three out of five consumers surveyed said they accepted certain privacy risks online to make life more convenient.

As October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, we’re sharing a quick refresher on how to keep your personal information safe online:

  1. Protect your devices
    The best line of defense against online threats: keep your operating system and applications up to date. Most updates include important security fixes which help defend your devices against malware. We also recommend using an anti-virus software for added protection.
  2. Manage your passwords
    A strong, unique password is a strong defense against hackers. Here are four guidelines to keep in mind:
    • Use long, unique passwords: the more characters it has, the harder it is to break. The best passwords are 12+ characters and contain a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. 
    • Don’t recycle your passwords: if one email/password combination is compromised, it puts the rest of your accounts using that combination at risk. It’s best to use a unique password for every website.
    • Use a password manager. These nifty tools help you remember each unique password for each account, encrypt your passwords to keep them safe, and can even suggest secure passwords to use for your accounts.
    • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). This provides an extra level of protection, especially for accounts containing sensitive information.
  3. Use secure Wi-Fi
    Next time you’re having a cup at your local coffee shop, think twice about connecting to their free Wi-Fi. Unsecured networks like these leave your data vulnerable to prying eyes and hackers with malicious intent. Instead, consider using your mobile hotspot to go online, or connect to public Wi-Fi using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which encrypts your data to keep it safe.
  4. Back up your data
    Protect yourself against data loss by backing up important and sentimental information. Following the 3-2-1 rule, you’ll want to keep three copies of your data at all times. Two of those backup copies should be stored on different media (e.g. one in the Cloud, and one on an external drive), with one of them located offsite.
  5. Think before you click
    Fraudulent links are one of the most common ways cybercriminals can gain access to sensitive information. Keep an eye out for anything suspicious, and when in doubt, don’t click!
  6. Share with care
    Be careful about what you post online. For example, posting a photo of your new house could reveal your home address. As much as possible, limit the personal information that you share, and remember that anything published to the internet is there forever.
  7. Check your settings
    Make it a habit to conduct privacy checkups on your social media sites and mobile apps, and make sure your privacy settings are at your comfort level.

Remember—it’s one thing to know how to keep yourself safe online. It’s another thing to put these tips into practice.

At DataVision, we care about keeping you and your family safe when using the internet. And if you have questions about your service, contact us —we are here and happy to help!