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7 Simple Tips for Better Wi-Fi Security

The new Super Wi-Fi network from Afghan Wireless makes it easier than ever for individual and business users to enjoy fast and convenient Internet access. But whether you’re connecting to the Super Wi-Fi service at home or at the office, you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping your wireless connection as secure as possible. Here are seven simple tips that both households and companies can use to help improve Wi-Fi security.

Change your wireless network name.

A home or small business wireless network will typically come with a pre-assigned name known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID); this is the name that mobile devices will see when they are trying to connect to your home or office network. The problem with continuing to use the default SSID for your network is that it can suggest to hackers that the network hasn’t been very well configured, and that it is therefore an easy target for an attack. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to modify the SSID to something that is harder for hackers to identify. Just be sure to avoid using your family name, as that could expose you to a possible risk for identity theft.

Change the default password and username for the network administrator.

log-in passwordAnother default network setting that should be changed right away is the login username and password that protects network settings and other account information. The purpose of the login screen is to ensure that only the rightful owner, known as the “administrator,” can make any changes to the network—but again, the default pre-set usernames and passwords are simple and very easy for potential hackers to guess. Make sure to change your administrator username and password immediately when setting up your network for the first time.

Choose a strong network password.

Having a strong password that must be entered by anyone wanting to access your network is an absolute must for security purposes. Without a password, anyone who is close to your network’s physical location can access your connection and potentially retrieve sensitive information. Common tips for creating a strong password include making it at least 20 characters long; using a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols; and avoiding common or easily guessed words or phrases like “password” or your name or your business’ name.

Enable wireless network encryption.

Encryption technology scrambles messages that are transmitted over wireless networks, making it more difficult for them to be read by humans. There are a number of common Wi-Fi encryption technologies in use today, including WPA and WPA2. For the most part, WPA2 is the preferred choice for home and small business networks as it has a strong degree of security. If multiple devices access your network—for example, if each of your family members access the network on their own personal mobile device—all the devices must have the same encryption settings enabled.

Create a guest network.

Most modern routers support the creation of a guest network, which is a secondary wireless network linked to the primary network, but with its own dedicated name and password. If you have friends or family members frequently visiting your home and accessing your network on their devices, or if your business often hosts meetings or receives visits from clients or colleagues who need Wi-Fi access while they are at your office, a guest network is a good solution for giving guests the access they need, while keeping internal network devices protected.

Check the placement of your router and make sure it’s physically secure.

wireless routerWhile you want your wireless signal to easily reach every room in your house or every area of your workplace, you want to avoid having the signal extend too far beyond the boundaries of your home or office. If possible, it’s a good idea to place your wireless router close to the center of the premises where you’re using your network. This helps reduce the chances that anyone outside of your home or office will be able to detect, and therefore potentially exploit, your wireless signal. In addition, physically securing the router by keeping it inside a locked room or cabinet, or by mounting it in a hard-to-access location like on the ceiling, can help minimize the chances of someone overriding security settings and returning the device to its default settings by pressing the router’s reset button.

Disable the wireless network when it’s not in use.

To further limit the possibility of hackers accessing your network, you may wish to disable your network completely when you’re not actively using it. If you have a home wireless network, you could disable it if you are going away for more than a few days. If you have an office network that is in use during the day, but not at night, you could automatically schedule your router to disable access during evening hours.

iphone

14 Business Apps for iPhone 6s That Will Boost Your Productivity

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, now available from all Kabul-area Afghan Wireless stores, is not just a great phone for personal use, it’s also an excellent device for businesses and entrepreneurs. Not only are many of its new features—from a secure fingerprint scanner to a higher-resolution screen—ideally suited for business use, it also supports plenty of efficient and effective iOS apps that can help boost productivity, streamline workflows, and improve a company’s bottom line. If you’re a business user thinking about upgrading to the iPhone 6s, here are some of the top business apps you should be sure to check out:

  • Things

Things has a reputation for being the best of all “to-do” apps. Easy to use and boasting many powerful features, Things helps users manage all kinds of actions, from one-off personal tasks to ongoing work assignments that recur on a regular basis. In addition, iOS Handoff technology allows for convenient cross-device syncing, so you can start a to-do list on your iPhone and cross tasks off on another device as you complete them.

  • Keynote

keynote app iconStunning and engaging presentations are at your fingertips thanks to Keynote. With plenty of easy-to-use visual tools, framing devices, interactive charts, and cinematic transitions, Keynote will help you dazzle your audience while its intuitive interface makes it a snap to use. And if you’re teaming up with partners on a different operating system, Keynote is also fully compatible with PowerPoint.

  • Skype for Business

The fresh look and simplified controls of Skype for Business lets business users easily hold and manage conversations on a variety of platforms. Among other options, users can monitor the availability of contacts, choose high-security settings for meetings, broadcast to large audiences, and switch between screens during meetings.

