PMT in the Community

PMT is committed to serving the residents of Southern Idaho, and our dedication to this area is fundamental to who we are as a customer-owned company.  Unlike our national competitors, we care about more than just making a profit.  We care about making a difference.  Here are some recent contributions PMT has made in the community:

Minidoka County Sheriff’s Office – $2500

PMT, along with Minidoka Memorial Hospital provided the funds for the Sheriff’s office to purchase a new drone to aid in police work.

 

High School Basketball Team Sponsor – $1900

Each player on the Oakley High School girls’ basketball team and Minico High School boys basketball team will have an individual banner to hang in the gym, as well as a team banner, sponsored by PMT.  The proceeds raised go back to the respective teams.

 

High School Sports Schedule Posters – $1800

PMT sponsored posters for Minico, Burley, and Oakley High Schools.  The posters feature a schedule of games for the various Falls sports teams at each school, along with pictures of the athletes.  They are distributed throughout the community, and a portion of the money goes back to each school.

 

Minidoka County Sheriff’s K-9 Hero Scramble – $500

The 2nd Annual Scramble will be held on July 24 at the River’s Edge Golf Course in Burley. All proceeds benefit the K-9 Program.

 

Minidoka Health Care Foundation Annual Golf Tournament – $500

PMT is a major sponsor of the 22nd Annual Minidoka Health Care Foundation’s Golf Tournament. The money raised from the scramble benefits the nonprofit Foundation to enhance health-related causes in our local area.

 

Goose Creek Run-Off – $300

The Oakley Recreation District is holding their 35th Annual Goose Creek Run-Off on July 18. The run features a wide array of participants ranging from seasoned runners to individuals simply looking for a fun day with friends. The funds raised from the event help the Oakley Recreation District maintain and manage the Oakley swimming pool and other recreational activities in the Oakley Valley. To learn more about the race, email goosecreekrunoff@yahoo.com.

 

Wee Links – $200

Wee Links is a six-hole youth-focused golf facility adjacent to the Rupert Elk’s Lodge. Our $200 donation will help keep operating costs low at the facility, so all youth have an opportunity to play with minimal green fees and club rentals.

 

PMT Night at the Minidoka County Fair

Every year PMT sponsors the concert at the Minidoka County Fair and provides free admission to all concert-goers.  This year PMT brought back crowd favorite Nathan Osmond.

 

PMT Customer Appreciation Event

PMT held a Customer Appreciation event on June 29th at the Rupert Parking lot.  There was free food, fun, and prizes for the 800+ attendees.

 

PMT Foundation Accepting Grant Applications

The PMT Foundation is seeking applications from organizations in the Magic Valley to receive financial funds that help support, sustain, and improve our community.  Favorable consideration will be given to:

  • Projects that reach a broader segment of the community.
  • Requests for seed money to realize unusual opportunities that meet urgent to special needs in the community.
  • Stimulate and encourage additional funding for community projects.
  • Promote cooperation and partnerships within the community.

The deadline to submit grant applications is August 21, 2020.

Application forms are available at www.pmt.org or PMT offices in Burley or Rupert.

For more information contact Rick Harder at (208) 434-7124.

About the PMT Foundation

The PMT Foundation was created in 2006 by the PMT Board of Directors as a charitable foundation. The Foundation furthers education in communities served by Project Mutual Telephone through its scholarship program and supports projects and programs that sustain and improve those communities.

To date, the Foundation has helped over 52 area students with funding to further their education beyond high school by continuing the scholarship tradition that PMT established in 1990.  The Foundation has contributed over $205,000 in grant awards to community organizations that help sustain and improve our local community through various projects.

2019 Recipients

2018 Recipients

2017 Recipients

2020 PMT Foundation Scholarship Awards

Four Magic Valley graduates will each be awarded a $2000 PMT Foundation Scholarship. They are Madilyn Hull of Heyburn, Tyler Gammon of Burley, Hannah Copmann of Rupert, and Karen Winslow of Twin Falls.  All four showed outstanding academic performance, exemplary community and extra-curricular involvement, and dedication to their future education.

