Employee Feature: Cameron Wilson

[3/25/2021] If you haven’t met him already, we would like to introduce you to Cameron Wilson. Cameron is part of our fiber installation team, and also does a lot of splicing. This means Cameron is responsible for connecting our customers to our speedy fast fiber.

Cameron was born and raised right here in Owosso where he was homeschooled all through high school and met his wife, Rachel (pictured). In his free time, Cameron enjoys spending time with his wife, dog, and family.

“My favorite part about working at DayStarr is the camaraderie between myself and my co-workers. I also appreciate how the team not only cares about my work as an employee at DayStarr but also values my personal life. I have seen very few companies that care about their employees and customers the way DayStarr does,” stated Cameron

We are happy to have Cameron as a valued member of the DayStarr team!

Safe Online Messaging Apps for Kids

[3/25/2021] Our children are growing up in the digital age, surrounded by technology in all its wonder—and danger. While there are plenty of good reasons to embrace technology, it represents a significant risk for children, who can easily get lured by online predators.

Apps like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and Instagram were not designed with kids in mind. Parental controls aside, most kids are savvy enough to get around them if they want. Privacy and protection from harmful content are the biggest concerns. Fortunately, there are several kid-friendly messaging apps that combine safety, accountability, and parental monitoring to give your children what they want in a parent-approved package.

Here are a few ideas for child-friendly messaging and chat apps:

Messenger Kids

Messenger Kids delivers the Messenger experience to your children in a safe, parent-controlled environment. Parents create their kids’ accounts, control their contact lists, and review content through the customizable parent dashboard. Kids can also block and report users themselves, which instantly notifies the parents. There are no in-app purchases or ads to worry about, and users have all the features, stickers, GIFs, emojis, and creative tools they need to express themselves fully.

Kinzoo (6+)

Kinzoo promises a superior experience over Messenger Kids, and as a COPPA-certified app, you can be confident of their commitment to safety. Kinzoo offers a complete range of messaging functionality, including voice, text, video, images, emojis, and pretty much everything they need to get their points across. The video chat features a time-limited setting to encourage more meaningful connections, and overall it’s a great—and safe—online experience for children six and up.

Blinx (8+)

The Blinx app calls itself “kindergarten for social media,” as its mission, essentially, is to give children a controlled environment to learn the joys of online social interaction without the worry. Only your selected “in-crowd” can send messages or share photos, videos, and vemos (voice memos), and your kid can send their own instantly with a single click. Data privacy is assured because messages are only stored on your in-crowd’s devices. If the message isn’t downloaded, it’s deleted from Blinx’s servers for good.

JusTalk Kids

JusTalk Kids gives your children all the fun calling and messaging features they’ll love in a safe environment. One nice bonus is that since it works over Wi-Fi, you don’t need a phone number to get the most out of it; in other words, you can repurpose an older phone that’s not locked to a number or provider. Your kid will enjoy doodles, stickers, games, group chats and calls, and easy connections to family members who already have a JusTalk account. One caveat – it’s a paid app, either by subscription or a one-time fee, but there are plenty of cool features to justify the expense, and they do offer a three-day trial, so you can see what it’s all about.

If your children are clamoring for social connection, there are plenty of safe, controllable, and fun ways to satisfy their needs. Just make sure to look for apps that prioritize privacy and give you the level of control and oversight you feel comfortable with.

Newly Completed in Our Network

[3/25/2021] We have just completed what we call SC10. This area borders at E King St. to the north then follows N Water St. to the west, tracking down E Oliver St as a southern border until we reach N Saginaw St. and then we track south again to E Exchange St. The eastern border fills into the area that we completed around Emerson School back on 10/15/2020. Roughly using Oak St as a border until reaching E Oliver St where N Saginaw becomes the eastern border.

We are signing up new customers up in this area now! If you or someone you know lives within this area, let them know that they can now get DayStarr Fiber!!

Next, we will be working on what we call SC19. SC19 is our first Fiber Service Area on the southern side of town. Building in the general area of Bryant School will be our area of focus for 2021. The first area will pick up our feed at Stewart St, using Michigan Ave and S Shiawassee St. as an eastern border, tracking down to W South St. for a south border. S Cedar St. acts as a western border for this first area and runs the full length north to the railroad tracks as our northern border. We plan for this area to be complete this June and we’ll start taking signups for this area at the beginning of the summer.

