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The Internet can be intimidating with headlines about hackers, cyberbullying and phishing scams. June is National Internet SafetyMonth, giving parents the opportunity to talk to their kids about these issues and the importance of safe Internet use. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, 92 percent of teens report going online daily, with 24 percent noting they go online 'almost constantly.'

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 11:06

Improve Your Password Habits

Remembering a dog's name, 12345 or password123! is easy, but when it comes to protecting valuable information, those passwords share common patterns, creating vulnerability across the various accounts we all use every day. While many accounts are requiring stronger passwords with a combination of letters, numbers and characters, 59 percent of adults admit to reusing passwords due to the difficulty remembering them, according to a Harris Interactive survey. When using the same few passwords across countless accounts, ranging from the ones that need to be most secure, like bank and credit cards, to social media sites or free subscriptions, users are asking for trouble. If one account gets hacked, all accounts sharing the same password and email are at much greater risk.

Published in Tekk

MAINE U.S. Cellular announced that it is continuing its Community Connections program for the second consecutive year to support local youth organizations. Last year, the company sponsored more than 700 school groups and youth sports teams through a partnership with Pear, an online platform that connects local brands with local community needs. Now, academic and athletic groups (K-12) in Maine can sign up at www.pearup.com/uscellular to receive sponsorship from the company to go towards the needs of their group.

'As a neighbor and dedicated member of the Maine community, U.S. Cellular is committed to supporting programs and organizations that have a positive impact in the lives of our youth,' said Matt Kasper, director of sales at U.S. Cellular in New England. 'These organizations provide valuable learning experiences, and this program provides an easy and fun way for the community to rally together to support them.'

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 11:34

Smartphone dating etiquette tips

U.S. Cellular offers tips on enhancing your love life using a smartphone this Valentine's Day

Dating has changed drastically over the years, and with the newest smartphones, such as the iPhone 6s or Samsung Galaxy S 6, users can find 'the one' right from the palm of their hand. The Pew Research Center reports 21 percent of cellphone owners in a committed relationship have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message. However, finding and maintaining the connection can be difficult, so U.S. Cellular is offering Maine smartphone users etiquette tips to enhance their love lives this Valentine's Day.

'The latest mobile devices on a high-quality network can enhance relationships and keep couples connected more than ever before,' says Matt Kasper, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England. 'No matter where you are, you can rely on your mobile device to enhance positive relationships and keep connected to loved ones from your first date to your anniversary.'

Published in Tekk

BANGOR Being stuck inside while it is bitterly cold or snowy can be rough for people of all ages. But as long as you have a smartphone or tablet, blizzards, cold conditions or ice storms don't have to derail the entire day. U.S. Cellular is hosting a free Device Workshop in the Bangor area to show you the many ways your wireless device can keep the entire family entertained even when the weather outside keeps you indoors. The workshop is open to everyone, and you don't need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to attend.

'Whether you want to learn something new or be entertained, the right apps and our high-quality network that works when and where you need it will help you stay connected on a cold and snowy day,' said Matt Kasper, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England.

Published in Tekk

It seems that every day a new technology is introduced, or there is something new our wireless devices can do for us. In 2016, the plethora of devices that go beyond smartphones and tablets will change the way business is conducted and simplify everyday tasks.

Jay Ellison, executive vice president of operations for U.S. Cellular, sees 2016 as the year Maine residents see the benefits of the significant advancements in technology that have occurred over the past few years.

'As we continue to rely on wireless technology more and more for business, entertainment, health monitoring and communications, the devices and how we use them will continue to evolve,' Ellison said. 'With strong networks and creative ways to use them, there is technology on the horizon that can connect us in ways never before possible, and I have never been more excited about where these innovations can take us.'

In the new calendar year, Ellison anticipates three trends in the wireless industry that you may be hearing a lot more about in 2016.

1. Internet of Things goes mainstream

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already changing the way businesses view assets, manage their systems, and handle transactions, and in 2016 it will introduce new possibilities and opportunities for both businesses and consumers. The global market for IoT devices is expected to reach $6.6 billion by the end of 2015 and nearly $49.2 billion by 2020, according to BCC Research.