  • Workflow

Workflow offers an easy way to streamline things you usually do on your device by connecting actions together. By automating functions across other apps, you can increase your productivity when working on your iPhone. You can launch Workflows directly from the app or from other apps with the Action Extension.

  • Paper

Wherever you are, you can use Paper to create diagrams, sketch a design, make a flowchart, or outline a business plan. Like the smartest notebook you ever had, Paper makes it easy to capture and connect your notes, drawings, and photos.

  • MileIQ

mileiqappIf car travel is a big part of your job, MileIQ is the perfect app for you. Combining iOS Location Services with smart-drive technology, MileIQ helps you plan and detect your route, track your mileage, and automatically calculate reimbursement amounts.

  • Skitch

Skitch is a great way for businesses to help out-of-town clients, partners, or event attendees to get around in a new place. The app lets users mark up maps and images with information like directions between hotels and meeting sites, and other important location details that visitors need to get where they’re going.

  • Usher Security

Making use of iOS iBeacon technology, the Usher Security app helps businesses to manage employee access to secure locations without having to resort to physical badges or implement other credentials-based systems.

  • 1Password

Another great business security feature for the iPhone is the 1Password app. All websites, multiple identities, and sensitive data are stored in a secure vault accessed through a single touch, so you’ll never forget another password.

  • MagicPlan

magic plan iconIf you’re moving or rearranging offices, MagicPlan is a great tool to help visualize new layouts. Just take a picture of the room in question, and MagicPlan will let you measure its dimensions, draw out floor plans, and add attributes or annotations to create a useful indoor map.

  • GoToMeeting

You’ll never have to worry about running late for a meeting with GoToMeeting. This app lets you easily join a meeting on your iPhone when you’re on the go. When you reach the office, you can simply transfer the meeting to your desktop.

  • Genius Scan

This quick and easy PDF scanner allows you to scan documents and images while on the go and export them either as JPEG images or multipage PDF files. The app also offers guidance on the best camera and lighting settings to help you create the clearest PDFs. Within the app, you can easily organize large volumes of PDF documents by sorting based on tags, titles, or other features.

  • MailChimp

Free for those with mailing lists under a certain size, MailChimp helps users create and edit contact lists (of subscribers, customers, partners, etc.), send engaging and well-organized newsletters to one or more lists, and gain valuable insights on e-mail recipients through analytics. The iOS app is a great supplement to MailChimp’s desktop client for mailing list managers who are often on the go.

  • Pocket

Developed for users who may not always have reliable Internet access, Pocket lets you save articles and videos for offline use. This app is a great choice for long-distance commuters or frequent business travelers.

iphone 6s

10 Things You’ll Love about the iPhone 6s

With the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus now available from Afghan Wireless stores throughout Kabul, you won’t want to miss this chance to upgrade to the very latest in smartphone technology. Read on for a look at 10 terrific features you’ll be sure to love about this great new mobile device.

3D Touch

One of the most innovative new features of the iPhone 6s, 3D Touch uses special sensors just underneath the screen to detect the level of pressure of your finger, and offers different options or capabilities depending on how hard you press. Until now, this kind of pressure sensitivity has been mainly used in Apple’s drawing apps, but now the company has incorporated it directly into the user interface, where it adds a whole new level to a range of useful apps and functions.

Pop and peek

Thanks to 3D Touch technology, it’s now easier than ever to get a “sneak peek” at e-mails, texts, and webpages. Just tap and hold a link to jump into a preview (or a “peek”) of whatever you want to look at; it will appear above your current app in a floating window. If you want to continue reading, a firm press will “pop” the page open; if you want to go back to what you were doing before looking at the preview, just lift your finger to close the sneak peek and return to your previous screen.

Hidden trackpad

Another great use of 3D Touch technology in the iPhone 6s is the hidden trackpad feature. In any app, the Apple keyboard will transform into a trackpad when you firmly press on it and hold. You can then control the cursor simply by sliding your finger around, making it easy to place the cursor exactly where you want it. Pressing a little harder will allow you to quickly and efficiently select and highlight text. This feature is especially useful for correcting typos.

Live photos

Bring your photos to life with the new Live Photo feature in the iPhone 6s camera. When this feature is activated, the camera will automatically capture one or two seconds of video immediately before and after any picture that you snap, thereby creating something that’s a unique cross between a completely static image, an animated GIF file, and a short video. The Live Photo feature also records audio, thus making the complete file a full sensory experience.

Live wallpaper

Make your lock screen more dynamic by using a Live Photo as your background wallpaper; just press on the display when you’re in the lock screen and the image will come to life. There are also several ready-made motion wallpapers you can choose from if you haven’t yet made any Live Photos of your own.

