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National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Teach your children about mobile device safety

CybersafeMy husband and I come from a generation where our first memories of the latest and greatest in mobile technology are a pager and a pocket full of quarters for the closest payphone.

So it still baffles me when I see young children constantly connected through Facebook and Twitter, tapping at the latest devices at record-breaking rates. Being recently married with thoughts of starting a family hot and cold in my mind, I find myself wondering: Do these children know how to use their wireless devices safely? Do they understand how to protect themselves from potential threats?

In honour of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, here are a few useful tips for parents looking to teach their children to use their mobile devices safely:

  • Before your child uses the wireless device, make sure to create a strong password and activate other security features.
  • Make sure your child understands the dangers of messaging and giving away his or her mobile numbers or other personal information. Here are some good general rules: Think before texting. Only share your number with people you know. Ignore messages from people you don’t recognize.
  • Learn how to turn off geotagging on your child’s phone so that photos don’t reveal their location.
  • Make sure you know how to block others from calling your child’s phone. Using caller ID, you can block all incoming calls or block individual names and numbers.
  • Teach your child to ask for permission before taking pictures or videos of their friends with their phone. Likewise, your child should be encouraged let others know they need to ask permission before taking photos or videos of them.

For more tips on staying safe online, check out our top five tips and visit Rogers Tech Essentials™ or see the Government of Canada’s Get Cyber Safe resource website. Have questions? Visit the Rogers Community Forums for answers to your technical how-tos.

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Canadian carriers help fight smartphone theft

Phone securitySmartphone theft has become an increasingly worrisome issue for Canadians. So we’re excited to announce the next step to help fight the battle against smartphone theft. The wireless industry is launching a national blacklist of wireless devices that have been reported as lost or stolen. When a customer reports a lost or stolen phone, we will add the device’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number to the GSMA IMEI database or “blacklist.” We’ll use this stolen device blacklist to check that the wireless device has not been reported lost or stolen by participating Canadian and U.S. carriers. If it has, we won’t activate the phone on the Rogers network. The Canadian stolen device blacklist will also be available to participating carriers internationally through the GSMA IMEI database.

As part of this initiative, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) has also launched a lookup tool on the www.protectyourdata.ca education portal. Consumers can simply enter the IMEI of a pre-owned wireless device to find out if it has been blacklisted on the GSMA IMEI database.

Here are some additional tips for protecting yourself and your device data against theft:

  • Always be wary of your surroundings when carrying or using your phone. One moment of distraction is all that is required for a potential thief to steal your device.
  • Protect your data by making sure your device is password protected.
  • Keep track of your IMEI number by writing it down and storing it somewhere safe. You can access your number by typing *#06# in to your device or by looking behind the battery on the back of your device.
  • Install an application that will enable you to remove/erase data from your device remotely in the event of loss or theft.

For more useful tips, visit www.protectyourdata.ca. Also, check out this post on what you should do if your phone has been lost or stolen.

To read more about the GSMA IMEI Database, click here.

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From Customer Care to Rogers Office of the Ombudsman: How we resolve customer issues

OmbudsmanAt Rogers, we take our commitment to listening to you, our customers, seriously. Not only do we have a process in place for you to voice your concerns and resolve your issues quickly, we’re also the only telecommunications provider in North America to have an Ombudsman to provide an independent review of your unresolved concerns.

In 2012, 91 per cent of customers were satisfied with the Ombudsman’s resolution, according to the recently released Annual Report. As well, the majority of customer cases received by the Office of the Ombudsman were resolved within 30 days.

However, 74 per cent of cases submitted to the Ombudsman may have been resolved sooner by following the Rogers Four-Step Complaint Resolution Process:

The Office of the Ombudsman is the last step in our Four-Step Complaint Resolution Process, and most customer concerns get resolved quickly and efficiently by our Customer Care agents. But in the rare event that your concern can’t be resolved in the first three steps of our standard escalation process, the Office of the Ombudsman is there for you.

Click here to read more of the Office of the Ombudsman’s 2012 Annual Report.

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How to get your internet connection running at top speed

LaptopIf you’re like most TV viewers today, you probably catch up with the latest TV shows and movies online through your smartphone, tablet or computer. In fact, our latest Rogers Innovation Report found that more than 8 out of 10 Canadians are logging screen time on a device in addition to a television.