 

“What a crazy and unusual finish to the 2019-2020 academic year it’s been!” stated Marianne Welch, PMT Foundation Board President, “But, one thing was the same as previous years. We received many exceptional scholarship applications from graduating seniors in the Magic Valley and Mini-Cassia areas. I want to congratulate our 2020 scholarship winners on behalf of the PMT Foundation Board. I’m confident the outstanding efforts of these students throughout high school will be a strong foundation for their success in college and beyond.” In the past 30 years, PMT, and now the PMT Foundation, has awarded over $140,000 in scholarships to our communities’ children. The four recipients are from across the Magic Valley.

 

Madilyn Hull is the 2020 Valedictorian of Minico High School.  Throughout her high school career, she maintained a 4.0 GPA while being involved in Business Professionals of America, National Honors Society, Spartan Singers, and taught Creative Writing Club at West Minico Middle School.

She plans on attending the University of Idaho this fall, where she plans to study advertising and graphic design.

 

Tyler Gammon is a hardworking, dedicated student from Burley High School with a 3.93 GPA.  Tyler took a challenging course load during his high school career and was highly involved in student council, Business Professionals of America, Leo’s Club, National Honors Society, and many drama productions.  In addition to his schooling, Tyler was involved in the Magic Valley Folk Festival as a guide, 4-H, and worked part-time. Tyler will be attending Brigham Young University, where he will pursue a degree in communications.

 

Hannah Copmann is a Minico High School graduate who finished her high school career with a 3.98 GPA and an associate’s degree from CSI. Hannah was involved in student body, National Honors Society, Business Professionals of America, and Science Club.  Hannah was also named the 2020 Distinguished Young Woman of Mini-Cassia, and the Distinguished Young Woman of Idaho.  In addition, she has worked part-time in the summers.  Hannah plans on studying health care administration with a minor in Spanish.

 

Karen Winslow is a determined graduate of Twin Falls High School, where she worked hard both in and out of the classroom while maintaining a 3.98 GPA.  She was the President of the Environmental Club, involved in Key Club, Science Club, student body, Business Professionals of America, Idaho Girls State, Quizbowl, and played tennis.  Outside of school, she simultaneously worked two part-time jobs.  Karen will be attending Cornell University, studying environment, and sustainability.  After Cornell, she plans to further her education and attend law school to become an environmental lawyer.

 

In its 14th year of existence, the PMT Foundation’s creation was authorized by the PMT Board of Directors as a charitable foundation to support worthy community projects and educational scholarships. The PMT Foundation furthers education in communities served by PMT through its scholarship program and supports projects and programs that sustain and improve those communities through community grants.

 

PMT in the Community

PMT is committed to serving the residents of Southern Idaho, and our dedication to this area is fundamental to who we are as a customer-owned company.  Unlike our national competitors, we care about more than just making a profit.  We care about making a difference.  Here are some recent contributions PMT has made in the community:

 

 

Twin Falls Archway

A 113-foot, 30-ton steel arch that looks like the Perrine Bridge was recently installed over Shoshone Street in Twin Falls. The archway has electronic displays that show messages, notifications and welcomes people to Twin Falls. PMT was happy to donate the fiber-optic cable and labor to make the brains of the display work.  By doing so, the City can link it back to their vast network connected by PMT Internet to update the sign remotely from their office building.

 

Business Plus – $10,000

PMT recently donated $10,000 to Business Plus. For over 30 years, Business Plus has joined with like-minded leaders to grow our economy through private donations. Through a team effort, Business Plus works with the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization, CSI, the State of Idaho, and local cities and counties. They’ve developed a unique model for economic development that has helped attract new businesses like Choboni, Clif Bar Baking Company, Fabri-Kal, and Dow Chemical. PMT has seen first-hand the benefits of attracting new businesses to our area because many of the new businesses that relocate to our area end up turning to PMT for their communication needs.

“We are grateful to have PMT as a partner in strengthening our economy by supporting job growth throughout the Southern Idaho region,” stated Rebecca Wildman, Business Plus Executive Director.

 

Rupert 4th of July – $5,000

PMT has once again committed to be a major donor to the Rupert 4th of July Celebration. The money will be used for the free entertainment and concerts in the Rupert Square.

