Father of the Cell Phone, Martin Cooper

The man who imagined, visualized and invented the first wireless cell phone was inspired by none other than Star Trek’s venerated Captain Kirk.

Martin Cooper is 85 years old. Forty years ago, he made the first call from a completely wireless cell phone, igniting a trend that would change our world.  Using a 2.5 pound, awkward device he called “the brick,” Cooper made an historic call to Bell Labs from a street in downtown New York in 1973. Cooper knew this was just the beginning of a wireless world.

MartinCooper.EricRisberg.APAn amazing futurist, Cooper feels his invention will eventually evolve into a sophisticated sensor that will relieve humanity of disease.

“Just suppose that you could do a physical examination, not every year, which people do and which is almost worthless, but every minute, because you’re connected, and because we have devices that you can put on your body that measure virtually everything on your body. If you could be sensing your body all the time and anticipate a disease before it happens,” Cooper said.

The device Cooper envisions would scan and report any problems in the body, and instruct the user on how to heal them.

In addition to his many other patents, Cooper recently invented the Jitterbug, a large-key phone designed for seniors and those who want a no-frills, easy to see device. He believes in personalized devices suited for individual needs, as opposed to the “one size fits all” concept.

Cooper’s brilliant career includes leadership positions at Motorola and AT&T, martincooper1973collaboration with the FTC, his own company called “Dyna,” as well as a number of books, publications and awards. He stays focused on the future and the potential of wireless communications and speculates that we are only now just getting started, saying, “If we don’t blow ourselves up, this is going to be a really wonderful world.”

While you’re out shopping for mobile devices and accessories for that special father in your life, take a moment to remember Martin Cooper, a man who fathered what may be the most important technology of our time. And make sure Dad’s new phone is protected with the most powerful mobile security available.

Here’s to fathers of all kinds.

Mobile Phone Acting Funny? It Could be Malware.

The growing mobile malware scourge makes news every month. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky folks who’s never had an experience with fraud or malware, but fraudsters who make a living with it are reaching new lows these days. If your data’s being siphoned off, your privacy invaded or your money being swallowed up,  how would you know?  Here are a few things to keep an eye on.

  • Has your phone’s behavior become slow or erratic?  Does it act sluggish when performing the same functions it did rapidly in the past? Is its battery draining at a more rapid pace than usual?

If malware has entered your phone’s system, it could be performing activities in the background, such as placing unauthorized text messages to premium numbers, sending out bots that gather and transmit your contact information, or other mischief.

  • Do you notice when you’re talking on your phone that your calls get disturbed, or even dropped completely, for no apparent reason?

girlscoolclimateberkeley3Same answer.  Each form of malware has a specific task, whether it’s a bot that collects and sends out your data to a remote location, or a Trojan that opens up and releases viruses, or bots that have other specific jobs. Bad code is programmed to go to work once it’s downloaded and receives a pre-determined signal to wake up. What you could be noticing is background activities that are interfering with your phone’s normal functions.

  • Check your phone bill carefully. Are there charges for SMS messages you know you didn’t send, or are small charges appearing that you can’t explain?

Some malware has the ability to dial out text messages from your phone to “premium” numbers, which automatically charge you for the call. This can be happening repeatedly without your knowledge. This happens in the background – you don’t see or hear it happening, but you’ll see the charges on your bill – they can become very expensive if they aren’t caught early.  Small charges on your bill might indicate that your account’s being tested for viability.

As a matter of course, always check your credit card and bank statements. If you’ve downloaded malware that might have stolen your passwords or financial data, you could see your credit being used for things you never dreamed of buying.

  • Are you receiving odd SMS or voice mail messages, or have your friends asked why you’re sending them strange messages?

Some malware is designed to steal your contacts, as well as spreading spam or phishing ploys to everyone on your contact list. If someone mentions a weird email from you, get your phone scanned and protected immediately.

Before you download apps, take a moment to look up reviews, and make sure you get all your apps from reliable sources, such as Google Play. Never, ever accept a free app, and try to avoid clicking on spammy ads and offers. Educate yourself about URLs, and how to spot one that doesn’t look right. Change your password frequently and keep your geo-location features turned off when they’re not in use. Finally, don’t respond to any SMS messages, voice messages or emails from a sender with whom you’re not familiar.

Strong mobile security protection can detect and prevent any form of nasty malware that threatens your phone. With just a single download you can cross malware concerns off your list. Do it today, and relax about malware.

