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Back-to-school goes digital

By RIAAN BADENHORST, General Manager of Kaspersky in Africa



The back to school frenzy of today has gone digital. And not just for parents looking to catch the best deals online – but more and more, schools require children to have Internet-enabled devices as digital education resources become more available. If you are worried about what your kids may be exposed to when surfing the net, you are not alone! While the online world is full of education, information and fun – and if used correctly offers huge benefits to every child – the problem is that the Internet is not always a safe place. In fact. according to a recent survey from Kaspersky, 6 out of 10 (60%) families have directly experienced or seen an online safety threat incident, with children seeing harmful content and Internet addiction are the most common threats.

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), or e-learning, is gaining popularity across public and private schools in South Africa. The norm today is that tablets and smart devices are no longer luxury gadgets for kids but are becoming far more essential learning tools. This can often mean that children will spend more time on their devices away from parental guidance. And even under the supervision of parents or teachers, it’s often difficult to keep sight of all online activity. 

Therefore, online protection for children should become an essential part of any back-to-school preparation, especially for parents wanting more peace of mind.

The good news is that the risk can be reduced with supervised Internet use. Therefore, parents should examine how they can protect their children’s devices and online access – especially as they spend most of their day at school. With added online protection for these devices, parents are given enhanced control of not only the websites their children visit, and the applications they use, but parents are also able to manage their children’s mobile data use. What’s even better, parents can regulate time spent online – restricting them even in free Wi-Fi hotspots areas.

We all know how easy it is to get distracted online and end up on pages you had no intention on visiting. Imagine how much easier it is for younger and more curious minds to be veered off course. For example, during a research assignment, a child may wonder onto the wrong website with inappropriate content, or malicious cyber threats. And even when you try to get them the ‘right or approved apps’, in-app advertising raises considerable concerns around inappropriate content that is being advertised to children. Not to mention that parents are now also faced with unwanted nagging epidemics from children who are keen to experience more from their games.

Here are some back to school device tips for securing your child’s device:

  • Discuss the associated benefits and risks – While children often know a lot about devices, some may even know more than their parents, as the parent it is crucial to lay out the boundaries and explain why these are important for their wellbeing and safety. For example, while geotagging is great for navigational purposes – advise children to only keep it on when necessary as malicious onlookers do make use of such functions to target potential victims – and children should be cautious and limit opportunities for a person or cybercriminal with dubious intent to track their online and physical movements.
  • Set a password – It’s standard but encouraging children to have unique passwords featuring a mix of numbers and symbols, and to change them often, is a good place to start to avoid victimisation and limit unwarranted access to their device. Make sure that you are aware of the password.
  • Explore – With all the responsibilities that come with parenting, there’s often no time to play with gadgets. But still, it is important to take the time to explore the device and its manual to better understand the features yourself. Whether it is a device from school or one you have purchased that your child uses at school or home. It is also important to speak to the school about their mobile device policy and what cybersecurity they have in place.

Education in the digital age has undoubtedly become more exciting, where children are exposed to a wealth of information. Paperless classrooms are becoming more prevalent, which is why a good online security solution – coupled with ongoing education on online risks, protection and safe behaviour – will equip parents with the confidence they need to protect their children, while still allowing them to explore the web appropriately.

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Second-hand smartphone market booms

The worldwide market for used smartphones is forecast to grow to 332.9 million units, with a market value of $67 billion, in 2023, according to IDC



International Data Corporation (IDC) expects worldwide shipments of used smartphones, inclusive of both officially refurbished and used smartphones, to reach a total of 206.7 million units in 2019. This represents an increase of 17.6% over the 175.8 million units shipped in 2018. A new IDC forecast projects used smartphone shipments will reach 332.9 million units in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% from 2018 to 2023.

This growth can be attributed to an uptick in demand for used smartphones that offer considerable savings compared with new models. Moreover, OEMs have struggled to produce new models that strike a balance between desirable new features and a price that is seen as reasonable. Looking ahead, IDC expects the deployment of 5G networks and smartphones to impact the used market as smartphone owners begin to trade in their 4G smartphones for the promise of high-performing 5G devices.

Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, says: “In contrast to the recent declines in the new smartphone market, as well as the forecast for minimal growth in new shipments over the next few years, the used market for smartphones shows no signs of slowing down across all parts of the globe. Refurbished and used devices continue to provide cost-effective alternatives to both consumers and businesses that are looking to save money when purchasing a smartphone. Moreover, the ability for vendors to push more affordable refurbished devices in markets in which they normally would not have a presence is helping these players grow their brand as well as their ecosystem of apps, services, and accessories.”

Worldwide Used Smartphone Shipments (shipments in millions of units)

2018 Market
2023 Market
North America39.022.2%87.226.2%17.4%
Rest of World136.877.8%245.773.8%12.4%

Source: IDC, Worldwide Used Smartphone Forecast, 2019–2023, Dec 2019.

Table Notes: Data is subject to change.
* Forecast projections.

Says Will Stofega, program director, Mobile Phones: “Although drivers such as regulatory compliance and environmental initiatives are still positively impacting the growth in the used market, the importance of cost-saving for new devices will continue to drive growth. Overall, we feel that the ability to use a previously owned device to fund the purchase of either a new or used device will play the most crucial role in the growth of the refurbished phone market. Trade-in combined with the increase in financing plans (EIP) will ultimately be the two main drivers of the refurbished phone market moving forward.”

According to IDC’s taxonomy, a refurbished smartphone is a device that has been used and disposed of at a collection point by its owner. Once the device has been examined and classified as suitable for refurbishment, it is sent off to a facility for reconditioning and is eventually sold via a secondary market channel. A refurbished smartphone is not a “hand me down” or gained as the result of a person-to-person sale or trade.

The IDC report, Worldwide Used Smartphone Forecast, 2019–2023 (Doc #US45726219), provides an overview and five-year forecast of the worldwide refurbished phone market and its expansion and growth by 2023. This study also provides a look at key players and the impact they will have on vendors, carriers, and consumers.

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Customers and ‘super apps’ will shape travel in 2020s



Customers will take far more control of their travel experience in the 2020s, according to a 2020 Trends report released this week by Travelport, a leading technology company serving the global travel industry.

Through independent research with thousands of global travellers – including 500 in South Africa – hundreds of travel professionals and interviews with leaders of some of the world’s biggest travel brands, Travelport uncovered the major forces that will become the technology enablers of travel over the next decade. These include:

Customers in control

Several trends highlight the finding that customers are moving towards self-service options, with 61% of the travellers surveyed in South Africa preferring to hear about travel disruption via digital communications, such as push notifications on an app, mobile chatbots, or instant messaging apps, rather than speaking with a person on the phone. This is especially important when it comes to young travellers under 25, seen as the future business traveler, and managing their high expectations through technology.

Mobile takeover

With the threat of super app domination, online travel agencies must disrupt or risk being disrupted. Contextual messaging across the journey will help. Super app tech giants like WeChat give their users a one-stop shop to communicate, shop online, book travel, bank, find a date, get food delivery, and pay for anything within a single, unified smartphone app. Travel brands that want to deliver holistic mobile customer experiences need to think about how they engage travellers within these super apps as well as in their own mobile channels.

Retail accelerated

In the next year, research shows, we will see an accelerated rate of change in the way travel is retailed and purchased online. This includes wider and more complex multi-content reach, more enriched and comparable offerings, more focus on relevance than magnitude, and an increase in automation that enables customer self-service.

“How customers engage with their travel experience – for instance by interacting with digital ‘bots’ and expecting offers better personalised to their needs – is changing rapidly,” says Adrian Roodt, country manager for Southern Africa at Travelport. “We in the travel industry need to understand and keep pace with these forces to make sure we’re continuing to make the experience of buying and managing travel continually better, for everyone.”

Read the full 2020 Trends report here: 2020 Trends hub.

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