“On behalf of the Rupert 4th of July Committee, I thank PMT for their continued support. We know we can always count on PMT to help us put on a spectacular 4th of July Celebration for everyone to enjoy. We are so grateful to have a community-minded company like PMT that goes the extra mile to give back,” said Alan Johnson, Rupert 4th of July Committee Member.

 

Annual QRU Fundraiser – $400

This event is put together to offer appreciation, and some much-needed financial support, for local heroes. All of the proceeds raised will be divided equally among nine local Magic Valley Quick Response Units. This family-friendly event is scheduled for July 19th and a schedule can be found at www.qrufundraiser.org

 

Minico American Legion Baseball – $150
This donation secures PMT’s logo at Warburton field during the season. More importantly, it gives the American Legion Baseball team’s funds a boost to help with field maintenance and defray costs incurred by the team.

4-H Beef Grants

PMT will be purchasing 4-H livestock at the Minidoka County Fair and the Cassia County Fair this year. With these purchases, we will provide 3 grants for a 1/2 beef. Non-profit organizations in our service areas can apply for a beef grant to be used in their daily operations or to be used as a fundraiser.

Applications are available here. The deadline to apply is June 30.

Secure Your Online Accounts with a Password Manager

 

With the coronavirus pandemic changing how and where people are connecting to the internet, online security has become a greater concern. You can decrease your chances of losing access to an online account or becoming a victim of cyber crime by changing the way you manage your many passwords.

 

It’s happened to us all. You try to log into your online account for work or school — or maybe just your social media account — and your mind goes blank. You don’t remember the password, nor can you find that slip of paper where you wrote it down.

 

Having numerous online accounts may lead you to take shortcuts, such as using common words for your passwords or even using the same password across several accounts. These shortcuts could put your personal information at risk. But there is a relatively easy solution: a password manager.

 

What is a password manager?

Password managers store your login information for all the websites and apps you use, and help you log into them automatically. They encrypt your password database with a master password — and this becomes the only password you have to remember.

 

According to Wirecutter, which offers consumer tips on a variety of gear and gadgets, everyone should consider using a password manager. “It’s the most important thing you can do — alongside two-factor authentication — to keep your online information safe.”

 

Below is information on some popular password managers:

LastPass:

  • Offers free version.
  • Base price beyond free: $36 per year for premium.
  • Works with: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iPhone and iPad. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera.
  • Several password managers offer a free option, but most limit you to just one device. The free version of LastPass allows you to store passwords, user login information and credentials and sync all of it wherever you want — across desktop and mobile devices and browsers. You can also share a login item with another person. Premium and family deals are available.

 

1Password: 

  • No free version.
  • Base price: $35.88 per year.
  • Works with: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iPhone and iPad. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Opera.
  • Offers free trial.
  • Both C-Net and Wirecutter list 1Password as the best subscription-based password manager. While it does not have a free version, you can try it for 30 days before signing up. An individual subscription comes with 1 GB of document storage and optional two-factor authentication through Yubikey for additional security.

 

Bitwarden:

  • Offers free version.
  • Base price beyond free: $10 per year.
  • Works with: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iPhone and iPad. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave and Tor Browser.
  • Bitwarden is a lean, open source encryption software password manager that can generate, store and automatically fill your passwords across your devices and popular browsers for free. It lacks some of the features included in other password managers, but if all you’re looking for is a service to manage your login information, Bitwarden is a solid choice. For $10 a year, you can add 1 GB of encrypted file storage.

 

There are more options available, which you can find by searching for “password manager” in your favorite search engine.

 

Some browsers — such as Chrome and Safari — have built-in password managers that will remember and auto-fill your login credentials. These are convenient and simple to use, but they have a downside in that they only work when you are using that particular browser. Browsers were not designed to be password managers, and they are not as secure as a dedicated password management app.

 

One of the best things about password managers is that they generate complicated passwords that would be impossible to guess. If you decide to create your own passwords instead, consider these tips from ConnectSafely.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating users of connected technology about safety, privacy and security:

ƒ

  • Make the password at least eight characters long.
  • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Create passwords that are easy to remember but hard for others to guess.
  • Include numbers, capital letters and symbols.