We know how frustrating it can be when you can’t stream a video because your internet connection is not fast enough. And while most would assume it’s an issue with your internet service itself, we have some newly released data that shows this isn’t always the case.

Based on a recent study by SamKnows, an independent leader in broadband performance testing, SamKnows has found that Rogers customers received, on average, 106 per cent of advertised download speeds when our network is the busiest. By comparison, U.S. carriers tested by SamKnows performed at an average rate of 97 per cent during peak periods. In a separate study of broadband speeds in Europe, SamKnows also found European ISPs delivered only 74 per cent of advertised speeds during peak hours.

If you’re experiencing some issues with the speed of your internet connection, these handy tips from Tech Essentials can help you troubleshoot:

  • Make sure your wireless router isn’t slowing you down: If you’ve signed up for a fast internet plan, you need a fast wireless router to get all that speed. If you have an older router, data won’t transmit as quickly over Wi-Fi, and you might not get a connection as fast as you’re paying for.
  • Locate your router centrally in your house: Main or upper floors are better than basements. Also, position your modem and router away from other electronic devices.
  • Beware of spyware: Spyware, malware and viruses can cause your computer to slow down. Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software and run it regularly.
  • Choose a strong Wi-Fi password and set your encryption to WPA2: Strangers freeloading on your Wi-Fi may slow down your network’s performance.
  • The best connection is a wired connection: Connect your modem directly to your computer using your Ethernet cord, bypassing devices such as routers, to get a better connection.

For more help on maximizing your Internet speeds, visit the Rogers Community Forums, a friendly community of Rogers customers eager to help out.

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Independent study shows Rogers Hi-Speed Internet customers get their advertised speeds

SamKnows logoWhether you’re sending emails or streaming video, speed matters.

We’re serious about speed too and our network engineers pride themselves on delivering the speeds we advertise. So late last year, we started working with SamKnows, an independent world leader in broadband performance testing, to conduct speed performance testing based on real customer connections.

The results are in and we’re happy to report that our customers aren’t just getting their advertised speeds – they’re often getting more.

Here are the highlights:

  • Customers on our Lite, Express, Extreme, and Extreme Plus packages all received average speeds of at least 100 per cent of advertised speeds on both uploads and downloads.
  • Rogers customers received, on average, 106 per cent of advertised download speeds when our network is busiest. By comparison, U.S. carriers tested by SamKnows performed at an average rate of 97 per cent during peak periods. In a separate study of broadband speeds in Europe, SamKnows also found European ISPs delivered only 74 per cent of advertised speeds during peak hours.
  • Preliminary data suggests that customers on our Ultimate package also get their advertised speeds. But because the sample size is small, we’re continuing to test with more connections to validate these results.

To read the SamKnows report, please visit www.samknows.com/rogers.

Having issues with your internet connection? Check back on RedBoard tomorrow for help troubleshooting your speeds.

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How to unlock your phone with Rogers

We get a lot of questions here on RedBoard about device unlocking. How does it work? What are the restrictions? What does unlocking even mean?

Here’s a quick guide.

So what is unlocking anyway?

By unlocking your phone, you can use your wireless device with a SIM card from another mobile carrier. This is a great benefit to customers spending extended time away in other countries that need to stay connected.

What are the restrictions?

When you purchase a wireless device on a new or existing Rogers account at full price, you are eligible to unlock it immediately.

For those customers who are under a term commitment, we have made some changes to our device unlocking policy to give you more flexibility in the way you use your wireless device. In March 2013, we’ll be changing our policy so that you no longer have to wait until you complete your full term commitment – you can unlock 90 days after activating your device on the Rogers network. We’re also making it even easier for you to have your phone unlocked by bringing it to any of our Rogers retail stores.

How much will it cost?

You can unlock your device for $50 plus applicable taxes.

Update March 6th, 6pm: Hi everybody. We’re happy to announce that our new unlocking policy will be implemented effective March 28th.

 

Patricia is a regular Redboard contributor.

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It’s National Cyber Security Awareness month

Are you using the internet safely?

