Microsoft warns of widespread scam around COVID

Microsoft’s Security Intelligence team has warned that it has been tracking a “massive” phishing campaign that attempts to install a remote access tool onto PCs by tricking users into opening email attachments containing malicious Excel 4.0 macros.

Microsoft said the COVID-19 themed campaign started on May 12, and has so far used several hundreds of unique attachments.

The emails being sent out claim to come from the Johns Hopkins Center bearing the title “WHO COVID-19 SITUATION REPORT.” If the recipient attempts to open the attached Excel files it will open with a security warning, and show a graph of supposed coronavirus cases in the US. But if allowed to run, the malicious Excel 4.0 macro also downloads and runs NetSupport Manager.

While NetSupport Manager is a legitimate remote access tool, it’s known for being abused by attackers to gain remote access to – and run commands on – compromised machines, Microsoft said.

“For several months now, we’ve been seeing a steady increase in the use of malicious Excel 4.0 macros in malware campaigns. In April, these Excel 4.0 campaigns jumped on the bandwagon and started using COVID-19 themed lures,” Microsoft’s Security Intelligence team said.

Seven Virtual Job Interview Tips to Land the Gig

Seven Virtual Job Interview Tips to Land the Gig

During a job interview, 55 percent of any message is conveyed through nonverbal gestures. A firm handshake, strong eye contact, how you sit in a chair or fold your hands – all communication signals that are read by your potential employer. However, during a virtual interview, many of those body language cues are eliminated. A confident grip and poised demeanor may leave a good impression on a hiring manager when you meet in person, but how do you become memorable during a virtual interview? Use these tips from industry experts to increase your odds of getting a call back.

Virtual Interview Tips

  1. Test the connection. It doesn’t matter how well your resume fits the job description if you can’t make the virtual connection. Well ahead of your scheduled interview time, test your connectivity. High-speed internet is a must for clear, reliable connection. A fiber-optic network will deliver a high-definition picture and sound quality so you can clearly see and hear the interviewer.
  2. Set the scene. Choose a well-lit space with minimal distractions in the background. If possible, position your seat near a window or blank wall to keep the attention on you. Turn off any nearby electronics, like the television or cell phone, to eliminate background noise.
  3. Look the part. Just as you would dress professionally for an in-person interview, you should do the same for a virtual introduction. Colors tend to appear brighter on a computer screen, so stick with solid, moderate colors like hues of green and blue. Avoid prints, as they can be a distraction. These other attire tips will help you choose the best option for your digital interview.
  4. Do your research. Sit down prepared with knowledge about the company for which you’re interviewing and answers to popular interview questions. Just because you’re sitting at your computer doesn’t mean you can click around for the information you need during the interview. Be present and focused on the questions.
  5. Sit up straight. While you can’t offer the amount of body language involved in a traditional interview, you can be aware of your presence in front of the camera. Sit up straight, keep the camera at eye level, and maintain eye contact. Research shows employers are more likely to remember what you say if you hold eye contact.
  6. Be yourself. Don’t attempt to overcompensate for not meeting in person. One of the main advantages of a virtual interview is that you’re in a familiar, comfortable environment. Relax, and allow your enthusiasm for the position to shine through in a natural way. Engage by asking questions about the role and company.
  7. Follow up. Write a short email of thanks and continued interest to each person who sat in on your interview. It’s customary to send the follow-up message within 24 hours of the interview.

A virtual interview can be your first step into a fulfilling career. Ensure you’re prepared for a virtual meeting with reliable high-speed internet and use the tips above to make a lasting first impression.



Loris High School Senior Receives The Foundation for Rural Services Scholarship

A senior from Loris High School was selected as the recipient for The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) Roger Allen Cox Scholarship. Colby Gerald will receive the $500 award to go toward his expenses to attend Southern Wesleyan University, where he plans to study music education.

Colby Gerald

The FRS Roger Allen Cox scholarship award is named for the late Mr. Cox, former Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Atlantic Telephone Membership Cooperative in Shallotte, NC and is intended to honor Mr. Cox’s passion and endless drive to help ensure that rural Americans have equal access to quality technology and education. HTC supports the youth of our community and is proud to be a part of this worthy program.

The FRS scholarship program is open to all graduating high school seniors who receive local telecommunications service from HTC and have a desire to return to their community once their studies are complete. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited two-year or four-year college or university, or vocational technical school, and have at least a C-grade point average.