 

Take a moment to make a list of all the online accounts you have created, and you will quickly see the need for a better system of keeping track of them all. A password manager will bring that part of your life under control, while bringing a level of security to your life in these uncertain times.

 

If you have any questions regarding Internet Security or passwords, PMT Tech Force is available to help.

 

Watch Our For Covid-19 Scams

Criminals are opportunists. They will often capitalize on major news events to create scams to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is a perfect example. The fear evoked by the coronavirus creates the perfect opportunity for criminals to prey upon individuals with phishing, social engineering scams and more.

Some of the potential scams to watch out for include:

 

Phishing: The fraudulent practice of sending emails disguised as coming from reputable companies in order to entice people to reveal personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.

 

Social Engineering:  The use of social media to seek donations for fake charitable causes.

 

Nondelivery Scams: Fake advertisements for in-demand medical supplies that can be used to prevent/protect against the coronavirus. The criminals will demand upfront payment or initial deposits then keep your money and never complete delivery of the ordered products.

 

The U.S. Secret Service Agency offers the following advice regarding the above scams:

  • Phishing Emails/Social Engineering — Avoid opening attachments and clicking on links within emails from senders you do not recognize. These attachments can contain malicious content, such as ransomware, that can infect your device and steal your information. Be leery of emails or phone calls requesting account information or requesting you to verify your account. Legitimate businesses will never call you or email you directly for this information.
  • Always independently verify any request for information that appears to come from a legitimate source.
  • Visit websites by typing in the domain name yourself. Receiving “certificate errors” can be a warning sign that something is not right with the website.

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the World Health Organization say individuals are already using the coronavirus to impersonate WHO officials to steal money or sensitive information. If you are contacted by a person or organization that appears to be from WHO, verify their authenticity before responding.

 

The World Health Organization will never:

  • Ask you to log in to view safety information.
  • Email attachments you didn’t ask for.
  • Ask you to visit a link outside of www.who.int.
  • Charge money to apply for a job, register for a conference or reserve a hotel.
  • Conduct lotteries or offer prizes, grants, certificates or funding through email.
  • Ask you to donate directly to emergency response plans or funding appeals.

 

To learn more, visit information provided by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Secret Service.

 

PMT Tech Force is available to help answer any questions you may have and to keep your device and networks running in a healthy state.

Remote Work From Home Tips

 

As we try to curb the spread of COVID-19, many employers are giving people the opportunity to work from home. Here are some tips to stay focused and productive:

 

Set up a workspace. It can be a folding table and chair, but try to make sure it is away from any family members who might also be at home. For more information about setting up a home workspace, visit https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207306.

 

Stick to your routine. If you have a routine before getting to the office, stick to it. While the jammies are comfortable, it may help your mindset to get ready for the day in your usual way by looking and feeling a little more professional — even if that means just upgrading from pajamas to sweatpants or jeans to take on the day.

 

Don’t forget to move. Set alarms to take 10 to 15 minutes to move, stretch, get fresh air and disconnect from tech. It’s easy to get caught up in work and remain stagnant all day. For more information from Business Insider, visit, https://www.businessinsider.com/work-from-home-tips-health-2019-4#call-people-and-make-time-to-socialize-10.

 

Make sure calls are forwarded to your home or cellphone. Make sure you aren’t missing anything by taking advantage of call forwarding!

 

Be kind to your back! Don’t spend hours on your couch, recliner or bed. While it may be comfy, over the course of a day it can do damage to your spine and cause lower back pain. Use an office chair if you can, but any chair with a firm back is OK.

 

If you find yourself working from home, contact PMT today to ensure your connection offers the strength and bandwidth you need to work a from home without interruption.

A Guide to Web Conferencing from Your Home Office

 

Has COVID-19 forced your office to go remote? Video conferencing is a great tool for staying connected, but planning your first online meeting can be pretty overwhelming. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

 

In addition to fast, reliable internet from PMT here are a few tips to help you plan successful web conferences.