Women Love Smartphones

We’re not going to bore you with an effusive discussion about selfless Mothers this week. As much as we love them, mothers are women first so, instead, with all due respect to mom, we want to talk about women’s growing fondness of smartphones.

A recent survey showed women inching up past men in the smartphone-owning category. Chances are your own mom has a smartphone. Whether she’s a young stay-at-home mom, a mid-life professional or a retired grandparent, women love the conveniences afforded by smartphones.

In 2010, a UK survey showed that 63% of men owned smartphone, as opposed to women, whose ownership percentage was then 37%. Now, in 2013, that balance has changed. The same survey now shows women claiming 58% of the smartphone pie, while men follow with 42%.

Clearly, women have jumped onto the cell phone bandwagon in greater numbers as the technology became just too good to resist. Larger screens, super cameras and easy interfaces have made the smartphone a factor in women’s lives more than ever. The advances in kid-tracking apps and practical tools for just about every function of daily life have boosted women’s interest in smartphones considerably, not to mention the plethora of business and learning apps. With the huge workload most moms carry, a smartphone is a welcome addition to the family.

Do your mom a favor this Mother’s Day. If you’re far away, give her a call. If she doesn’t have a smartphone, get her one. While she lounges on the beach, arranges those roses or leisurely works on that five-course gourmet meal you’ve cooked for her, offer to do a little maintenance and checkup on her new phone, or the one she already owns.

While you’re making sure all the updates have been downloaded and her settings are all in good order, go ahead and download a strong mobile security product to keep her phone safe from malware, and to protect her privacy. She protected you for years – maybe it’s your turn. Happy Mother’s Day to the wonderful women in your life.

The Worst Passwords Ever – Are Yours Here?

In honor of Password Day, we decided to revisit our popular blog post from last year about passwords. As relevant today as it was then, this list of hackers’ favorite passwords may surprise you.

25 mobile passwords hackers love

We’ve all read hundreds of password-setting tips. Most of us know the rules and we’re pretty savvy about using clever combinations to safeguard our mobile privacy. However, Splash-Data, a password management company, published a list of the worst passwords ever and, astonishingly, some of them look all too familiar!

The list came from files posted online by hackers listing passwords theyd stolen in 2011. These words are considered easy targets and, while some of them might seem obscure enough, they’re  well-known to cyber criminals, and are a breeze to hack.

Introducing, the worst passwords ever

·      password

·      123456

·      12345678

·      qwerty

·      abc123

·      monkey

·      1234567

·      letmein

·      trustno1

·      dragon

·      baseball

·      111111

·      iloveyou

·      master

·      sunshine

·      ashley

·      bailey

·      passw0rd

·      shadow

·      123123

·      654321

·      superman

·      qazwsx

·      michael

·      football

If you’re wondering about qwerty and qazwsx, take a good look at your computer’s keyboard.

We can only guess why certain names come up often enough to be on this list, but if you have a family member named AshleyBailey or Michael, this is fair warning.

In fact, avoiding every word on this list is a good start toward true mobile protection. Make your passwords long, strange, mixed up with symbols, and meaningful to no one but yourself.

Keep Learning

Awareness of mobile security practices is evolving in our communities, but each of us can take individual steps toward our own safety and privacy. Information like this list needs to be shared so we can stop cyber-crime in its tracks.

We at NQ Mobile can’t help you choose a password, but we can protect you from hacking, viruses and all forms of malware. One easy download will go a long distance in protecting your family’s mobile devices as well as your peace of mind. Award-winning NQ Mobile Security is still the best on the market – and it’s free.  Visit us today.

Family Guardian Honored by Parent Pub, NAPPA

Since its launch in September of 2012, our award-winning Family Guardian security app has been honored with its fifth distinguished award.

NQ Family Guardian won the National Parenting Publication’s Seal of Approval this week in the “Gadgets ‘n’ Gear” category. NAPPA’s panel of independent, expert judges and parent testers evaluated hundreds of submissions looking for innovation, safety, quality, and the value they offer to parents.

NQ Family Guardian helps parents keep kids safe

Once Family Guardian is downloaded and installed on a child’s smartphone, its  web-based control center is accessible by a parent or guardian from any desktop or mobile browser. The app gives parents a wide range of choices about the latitude they want to allow for their mobile kids, and it’s easily adjusted for changing age and maturity. The app allows parents to decide how much time their child spends on a mobile device, what content the child can view online, and allows parents to monitor their kids’  mobile activities. In addition, kids can press a button for immediate contact should an emergency arise. With its user-friendly interface, parents and children can work together to set “blocks” and “allows.” Family Guardian keeps mobile kids safe, and provides parents with peace of mind.