“We are honored to be a part of this program,” said Tom Vitt, HTC director of public relations. “The FRS Scholarship program is one more way telecommunications providers show their support of the youth living in the communities they serve. We are proud to have a local candidate selected this year.”

Scholarship recipients were selected by an independent team of national reviewers from the education field.

Isn’t It Time Your House Got a Little Smarter? 

Living in a smart home may sound like a futuristic idea, but it’s much closer and more accessible than you might imagine. From programming your garage door to open when you pull onto your street, to being alerted to an open window or door in your home, or seeing who’s on your porch with a doorbell camera — the benefits of a smart home aren’t reserved for the movies. You can easily add safety features to your home while controlling nearly every aspect of how it operates with HTC Connected Home Security. As our community begins to re-open and we attempt to return to a sense of normalcy, now is the time to transition to home security and automation.

Simplifying Safety

HTC home security is even more important as you transition back to work and your older children are allowed to spend time alone. With an integrated security system, you’ll have complete access to the home and your child’s movement. HTC Connected Home Security uses motion sensors, video monitoring and automated door locks. This lets you, for example, watch live video of the interior or exterior of your home with high-definition cameras that operate via your high-speed Internet.

Home security and automation work together to protect your loved ones. With a smart home smoke detector, you’ll get professional monitoring for emergency response and real-time text alerts if smoke is detected. When you or your children are home, you can use the 7-inch color touchscreen keypad, when integrated with a doorbell camera, to speak to an unexpected visitor without opening the door. Whether your concern is for children or elderly parents, the HTC Connected Home Security features make your life exponentially easier and give you peace of mind.

Convenient Accessibility

The days of leaving a spare key under the welcome mat are long gone. HTC Connected Home Security allows you to reduce the chance for a crime of opportunity while still making your home accessible to guests. As we all become more comfortable with visits from friends and family, you’ll be able to remotely unlock and lock your doors. With the touch of a button on your cell phone, you can welcome guests into your home or allow the neighbor to set a delivery inside the house. Once the package is delivered or guests are inside, you can lock the door remotely.

Enhance Energy Efficiency

The average home spends north of $2,000 each year in energy costs, according to Energy Star. As you may have guessed, the majority of that is spent on heating and cooling, especially during the heat from South Carolina summers. When 43% of your energy cost revolves around your home’s central heating and air, finding a way to make the system operate more efficiently can be a welcome relief to your wallet. 

The EPA’s Energy Star program has determined that homes with programmable or smart thermostats can save up to $180 per year on heating and cooling. As we enter the summer season, a smart thermostat allows HTC Connected Home Security to automate and remotely control your home’s climate. This allows you to schedule your energy settings — in the warmer months, for example, increasing the temperature when no one is home and cooling your home when it’s time for everyone to return. Plus, you’re alerted to any opened windows or doors, letting you know when energy is being lost. 

All the features of HTC Connected Home Security work together to make your life easier and more secure. Turn lights on and off, alarm your home, respond to a visitor’s knock, and much more. Gain peace of mind this summer as your children spend time at home, guests arrive for weekend visits, and you’re returning to life back in the office. Explore an interactive map of the HTC Connected Home Security possibilities.

Phishing attempt targets @sccoast email users

The following message has been received by some with @sccoast email accounts.

The message is a phishing attempt and users SHOULD NOT click on the link. HTC would never send a message asking you click a link to proceed.

Always be wary of unsolicited emails attempting to scare you into taking action.


Coronavirus concerns prompt cancellation of HTC Green Fair

Green Fair


HTC will celebrate National Earth Day by hosting the 11th Annual Green Fair on Wednesday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be held at the HTC store in Conway on Highway 501 across from HGTC and will be filled with giveaways, music, and opportunities for community members to recycle old items.

Sustainability and education about the importance of conservation and recycling will be the focus of the event. Community members are welcome to attend free of charge and take part in a variety of festivities, including:

  • Sign up for paperless billing,
  • Drop off old telephone directories and cell phones for recycling,
  • Drop off e-waste, any kind of used electronic devices including batteries for recycling,
  • Drop off sensitive documents for FREE onsite shredding by Shred-it, and
  • Visit booths set up by local environmentally responsible organizations to learn about green initiatives.