 

Pick the Right Program

For smaller, in-house team meetings, you can test the video conferencing waters for free with platforms like join.me, CyberLink U, and Skype’s group video chat. When big pitches or high-stakes meetings are on the line, it may be worth investing in paid software instead. Topping the list of PC Magazine’s Best Video Conferencing Software are ClickMeeting, Zoom, and Webex. (Pro Tip: Even the paid software platforms often have free plans with limited capabilities, so compare the options to find the best one for your needs and budget.)

 

Get Good Video Conferencing Equipment

Your laptop’s built-in webcam might work, but you should consider using a camera with a resolution of 1080p and speed from 30 to 60 frames per second. Business Insider’s top choice is the Logitech C920. It’s an Amazon bestseller that you can purchase for $79.99. If you’re interested in ultra HD, Business Insider also recommends the Logitech Brio 4K. Even though it’s a bit pricey—offered at $199.00—you’ll see why people love Brio’s stunning 60-frames-per-second image quality.

Because audio is also important and you certainly don’t want any awkward “Can you hear me now?” moments, you’ll probably want to invest in a noise-canceling headset that delivers clear sound. Windows Central recommends the Plantronics Voyager, a wireless headset that’s compatible across PCs and mobile devices.

 

Be Mindful of Your Filming Area & Dress for Success

Pay attention to lights, camera, and action. Unless you wish to appear as a spooky silhouette, follow these final tips:

  1. Position yourself in front of a light source with no illumination at your back.
  2. Natural light is best, but a lamp will do.
  3. Clear clutter from the background and look at the camera lens to convey eye contact.
  4. Keep body movements to a minimum.

And what about your wardrobe? Well, plaid may be great for weekends, but make sure to stick to solid colors while you’re in front of the camera.

 

Check Your Internet Package

 Of course, all of your carefully-made web conferencing plans will be for nothing if your internet can’t power the technologies you need to make them happen.

 

Contact PMT today to ensure your connection offers the strength and bandwidth you need to work and video conference from home without interruption.

 

PMT Lobbies Are Temporarily Closed

The COVID-19 threat is impacting all our lives and businesses. With Gov. Little’s stay-at-home order, we are committed to doing everything we can both to protect the health and safety of our employees and to continue providing the highest quality of service we can for you and our community. As an essential business, we will continue to be available to you.

 

Lobby Closures

PMT considers the health of our members and employees to be a top priority, which is why we have decided to close all PMT lobbies to walk-in traffic effective March 30, 2020 until further notice. PMT will continue to monitor the situation and will reopen for foot-traffic when it is deemed safe based on recommendations from our local, state, and national authorities.

 

How to Pay Your Bill

We encourage you to take advantage of our variety of options to pay your bill:

  • Pay online by visiting https://ebilling.pmt.org/
  • Pay by phone at (208) 436-7151 or (208) 878-7151
  • Take advantage of payment drop boxes located at each office.
  • Burley: in the front of the parking lot near the PMT entrance
  • Rupert: near the front entrance doors, and there is a second box around the back of the office in the parking lot.
  • Mail your payment to PMT, PO Box 366, Rupert, ID 83350

 

Service, Repair & Call Times

Over the past weeks, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in the number of new Internet installations as PMT has committed to providing at least 60-days free Internet to families with K-12 students who were previously without the Internet so that they can stay up-to-date on their learning during school closures.

We’ve also seen our call volume rise as businesses enact work-from-home policies, schooling moves online, and people turn to streaming entertainment in lieu of social activities. In many cases, people are finding that their current plan no longer meets their new day-to-day consumption. If your Internet needs have changed, or you need a free conference calling solution, please call us!

We will continue to do our best as we try to answer and respond to all incoming phone calls and messages.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and explore further measures to support our customers and the community as needed.

 

We are Still Working

PMT is considered an essential business, and while our lobbies may be temporarily closed, PMT employees are still committed to you. We are still working to provide excellent service for new installs, maintenance, and response to any outages. If you need to contact us, please call (208) 436-7151 or (208) 878-7151 or email us at pmt@pmt.org

 

Sincerely,

Dan Hoover, CEO