Security software maker ESET has rolled out new Internet security products for home users, becoming one of the first to include specific Webcam protection.
In June this year, a photo of Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, taken when he was celebrating his growing user base on Instagram, sparked massive interest. An eagle-eyed Twitter user noticed that, in the background, one of the most powerful men in tech had his laptop camera and microphone covered in tape. Why? Because even a man like Zuckerberg is not immune to security breaches.
With a new line of products rolled out last week, security software company ESET has emphasised the need for privacy while operating PCs and laptops. ESET Webcam Protection, available with ESET Smart Security Premium and ESET Internet Security, regulates access to the camera so users are fully protected. They will be able to see and block or allow processes and applications, as well as turning off the computer’s camera so processes won’t be able to access it.
People who are not billionaire or CEOs are not without risk. The threat of people scanning the internet for accessible webcams results from a range of motives, from voyeurism to extortion. This has been one of the most popular types of malware on every operating system for a while.
These threats are addressed directly in ESET’s premium line of security solutions for home users launched in South Africa last week. It includes ESET Smart Security Premium, built upon its award-winning NOD32 technology that offers the best mix of detection, speed, and usability.
The new ESET product portfolio for home users has many proven features, such as Banking & Payment Protection, Antispyware, Anti-Phishing, Exploit Blocker, advanced Personal Firewall, and the ESET LiveGrid Reputation System.
“As internet threats get more diverse, users need more complex internet security features based on individual preferences,” says Steve Flynn, an ESET director. “Our new product portfolio fully reflects this trend.”
Webcam Protection is a feature that controls processes and applications that access computer connected web cameras and displays notifications when unwanted applications try to access the camera.
Home Network Protection enables users to test home routers vulnerabilities, such as weak passwords or out-of-date firmware, and offers them options for remediation. It also provides an easy-to-access list of connected devices, with devices categorised by type and shows who’s connected. This helps users see how safe their home networks are.
ESET Password Manager employs AES‑256 encryption – the world’s leading standard – to store and pre-fill all users‘ passwords. It also generates and stores extra-strong new passwords each time the user needs one.
ESET Secure Data protects against data theft in the event of USB-key or laptop loss, and allows for secure collaboration and data sharing.
* Visit www.eset.com to learn more about ESET flagship products and the new ESET Smart Security Premium.
Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets
Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.
Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.
Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps.
Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.
Vodafone Smart Kicka 4
At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.
The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018.
Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games.
Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.
Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer.
The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past.
Huawei Y3 (2018)
The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are.
Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.
Comparing the 3
All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker.
Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.
SA gets digital archive
As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive.
The southafrica.co.za site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.
Designed as a nation building, educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.
The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.
At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.
Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.
“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.
Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island. The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.