For more than 20 years, the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) has been the go-to resource for the best products for families. Decisions are made by their team of independent, expert judges, along with family and child testers.  Julie Kertes, NAPPA’s General Manager, tells us,

Parents look to NAPPA for the best products available for their families, and for that reason, we don’t take the task of vetting each submission lightly. NQ Family Guardian provides peace of mind for parents as they teach their children phone responsibility and safety, and through our judging process, we are proud to announce it as a superior, reliable and innovative product worthy of the NAPPA seal of approval.”

We can’t ask for much higher praise than that.

 A consistent award-winner

We’re proud that NQ Family Guardian continues to receive awards that acknowledge its unique and outstanding features. In addition to this week’s NAPPA honors, Family Guardian has earned:

  • Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) seal of approval.
  • Top 25 app at the CES Mobile Apps Showdown
  • Semi-finalist in the 2013 Edison Awards
  • Finalist in the “Mobile Apps- Productivity, Utility & Public Safety” category of CTIA’s annual Emerging
  • Technology (E-Tech) Awards competition. (Winners to be announced May 22, 2013)

NQ Family Guardian is available for download on Google Play and at select wireless retail dealers nationwide. For a complete list of all 2013 NAPPA Parenting Resources winners and more information about the competition, visit www.NAPPAawards.com.

Mobile Privacy Precautions

In some parts of the world it’s Privacy Awareness Week.  Initiated in Australia, it’s a time when people stop to take a more careful look into privacy issues, especially those involving digital communications.

Privacy Awareness Week’s a good reminder for all of us to consider how much of our privacy’s been absconded by the digital age, and decide whether we can live with it or not.  An article in the New York Times last week describes a woman who was identified by advertisers as an MS patient, simply because the year before she had done some online research on MS and various other diseases.  Now, labeled as an MS patient, the woman wonders whether this could affect her ability to qualify for health insurance at some point in the future, in addition to other unknown scenarios.  Is this a valid concern?  It certainly is!

Is it too late?

The woman who was targeted as an MS patient is all too familiar. How many times have you looked up something online and been bombarded with advertising about that specific thing, or even related topics? It happens constantly, every single day. Even writing an email to your mom about your dog results in Google showing you ads for flea medicine and doggie jackets.  Have you ever done an Internet search on your own name? It may be surprising what the world’s been allowed to know about you.

In the big picture, it’s probably too late to go backward. We can’t return to the good old days when what we viewed or shared online was our own business.  But there are a few things we can do to improve our personal privacy status when it comes to our mobile devices. We’ve shared them before, and share them again in honor of Privacy Awareness Week.


  • Passwords:  Passwords should be based on something obscure, like the initials of a favorite quote or personal mantra. Incorporate at least one special character, at least one number, and don’t use the name of your pets, kids, street name, company name or any other easy-to-guess word associated with you. Make sure to change your password frequently.
  • Updates:  Download security updates when you’re prompted. Keep your phone current.
  • Phone lock:  Keep the phone on a short leash with an auto-lock that will kick in after just a few minutes. If you leave your table to get a coffee, it won’t be vulnerable to prying eyes.
  • Social Networking:  Don’t overshare – be careful not to post addresses, phone numbers or information about vacations, family or other tips for potential identity thieves, stalkers or bullies. Checking-in may be fun for your friends, but it also tells stalkers and other predators where you are. Forego it, if you can.
  • System:  Keep your phone clean by deleting any data that doesn’t need to be there.
  • Notices: If you receive an urgent message from a bank or financial institution, do not click on it or provide any of the requested information. These flash messages often want you to think your account’s in jeopardy and that you need to re-enter your private data.  It isn’t, you don’t – and you shouldn’t.
  • Permissions:  Learn to read permission agreements, end-user license agreements and terms of service agreements to make sure you’re not giving away private data when downloading new apps. And while you’re at it, teach your kids what to look for.
  • Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi hotspots are often an easy target for cybercriminals. Make sure you’re working within a secured network. Hotels, coffee shops and malls are often the worst places to go online. Merchants don’t always provide super-tight WiFi security because they don’t want to require passwords, and they want to accommodate every kind of device. Besides, a good cyber-criminal knows how to break most Wi-Fi systems.
  • Security: Always use a strong mobile security product to keep out the viruses, malware and fraudulent demons that tend to slip into your phone’s system when you do a lot of web surfing.
  • When you dispose of a phone, be sure it’s wiped clean of all data.

Share your thoughts and ideas about privacy here on our blog, or talk to us on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you.