Quick actions from the home screen

This great shortcut feature allows you to jump quickly from the home screen into a range of actions without having to first open the required app. For example, pressing firmly down on the camera icon in the home screen will bring up a menu of quick-access options you can select without actually launching the camera app; choosing the “Take Selfie” option, for instance, will directly open the front-facing camera. Similarly, whenever you’re in an Apple app, pressing firmly on a contact’s picture will bring up a menu of quick communication actions that you can use to easily call, e-mail, or message the contact. You can also send automated replies to a contact by pressing down on a message, then choosing a quick reply option like “OK” or “Thanks!”

Low power mode

A new feature of the iOS 9 system, the low power mode can increase your battery life by up to three hours. As soon as your battery drains down to 20%, you’ll receive a system notification asking if you want to enable low power mode. You can also turn it on manually from the Settings menu. This is a great option to help save your battery on days when you don’t have access to a charger.

Hands-free Siri

Even when your iPhone 6s is locked and the screen is off, you can still launch Siri using only your voice. You can enable this feature when you set up your phone for the first time or at any time through the Settings menu. Using this option, you can activate Siri simply by saying “Hey Siri” three times and then asking one or two questions. For security, Siri will only respond to your voice.

4K video

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have the ability to record 4K video, a great bonus for users who rely on their phones to capture and create high-quality video files. The various recording options are available under the Photos & Camera menu. However, you should be aware that 4K videos need a considerable amount of storage space.

Wi-Fi Assist

If you’re in a location with a weak or patchy wireless Internet signal, this feature lets your phone borrow from the local cellular data connection to boost your Wi-Fi connection speed. If you don’t want to use up too much of your data plan, you can control Wi-Fi Assist from the Mobile Data menu.

smartphones

Did You Know These Fascinating Facts About Mobile Phones?

How much do you really know about that little handheld device you use every day? These fun and fascinating facts about the history, development, and use of mobile phones may surprise you.

The first mobile call

The first mobile phone call took place on April 3, 1973, placed by Motorola vice president Martin Cooper to Joel Engel, the head of research at AT&T’s Bell Labs. Cooper was in charge of the team building Motorola’s first mobile phone. The prototype his team developed took 90 days to

Martin Cooper

Martin Cooper | Image courtesy Wikipedia

put together, cost the equivalent of $1 million in today’s money, weighed an impressive 2.4 pounds, and measured 9 x 5 x 1.75 inches in size. It also required about 10 hours of charging time for enough battery life for 20 minutes of talking.

To place the call, Cooper stood on Sixth Avenue in New York City, near a 900 MHz base station his team had erected for the purpose, and dialed Bell Labs in New Jersey. At the time, AT&T, one of the largest and most successful telecommunications companies around, was also conducting similar work on mobile phone prototypes. As Cooper remembers it, there was silence from Engel’s end of the line when Cooper announced to his rival that he was calling from a functional mobile phone: Cooper later commented he suspected Engel was “grinding his teeth.”

The first mobile phone for sale

Despite the first mobile phone call having been made in 1973, it took another decade for mobile phones to hit the market. Made by Motorola, the first commercial handheld mobile phone was dubbed the DynaTAC 8000x (for “Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage”) and was released for sale on March 6, 1983. A slimmed-down version of the 1973 prototype, this phone weighed in at 1.1 pounds (for reference, the iPhone 6 weighs 0.28 pounds), and had 30 minutes of battery life when talking and eight hours when on standby. It also carried a whopping price tag of $3,995, the equivalent of about $9,300 today.

Cooper’s Law

In addition to going down in history as the maker of the first mobile phone call, Martin Cooper has also given his name to a technological law. According to “Cooper’s Law,” the rate at which technology is advancing is such that every 30 months will see a two-fold increase (a doubling) in the number of different wireless communications that are simultaneously possible in one location. Amazingly, this law has held true since 1895, when the Italian inventor and engineer Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first wireless signal.

The origin of “cellular”

In many parts of the world, mobile phones are known as “cellular” or “cell” phones, after the way the different areas served by towers are divided up: each distinct area is known as a “cell.” The word “cellular” was first used in this context in 1977, and the first recorded use of the term “cell phone” occurred in 1984.

How many phones?

cellphonesIn 2014, the top five countries with the most active mobile phones were China with 1.2 billion phones, India with 904 million phones, the United States with 327 million phones, Brazil with 276 million phones, and Russia with 256 million phones. In the same year, however, a much smaller country took the honors for the largest number of active phones per person: tiny Montenegro had an active mobile phone usage rate of 192.5%, or almost two phones per person. In 2017, the number of mobile phone users worldwide is expected to reach 4.77 billion.

Other fun facts:

Because so many people in Japan use their phones even while taking a shower, 90% of mobile phones in the country are waterproof.

Scientists in Bristol, England, have developed a charging system for mobile phones that is fueled by urine. Plans are currently underway for the development of a “smart toilet.”

