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AppDate: Easy insurance when it suits you

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In his latest AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Sanlam Go Cover, “Narcos: Cartel Wars”, Insurance 101, Telkom’s new mobile app and the Van Schaik Rewards App.

Sanlam Go Cover

The Sanlam Go Cover app lets South Africans and tourists visiting this country purchase instant accident cover on demand, via their smart phones.

Go Cover requires a once-off registration after downloading and optional nomination of a beneficiary or contact person. A couple of clicks and smartphone users can secure up to R1 million cover for t24 hours or for an extended period up to 30 days. This comes with a minimum price tag of just R10. The cover can be activated immediately or at a precise future date and time within 30 days. For example, one can buy 14 days of cover and set it to begin automatically the following week. To simplify the product, Sanlam only offers three levels of cover. For 24 hour cover a premium of R10 gives cover of up to a R100 000, R20 for up to R500 000 or R30 for up to R1 000 000. The daily rate decreases as the period extends.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Rates vary according the number of days and the amount of cover wanted.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

“Narcos: Cartel Wars”

The Netflix television show Narcos has come to smartphones and tablets in the form of “Narcos: Cartel Wars”. A player steps into the role of a cartel kingpin and tries to take over the narcotics world. The game is very much the same as Clash of Clans, where one raids opponent’s home bases, stealing building materials like wood, money, stone and products (in this case, drugs). The further one progresses, the more one can upgrade the base to repel attacks. The more one can upgrade the army, the better the chances of killing off opponents. Although the game includes endless in-game purchases to boost updates and troop training, a little patience and a lot of skill will eventually get you hooked.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download but with in-app purchases.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Insurance 101

Many South Africans don’t completely understand the value of short-term insurance. With this in mind , the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) developed a mobile application aimed at promoting financial literacy around short-term insurance for consumers. Once installed, the app helps consumers understand the intricacies of the short-term insurance space. It explains why one’s assets – such as vehicle, home or cellphone – should be insured. It goes into detail about the necessity of sufficient cover and highlights where one may be vulnerable should one not have cover. Information about the claims process is also available should consumers incur a loss.

Platform: Android

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the Google Play Store

 

New Telkom app

The new Telkom allows customers to manage both home and mobile accounts from a smartphone or tablet. The app replaces two existing apps: Telkom (for home accounts) and Telkom Mobile (for mobile accounts). The consolidation of the apps means that customers will now have a better experience while managing both their mobile and home needs. The app includes options for online bill payments, data top-ups, fault-logging for landlines, logging and tracking problems, orders and appointments, phone upgrade requests and even cancellation of wireless application service provider (WASP) services.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

 

Van Schaik Rewards App

The Van Schaik Rewards App for students allows the lock screen on smartphones to display advertising content, course material and, at the same time, let them earn additional income. This income can then be spent at a Van Schaik bookstore to purchase e-books, paper-based books and other learning materials. The app is based on a customer loyalty program, which is nothing new, but it is one of the first in South Africa to implement it as a phone’s lock screen. The idea came about due to exorbitant tuition fees and with students spending a lot of their time on their devices. Should a user spend more than R99 on airtime (which can be purchased in a Van Schaik outlet) per month, they will be given access to additional rewards, like free Whatsapp and Wi-Fi.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download, but airtime needs to be bought from any Van Schaik Bookstore to qualify for the rewards.

Stockists: www.vanschaik.com

* Sean Bacher is editor of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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