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Caitlin Fairchild

Web Producer Caitlin Fairchild joined Government Executive in summer 2011 as an editorial fellow, after graduating from the College of William & Mary, where she spent four years writing for the student newspaper, The Flat Hat. In March 2012, she was hired full time as a web producer. She has completed internships at Washingtonian Magazine and at the public affairs office of Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
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The KRACK Security Flaw Affects Everyone. Yes, Even You.

October 16, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Another day, another massive security flaw discovered. This time it affects everyone who uses Wi-Fi. The flaw has been dubbed KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack and it isn't associated with a specific type of hardware, instead, it has to deal with the way Wi-Fi networks are encrypted. Specifically, the vulnerability...

What NIST Suggests Instead of Passwords

October 13, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It's time to switch from passwords to passphrases, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In the wake of numerous high-profile hacks, the government agency recently released a guide to creating much stronger passwords. Their main advice? Just one word won't cut it anymore. Instead, a lengthy phrase...

How Google Home Can Help You Find Your Lost Smartphone

October 12, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While Apple's Find My iPhone feature can locate your device on a map almost anywhere in the world, Google Home introduced its own device-locating feature to find Androids and iPhones lost between couch cushions. The digital assistant can ring an Android phone, specifically, even if they're silenced. For that function...

How to Give Your Older iPhone a Speed Boost

October 11, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If you have older iPhone, you might be tempted to upgrade to a shiny, new iPhone 8 or iPhone X. But to get a faster phone, you don't necessarily have to drop all that cash. Instead, make a few tweaks to your current iPhone to increase its speed if it's...

FCC Approves Google's Project Loon to Go to Puerto Rico

October 10, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Puerto Rico is still struggling to get its communications up after being hit by Hurricane Maria. Monday's Federal Communications Commission report said around 80 percent of all cell sites on the island were still out of service. The commission on Friday announced a hurricane recovery task force, a longer-term approach...

AOL Instant Messenger to World: 'Goodbye!'

October 6, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Bad news, all you AOL Instant Messenger fans. Oath, the Verizon company which owns AOL, announced that it will be shutting down the iconic messaging service on Dec. 15. AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM, began as a built-in chat application for the AOL desktop client, but then broke free as...

Google's Latest Smartphones, Speakers and Gadgets

October 5, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google made some big announcements at its Pixel event on Tuesday. The tech giant is coming out with several new consumer gadgets to compete with other tech companies Apple and Amazon. There are new smartphones, the Pixel 2, which measures 5 inches, and the Pixel 2 XL which is slightly...

How to Improve Battery Life for iPhones with iOS 11

October 4, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The latest iPhone operating system, iOS 11, has been available for download for a few weeks. While it does come with new features and opportunities for customization, some users may have noticed that this new operating system is ripping through their battery life. You can do a few things to...

This App Helps Users Detect ATM Skimmers

October 2, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow ATM skimmers are a scam that happens all too common. A small chip equipped with a Bluetooth module is placed inside the credit card slots at ATMs and gas station pumps, and this lets thieves steal credit and debit card information when people swipe to use these machines. These skimmers...

Google Opens Up Parental Controls

September 29, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Earlier this year, Google introduced Family Link parental controls for parents to manage their children's Android devices, but at the time it required an invitation. Now, the Family Link app is available in the Google Play store without an invitation. If you're an interested parent or guardian, you have several...