As our lives become more connected online through mobile phones and social networks, it’s important to educate ourselves about internet security and the threat of cyber-crime.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the Government of Canada has launched the Get Cyber Safe national public awareness campaign, which provides helpful information and tips on how to keep you and your family safe online. Here’s a few highlights from the campaign that we think you might find particularly useful:

Creating and Using Passwords

  • Make sure your password has at least eight characters and avoid using common words that can be found in a dictionary
  • Use different passwords for different accounts, change your passwords often, and commit them to memory
  • Avoid using automatic login features that save your username and password
  • Password protect every device

Online Banking and Shopping

  • Choose strong passwords for your banking and online investment accounts and keep them private
  • When making transactions online, look for the lock symbol on the website or “https://” at the beginning of the website address, which indicates that the site is encrypted
  • When you’re banking online, never use public Wi-Fi or public computers

Social Networks

  • Check the privacy and security settings of your social network and use them to control who sees what
  • Never include your phone numbers, email address, home address, work details, or any other personal information on your profile page
  • If someone you don’t know tries to “friend” you, ignore it
  • Before you post pictures, think about whether or not they’re appropriate or giving away too much information about you

For more tips and information on how you can protect yourself from cyber risks, visit the Get Cyber Safe website at www.getcybersafe.gc.ca.

Also, check out this pamphlet with useful Cybersafety tips for your wireless device.

Patricia is a regular contributor to RedBoard

 

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Buckle Up: Rogers Hi-Speed Internet Is Getting Faster

As the company that first introduced high-speed internet to Canadians, we know you look to us for faster speeds and dependable service. As part of our ongoing commitment to you, we’re pleased to introduce our fastest internet service yet as well as added assurance when it comes to your broadband internet usage.

Introducing our New Ultimate Hi-Speed Internet plan

With download speeds of up to 150 Mbps* and upload speeds of up to 10 Mbps, our New Ultimate Hi-Speed Internet plan takes surfing the Web to the next level by offering the fastest internet service available to the most homes and double the download speed of our old Ultimate service. For a monthly rate of $122.99 (excluding modem) and with a 250 GB monthly usage allowance, customers will enjoy more of what they want, faster, through their Rogers Internet service.

The New Ultimate Internet package will be available to all our customers in Ontario by the end of this year, and to Atlantic region customers by early 2013. Please drop by a retail location or contact us to see if this service is available in your area.

Surf with confidence

We are always reviewing our systems and processes to ensure they’re working the way they should. When it comes to the tools we use to measure customer wireline broadband data usage, we’ve taken this one step further. We’re working with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) to certify the processes and systems we use for accumulating your broadband data usage. We are working towards SysTrust Certification for our Hi-Speed Internet Data Meter Systems, a rigorous process developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).

We are proud to be the first Canadian carrier to participate in this process. PwC is reviewing our internal processes and systems including how data usage records are generated, collected, aggregated, and displayed on the online Data Meter for billing and reporting purposes. The SysTrust Certification process can take up to a year to complete, but we are well on our way.

We’re committed to Creating World-Leading Internet Experiences in partnership with our customers. We continue to invest in our networks and introduce new services like Rogers One Number and Rogers TechXpert to ensure we are responding to our customer’s ever-changing internet needs.

* Speeds may vary with Internet traffic, server or other factors.

  Patricia is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Report: Canadians enjoy some of the world’s fastest internet speeds

Earlier this week we marked the one-year anniversary of Canada’s first LTE wireless network here at Rogers. With over 60% of the Canadian population on track to have access to the fastest wireless network technology in the world by the end of this year, it’s no wonder Canadians have been found to enjoy some of the fastest internet speeds globally, as well as lower mobile wireless prices and lower prices than in the U.S. for telecom services.

In a report released earlier this month by the CRTC, Canada’s wireline, wireless, and internet services were compared to those of other major countries. How did we fare relative to countries like the U.S., U.K., France, Australia, and Japan? Here are the highlights:

Canadians have access to increasingly faster internet service speeds.

Although the price for broadband internet service in Canada has increased since 2008, this is largely attributed to the significant increase in average service speeds offered by Canadian internet providers. For example, an average high-speed internet consumer with 50 GB of data usage per month saw a 100% advertised speed increase in their service – from 14.2 Mbps in 2011 to 28 Mbps in 2012.