Cleaning Your Devices – Inside and Out

[3/25/2021] Spring is just around the corner, and you know what that means. It’s time for spring cleaning! When we think of spring cleaning, we typically think about dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and generally turning our homes inside out. But with the amount that we use our electronics, they could use a thorough scrub. So today, we’re going to talk about how you can spring clean your devices, both inside and out.

Exterior Device Cleaning

When cleaning, stay away from abrasive materials such as paper and fabric towels. To wipe your electronics, go with a soft, lint-free cloth, like those used to clean eyeglasses.

Do not use liquids to clean your devices unless explicitly stated in the care manual. That includes water and liquid cleaners like bleach and other corrosive fluids. Getting liquid in any of your devices’ openings can cause damage, especially to the speakers, headphone jack, or charging port. It’s also best to avoid aerosol sprays like Lysol air freshener – however, aerosol air compressors, or ‘air in a can’ can be an effective way to clear the dust out of your devices’ nooks and crannies.

If you need to use a gentle cleaner—ideally one formulated for use on electronics—do not spray it directly onto your device. Spray the cleanser onto your soft cloth, and then gently wipe the device. When you clean, be sure to disconnect all wires, cables, and external power sources to your device.

If you feel the need to disinfect your phone or laptop, it is acceptable to use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe to clean the non-porous exterior surfaces of your device

Interior Device Cleaning

Scrubbing the inside of your devices is a little more complicated than merely spritzing and wiping. Before you begin clearing out your desktop, start by backing up your data. You can back up everything or pick and choose what you want to keep. Depending on your preferences, you can then export your data to the cloud or save it to an external hard drive.

Once everything is secure and backed up, you can start organizing and decluttering. Even if you accidentally delete something you still need, you can rest easy knowing that all your data is saved elsewhere. Having an overcrowded desktop can cause your computer to run slowly, so it’s a good practice to keep everything neat and tidy. The same goes for your email. Go through your emails regularly, delete what you don’t need, and organize the rest into files and subfiles.

Many devices run apps in the background, even if you don’t use them. You may not even notice this is happening, but it can cause your device to run slower. Learn how to prevent infrequently used apps from starting up when you use your device, and for even more efficiency, disable those that you don’t use.

Your cleaning efforts, plus fast and reliable internet from DayStarr will keep your devices running more quickly and smoothly.

New and Improved Online Services

[3/25/2021] This year has already seen some exciting growth and new features for our company and team! One of those things being, online signups. From our website, new customers can now check their availability and if service is indeed available, they can sign up right then and there. This opens a ticket in our systems which then notifies our team to get them on our install calendar. We also added online scheduling as well!

We are looking forward to the efficiency of online sign-ups. This feature will be convenient for new customers and saving them time. Since we launched it just a couple of weeks ago, we have already seen multiple signups while we slept. How great is that? We sleep, and you sign-up!

Another new and exciting online service is our online chat support. This chat is accessed through a bubble on the bottom right corner of our website and connects you directly with our team. This chat is great for any internet questions and quick troubleshooting if needed. We are currently monitoring this chat between 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

Any new or existing customer is more than welcome to still call the office and talk to a team member if wanted or needed. Our personal touch is not going away.

Employee Community Service Program

[3/25/2021] DayStarr as a whole has always been committed to serving our community. Both by providing excellent service and by volunteering when we can. That is why we are happy to announce the launch of our Employee Community Service Program.

Here’s how this exciting employee program works. Anytime a full-time employee volunteers in Owosso or surrounding communities, they can submit a form to their supervisor. The hours volunteered then earn said employee extra vacation time. Who doesn’t love that?! These volunteer hours can be earned on nights and weekends, or during business hours with supervisor approval. Each employee is eligible for up to 8 earned hours of community service time, each year!

This being said, our annual Give Back Day is not going away. We still have plans for this event to take place every summer/fall. This annual, all-day event is an opportunity for our team to volunteer together as a whole. A fun day out of the office, team building, and community service all wrapped into one event. Our new program will add to our company’s community involvement as well as allow and encourage employees to volunteer in our wonderful community more often.