The benefits of IoT for businesses are tangible and fast to recognize. Having a sensor on inventory that sends an alert to a smartphone if it is moved or being able to remotely monitor a crop to determine if it needs watering provide immediate time and cost savings. These examples just scratch the surface of what IoT can do.

"Almost any physical item or asset can be connected to the Internet of Things," said Ellison. 'At U.S. Cellular, we mainly see the technology used with businesses, but it can be leveraged in everyday life as well. From smart homes to connected cars, the consumer face of IoT is beginning to emerge.'

2. Wearable devices take off

With the introduction of the Apple Watch this past year, the popularity and sales of wearable devices went to another level. Sales of wearable technology worldwide increased nearly 200 percent in the last three months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

There is a wide range of choices in wearable technology functionality, ranging from the basic fitness tracking to a smartphone-like experience. In 2016, more businesses will take to the technology, especially those in primarily mobile industries and government agencies.

'While they have yet to become an essential device, we can safely assume that smartwatches are here to stay in 2016 and for many years to come,' said Ellison. 'As we add the Apple Watch to our portfolio along with current wearable devices from Samsung, Moto, Fitbit, Garmin and others, customers will be able to customize their choice to their exact need.'

3. Wallets stay at home

When Apple, Google, Samsung, Starbucks and Walmart all launched similar products the same year, it must be important. That is what happened in 2015, when those companies began making mobile payment options available to their customers.

In 2016, expect to see more people checking out at retail stores using only their smartphones, along with more retailers adapting to the technology. These mobile payment apps securely store payment information and utilize near-field communication, or NFC, to offer wireless payment through a merchant's payment terminal. For users, that means faster and easier payments and all transactions organized in one place.

'I expect mobile payments to someday be the norm,' said Ellison. 'With the technology coming to more retail outlets and a reliable network that covers you nationally, you can have a hassle-free shopping experience with your smartphone in no time.'

Published in Press Releases

When it comes to the health of yourself or a loved one, it's important to know that mobile devices can assist in monitoring health issues. Today's mobile devices, along with health and wellness apps, can help simplify and enhance our lives. As February is American Heart Month, it is a great time to familiarize yourself with what your mobile device can do for you and your health.

With the appropriate smartphone, users with a Samsung Galaxy S5, an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus can access critical medical data, monitor their heart rate, calories consumed and burned, as well as their steps taken throughout a day - all on one device. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 34 percent of smartphone users have used a phone to help lose weight or improve their health. Of those, 66 percent have used an app to keep track of exercise or other fitness activities.

Published in Tekk

BANGOR In a recent U.S. Cellular survey, respondents indicated that 13 was an appropriate age for a child to receive their first mobile phone. Five years ago, this age was 15. Because the appropriate time can vary from family to family, parents can be challenged with how best to introduce their child to their first phone. To make this process as easy as possible for both parents and kids, U.S. Cellular recommends that families work together on guidelines for cellphone usage to ensure that children are using their phones responsibly, courteously and safely.

'Providing a child with their first mobile phone is a big milestone for any parent, and U.S. Cellular wants to provide tools to ensure this process goes as smooth as possible,' said Matt Kasper, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England.

Published in Tekk

Many of us will begin setting our New Year's resolutions in hopes of improving our health, minds or relationships in 2014. Today's smartphones offer apps that can help keep you on track and ensure you stick to your resolutions throughout the year. In fact, Prosper Mobile Insights found that more than one in four U.S. smartphone or tablet owners planned to use their smart mobile device to help them keep on track with their resolutions.

Mobile devices have become a vital part of our daily routine. Apps can help simplify and enhance our lives by providing us with the tools necessary to meet our New Year's goals and make positive improvements in our fitness, daily habits or even personal finances.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 15:44

Smartphones make it easier to go green

Looking for some fresh ideas to help make a difference on Earth Day this year? Look no further than your cell phone. According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it's estimated that more than 135 million cell phones about four per second - will end up in landfills each year, and only about 10 percent of cell phones are recycled. Making the choice to recycle a used device represents a tremendous opportunity to reduce waste in the environment.

The following suggestions from U.S. Cellular show how simple it can be to find nearby recycling areas via your cell phone and highlight other easy ways to be more sustainable when using your device. All recommended apps are available on Google Play, and the tips work across a range of devices including the 4G LTE Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Published in Tekk
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