If an Apple iPhone battery is drained and fully charged once a day, it will only consume about US$0.25 of electricity in an entire year.

According to some sources, mobile phones are most commonly used today not for talking and not for texting, but simply for checking what time it is.

In Finland, mobile phone throwing is an official national sport, with a world championship competition that has been held every year in the town of Savonlinna since 2000. So far, the longest recorded throw is just over 320 feet.

The world’s most expensive mobile phone was a special version of the iPhone 5. Launched in 2013, the custom phone was built using gold as well as black diamonds. Its retail price was $15.3 million.

The world record holder for “fastest texter” is Sonja Kristiansen of Norway. She set a Guinness World Record for taking just 37.28 seconds to text the following message: “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality, they seldom attack a human.”

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4 Amazing Ways Mobile Phones Can Power Change in the Developing World

The increase in access to mobile phones that has taken place globally in recent years is having a profoundly transformative effect on developing nations all over the world. Much more than just tools for staying in touch with family and friends, mobile phones are being used in an incredible range of different ways to help previously underserved people and communities significantly improve their quality of life. Read on for a look at some of the areas in emerging economies where mobile phones are powering life-changing initiatives.

Money and finance

currencyMobile banking and money programs, like My Money from Afghan Wireless, are among the best-known mobile-based innovations. These programs provide people who never had the opportunity to be part of the traditional banking system with the fundamentals of a financial education, as well as the tools to perform simple but essential financial tasks like putting aside savings, paying merchants, and sending money to family members. Thanks in large part to the introduction of mobile banking platforms, the World Bank estimates that, between 2011 and 2014, there was a 20% drop in the number of unbanked people worldwide.

Governance

The instant connectivity that mobile phones offer allows governments and NGOs working in developing nations to get critical real-time information from citizens on how to resolve the problems that affect them. UNICEF, for example, operates a program called “U-Report” which regularly polls 1 million members in 15 countries by text message and works to put into action the information and opinions it receives. When an entrepreneurship grant that had been set up in Uganda wasn’t receiving any applications, for instance, a U-Report poll revealed that the school diploma requirement was a barrier for many potential applicants. Thanks to this information, the requirement was removed and applications poured in.

Mobile phones can also help citizens have a voice, quite literally, in their own governance. In 2014, Libya made history by introducing the world’s first-ever mobile voter registration system for their parliamentary elections, thus helping to remove some of the obstacles, such as security issues and lengthy travel, that would have prevented many eligible voters from registering. The system, which was designed in just six months by a staff of 20 people working with open-source tools, was usable both within Libya and by the 800,000 people of the Libyan diaspora living outside the country’s borders.

Agriculture

Subsistence farmers in developing economies often live in a precarious state, constantly at risk from changing conditions in the weather, the markets, and the environment. Mobile phone programs help provide these individuals with information and other valuable tools that can give them more agency and control over their situation. In Kenya, for example, a company called Green Dreams Tech created a unique text messaging-based service called iCow, which helps agriculturefarmers track their cows’ fertility cycles and overall health. This information allows them to build healthier, more productive herds. The same company also offers Best Mbegu for You (“Best Seeds for You”), which uses text messaging to help farmers determine which seeds would grow best in their region and where they can buy them.

Yet another example comes from Kenya at harvest time, when an excess supply of grain means that prices are at their lowest. Unfortunately, most smallholder farmers do not have the option of waiting till prices improve before they can sell to traders, as they do not usually have access to large grain warehouses or proper storage practices. To address this problem, the Grameen Foundation and Farm Concern International teamed up with USAID to develop an integrated, mobile-enabled system targeting smallholder maize farmers. The system, known as E-Warehouse, gives farmers access to proper crop storage and management, connects them with financial institutions where they can receive partial advances against their stored crop’s value, and puts them in touch with markets to conclude the final sale of their crop when prices have rebounded.

Health

Access to life-saving medication is a vital issue in developing nations, but just as important as the medication itself is the information on how to use it properly. Staying on track with treatment is a challenge for people living with HIV and AIDS in Mozambique, where the average retention rate is just 72% after 12 months of anti-retroviral therapy. However, when the British non-profit organization Absolute Return for Kids began using mobile messaging to send patients reminders about upcoming appointments and when to take their medication, the retention rates jumped to 85% after 12 months of treatment.

Pregnancy and maternity care is another critical health care issue for most emerging economies, and mobile messaging is making a big difference here as well. In 2009, the Grameen Foundation and Ghana Health Service joined forces to improve the quality of prenatal and neonatal care in Ghana through the Mobile Midwife app, which sends pregnant women, new mothers, and their families time-specific information and advice in their own language every week. A second app, the Nurses Application, allows community nurses to collect and centrally upload patient data to allow for better tracking of patient care and to identify mothers and babies who are due for follow-up appointments.