Green Fair guests will also have an opportunity to demo TV MAX, the all-new streaming tv service, enter to win one of several Amazon FireTV Sticks from HTC, enjoy music, hotdogs and refreshments, and take home a few free gifts. Local mascots will make an appearance and HTC will offer product specials, including 20% off wireless accessories.

“Sustainability is a top priority at HTC, and the Green Fair is a way to introduce simple ways to recycle and positively impact our environment,” said Tom Vitt, director of marketing communication. “When the communities we serve are able to come together for fun and learn how conservation plays a vital role in minimizing our eco-footprint, it’s a win for everyone.”

If you are unable to attend the Green Fair, HTC encourages everyone to please be responsible and recycle directories and other items at the nearest Horry County Solid Waste Authority Recycling Center location.  A list of recycling centers is provided in the preliminary pages of the HTC Directory or online at

HTC to unveil TV streaming product

If you’re ready to maximize your television viewing experience, HTC TV MAX is the streaming service you need. HTC is excited to unveil what will soon be the newest service added to the HTC product lineup, and it comes with a few great benefits to our members.

HTC TV MAX is in its testing phase, and will be available in the coming months. The new service will feature a streaming platform that has the potential to save members money on their monthly bill. The streaming service doesn’t require an HD box, so you’ll be able to eliminate that hardware and the associated cost.

In addition, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite channels in high-definition. More than 120 channels will be presented in the highest quality, enhancing your late-night or weekend binging experience. Use play back and DVR to catch the shows you miss, and access programming from your phone, tablet or laptop.

HTC TV MAX will mirror the digital cable subscription, offering your local channels and all the live programming you enjoy. The guide is consolidated and easy to navigate. Scroll through available channels or use voice control to search for the programming you desire. It’s the best of both worlds, combining a modern streaming experience with the traditional easy-to-use functionality of cable TV.

Visit our HTC TV MAX page to learn more to be one of the first to try the new feature. It’s time to take it to the MAX.

Who will survive March Madness?

March madnessTo the college basketball fanatic, no greater words are spoken each March than “Selection Sunday.” March Madness begins the same way each year, and Selection Sunday 2020 falls on March 15. The NCAA selection show is slated for 6 p.m. on TBS (HTC Digital Plus 47 and HD 847).

While the 32 Division I conference tournament winners are recognized as automatic qualifiers and each receive a bid to the NCAA tourney, the remaining 36 slots are by invitation only. The selection committee, a 10-member NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee, is comprised of school and conference administrators who are nominated by their conference. These 10 people use a variety of stats and ranking to decide who receives an invitation.

Once the 68 teams are finalized, the madness begins. The selection committee ranks the teams 1 through 68. Four of the teams are eliminated in the first round of play, leaving 64 teams to be divided into four regions of 16 teams each. From there, each #1 seed plays the #16 seed in their region, presumably making the opening matchup easiest for the #1 ranked teams.

Every single March Madness game will be broadcast on either TBS, TNT, TruTV or CBS. We’ll post the full schedule here when it is available, but until then, use the HTC channel lineup guide to determine which channels you’ll need to familiarize yourself with so you don’t miss a minute of March Madness.

Never miss a game with MLB Extra Innings

MLB logo

MLB Extra Innings is your inside scoop to out-of-market baseball coverage on top of your local coverage. HTC offers access to this exclusive look inside all out-of-market games, offering up to 100 games a week from across the country. You’ll experience play from both leagues and every division.

If you’re following a fantasy team or have a hometown favorite club, MLB Extra Innings is your way of following all the action. This digital subscription programming package also includes access to MLB.TV, allowing you to stream from your laptop, smartphone and tablet.  

To access the MLB.TV service, MLB Extra Innings members will need to have an HTC TV Everywhere username and password and will also need to create a user account at If you want to check out MLB Extra Innings before committing to a subscription, explore one of the free preview periods, available March 28 – April 4 and July 12 – July 18.

If you like what you see, grab the package. MLB Extra Innings doesn’t allow purchase of individual games, but you can choose to have the Regular Season, Half Season or Pennant Race Package. Below is the MLB Extra Innings 2020 season rates and package dates. To subscribe, call the HTC customer care team at 843-369-6660.


Dates are subject to change based on revisions made to the season by MLB regarding the Coronavirus.