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Online Safety in Internet of Things Age

Today protecting yourself online means dealing with a lot of different threats all at once. A growing number of households have microphones in their room, thanks to Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, in addition to many other smart devices that help run a home more efficiently. And while away from home, almost all of us have probably jumped online using public Wi-Fi to use an app, do an internet search or send an email.

All of the above pose threats to your cybersecurity; while setting up and learning the necessary protections require time and attention, not doing so can have devastating consequences if your security is breached or identity is stolen.

A recent Pew Research Center survey on cybersecurity found that 49 percent of Americans polled felt their personal information was less secure than it was five years ago, and a majority (64 percent) said they have been exposed to some kind of data breach.

In today’s smart homes, a growing number of items are connected to the internet with the intention of making our lives easier, as TCA’s February newsletter article on the recent Consumer Electronics Show explored. But smart home devices are pretty dumb when it comes to safeguards, requiring effort on the part of the consumer to keep them from providing another entry point for hackers.

From changing factory-set default passwords to activating your home router’s firewall to disabling camera features, here’s a few steps you can take to minimize your exposure around the house.

What about public Wi-Fi? Many cable operators – including TCA Members Charter (Spectrum) and Comcast (Xfinity) – offer their subscribers access to more than 500,000 nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots through the network name CableWiFi.

If you have to use public Wi-Fi, such as offered by a coffee shop, retailer or even public transportation, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your data. For example, look for sites with an encrypted connection or a network that requires a password. Also, connect to the right network – ask the establishment where you are for the name of the network; hackers can set up spoof hotspots. You can find additional tips here.

Super Bowl LI

Millions of viewers are expected to watch the Super Bowl – last year 114.4 million tuned in – but how? Turns out, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite the growing popularity of streaming video, 71 of respondents to a recent survey said they plan to watch the game at home on TV with a traditional pay-TV subscription. Another 16 percent said they would watch via live-streaming video apps or the web, although that percentage was higher among millennials.

When it comes to the big-buck, highly anticipated Super Bowl ads, however, 43 percent of those surveyed said they’re either likely or very likely to rewatch their favorite Super Bowl commercials online. And what will they see this year? The lineup will include the first-ever live ad, with accompanying Facebook streaming of 30 hours of original content, courtesy of Snickers. Hyundai will be shooting footage at the game and quickly producing a commercial that will air directly after the game ends and before the trophy ceremony.

If you can’t wait until Sunday, subscribers to Comcast X1 platform can now watch 30-minute recaps of all Super Bowls and highlights from this year’s playoffs, stream related Web clips from several “top” sports networks, and get a sneak peek at some of this year’s Super Bowl commercials.

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February Programming Highlights

Fridays starting at 8p CT

Join INSP every Friday night all month long for an adventure across America with new episodes of their newest original show, State Plate, followed by Season Two of the award-winning original series, Handcrafted America, where this month,  host Jill Wagner visits Texas-based artisans who customize wind chimes to a song of your choosing!

State Plate: Musician and restaurateur Taylor Hicks tastes his way across the United States on a quest to assemble plates that represent each state’s most historic, famous, and tastiest foods. Learn more HERE.

Handcrafted America: Host Jill Wagner seeks out talented artisans who continue to make products the traditional way…with their own two hands. Join Jill on Friday, February 17th at 8:30p CT as she visits Earthtone Chimes, owned by Franz Connor Blanchard and Davis Blanchard, located in Austin, TX. Learn more about her visit to Texas HERE.

Follow INSP on Twitter here for the latest news and information.

TBS: The Detour 

Season 2 Premieres Tuesday, February 21 10/9c
During season 2 of this all-too-honest look at the family dynamic, Nate (Jones) receives a promising job opportunity, and the family moves to New York City for a fresh start. Everyone is excited except for Robin (Zea), who knows that a move to the big city means her mysterious past may catch up with her. While Nate and Robin adjust to new jobs, new neighbors and old flames, the kids dive headfirst into the awkwardness of adolescence. Despite questionable parenting and terrible decisions, the love the Parkers have for each other will keep the family intact as they endure another disastrous adventure.
The History of Comedy on CNN
Premieres on Thursday, February 9 at 9pm ET
This new CNN Original Series explores what makes us laugh, why, and how that’s influenced our social and political landscape throughout history.


Longtime Texas Capitol staffer Ryan Weiseman has been hired by the Texas Cable Association (TCA) to serve as its legislative director. Weiseman joins Velma Cruz, recently hired as TCA’s vice president and general counsel, as the TCA government affairs team.

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Texas Cable Association builds governmental relations staff

The Texas Cable Association is pleased to announce it has a new governmental relations team in place as the 85th legislative session gets underway.

Velma Cruz, an experienced telecommunications public policy lawyer, has joined TCA as vice president and general counsel. Cruz joined TCA after 11 years as the government affairs manager for Sprint Corporation, where she represented Sprint’s state legislative interests in 14 states and territories during her tenure. Learn more about Velma Cruz.

Longtime Texas Capitol staffer Ryan Weiseman will serve as TCA’s legislative director. Weiseman comes to TCA with 10 years experience at the Texas Legislature. Most recently, he was a budget analyst for the Senate Committee on Finance. Learn more about Ryan Weiseman.

If either Velma or Ryan can be of assistance, do not hesitate to contact TCA at (512) 474-2082.


Velma Cruz, an experienced telecommunications public policy lawyer, has joined the Texas Cable Association (TCA) as vice president and general counsel as the 85th Texas legislative session gets underway.

Read More