When it comes to mobile internet service, due to investments in 4G LTE mobile internet access services, the report finds Canada’s average advertised speed is significantly higher than that of the other five surveyed foreign jurisdictions.

Canadians’ mobile wireless costs are decreasing.

In the wireless service baskets that most closely reflect average Canadian mobile usage, the price for mobile wireless service has decreased substantially over the last few years. An average consumer with 1,200 incoming/outgoing minutes, full set of optional features, 250 text messages and 1GB of data usage per month saw a 12% decrease in the price of his/her plan since 2008 – roughly 3% per year on average. Note that this figure does not take into account handset subsidies which are included in the price of wireless plans for Canadian subscribers, compared to European subscribers that are predominantly on prepaid or SIM-only plans. An inclusion of handset subsidies in this price comparison could result in an even higher reported percentage decrease in wireless price plans since 2008.

Canadians enjoy lower prices for telecom services than their neighbours to the south.

The CRTC’s study shows that Canadian wireline telephone, mobile wireless, and broadband internet prices are consistently and considerably lower than the average prices in the U.S. As well, when it comes to bundled service packages, some of which include digital TV services, from 2008 to 2012 average prices for a telecom bundle have always been cheaper in Canada than in the U.S. In 2012 alone, the average price difference between Canada and the U.S. for the same bundles ranged from $47 to $66 per month.

You can read a copy of the CRTC’s full report here.

Patricia is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Top eight enhancements to our Rogers retail stores

New Rogers Retail storesJust as technology is changing quickly around us, so are your technology needs. At Rogers, we’re excited to introduce a brand new retail approach to help you get the most of your products and services.

On May 18th, we’re officially launching our new and fully redesigned Rogers store at Yonge and Bloor in Toronto. We will be launching over 20 newly redesigned stores across Canada through 2012 in major markets in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

Here’s a list of the eight most exciting enhancements you can expect to see at our new retail stores:

  1. We’ve transformed the look of our stores. Our completely new, open, and ultra-modern design features interactive displays to best showcase our newest products and services, and tons of seating and activities so you can feel right at home!
  2. We’ve become a one-stop shop. You’ll now have access to the full suite of Rogers products and services in-store, including account activations, hardware upgrades, and many other service transactions.
  3. We’re giving you hands-on experience with our products. We’ve set up new product stations throughout the store, so you can actually try our products and services prior to purchasing them.
  4. We’re changing your service experience. You will now be greeted by a host at the reception table who will determine your needs and set up personalized one-on-one appointments with our experienced customer service representatives.
  5. We’re making you a part of the Rogers community. Our interactive learning sessions and group product demonstrations will take place at our new community table where you can come chat with our seasoned tech experts or share tips with other Rogers customers in-store.
  6. We’re keeping you informed. A new wall calendar lists all our in-store events such as learning sessions, product launch dates, as well as community, sports and entertainment events that you may want to know about, like upcoming Blue Jays games and concerts from your favourite artists.
  7. We’ve made our stores even more comfortable for you. Swing by for a quick coffee, read through the latest magazines, and  enjoy some down time as your kids play with toys and activities available in-store. We also offer free Wi-Fi so you can stay connected while you visit the store.
  8. We’re going to make you want to come back. You can now sign up for complimentary group learning sessions in-store, where you can learn how to use our newest products and services in a friendly and engaging environment. For example, if you’re new to Android, we’ll be hosting Android 101 sessions to help you get the most out of your new device. Have your say by letting us know what types of learning sessions you’d like to see in-store – we tailor these learning sessions according to your needs.

We’ll be posting some pictures and a video from our official launch event soon. Stay tuned!

Have you visited one of our new stores lately? Let us know what you think.

UPDATE (May 18, 2012, 11:30 a.m): We’ve just uploaded an album of pictures from last night’s Rogers retail store launch event on our Google+ page! Check them out here. A video will be coming soon! Stay tuned!

UPDATE (May 18, 2012, 7:24 p.m): Here is the video recap of last night’s official launch of the new Rogers retail store at Yonge and Bloor in Toronto:

Patricia is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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