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Keep mobile kids safe

Threats are everywhere on the Internet and pose a serious danger to younger users. Kaspersky Lab recommends that users keep their devices up to date with the latest virus protection to prevent phishing, cyberbullying and access to inappropriate content.

Threats are everywhere on the Internet and they pose a serious danger to younger users. Moreover, children who use mobile devices can be even more vulnerable because they are free to surf the Internet at any time or place, without adult supervision.

According to a survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, over a 12-month period the children of 22% of respondents were affected by cyber incidents. These incidents included outbreaks of cyberbullying or encountering sites containing material damaging for youngsters.

While surfing the Internet, children may come across web pages containing inappropriate information, for example, websites with erotic content or information about weapons or drugs. Another common problem arises when search results don’t lead to the kind of information the user is looking for. For example, a child might search for cartoons but get results about cartoons for adults.

Social networks are a serious source of threats too. Children can indiscriminately add anyone as a friend, making acquaintances and communicating with people who might upset or mislead them, or try to get confidential information from them. In particular, 21% of parents lost money or confidential information stored on their device due to their child’s activities, the survey showed.

Modern phones and tablets often serve as universal game consoles, and many children use them for little else. However, not all games are suitable for children: some contain scenes of violence, profanity or erotica. Games are not the only danger – any application downloaded from official stores could contain unwanted information.

It is important to remember that some threats are universal and can affect people of all ages. However, because children are less experienced they may be more vulnerable to these. For example, they may not properly understand how dangerous a site or a file can be, leading them to download infected files or enter data on a phishing page.

That’s why it’s vital to make sure the device is properly protected against viruses, phishing and other online threats – especially on Android-based devices since around 99% of all mobile malware is targeted at the Android platform.

Today many children spend too much time on their devices. Most prohibitions and access restrictions are hard to apply to a mobile device which is always with the child but there is a huge arsenal of technical means that could help to limit the time children use their mobile devices, or set times when they can play with the gadget. Of course, the problem cannot be solved by technical means alone. Children need alternatives to their gadgets and only their parents can ensure it – spend more time with the children: get them playing sports or being involved in a hobby, so that they have less time to spend on their mobile devices. It’s also advisable for parents to keep abreast of new cyber threats and tell their children about them. Understanding the rules of safe behaviour on the Web and careful attitude to the information that can be shared online, will help avoid many unpleasant incidents.

Information technologies can help protect children online. Kaspersky Lab offers a number of tools to ensure children are safe from cyber threats on mobile devices. These tools can automatically block dangerous content, filter unwanted sites and provide you with the reports containing information on the applications installed by your children. Among them are the Safe Browsers for iOS and Windows Phone, Kaspersky Internet Security – multi-device 2015, which offers an array of protection for Android devices in particular.

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Talk for less with MWEB Talk

Today, MWEB announced its consumer VoIP package called MWEB Talk, which allows users to make free network calls and get discounted rates made to landlines and mobile phones.

MWEB, today launched its new Voice over IP (VoIP) offering to South African consumers. The service, MWEB Talk, will offer users’ free on network calls to fellow MWEB Talk users’ and cheap calls to landline and mobile phone numbers. This follows the success and demand of the ISP’s existing VoIP products in recent months.

‚”We have seen a noticeable transformation in users’ Internet behaviour with consumers wanting services that complement their ADSL connectivity solution. We have seen phenomenal growth and by the end of the year will deliver over 100 million minutes on our VoIP platform,‚” says Carolyn Holgate, General Manager of MWEB Connect, the ISP’s Consumer and Small Office/ Home Office Division.

MWEB has made significant investments in its infrastructure and VoIP has been prioritised on its network to ensure performance and stability of the MWEB Talk service for both businesses and consumers.

‚”In addition to the high quality of the service, MWEB Talk is also simple to set-up and users’ should experience a significant reduction in their telephone bills. By implementing a VoIP service consumers and small businesses can cut their monthly telecommunication bills by up to 55% to landline and mobile numbers,‚” says Holgate.

With no subscription fee, existing MWEB customers can log into their MWEB account, register for the service and download the application for PC and Mac as well as mobile applications that turn an iPhone, Android, and Nokia smartphone into a VoIP phone. Customers will also be able to purchase a Desktop VoIP Handset for R99 which will be HD voice ready and will support multi-extensions.

‚”We believe that VoIP is the future of telephony in South Africa and we are extremely excited to see the consumer market shift into the VoIP space,‚” concludes Holgate.

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Telcos want one face

The investments that telecommunications service providers are making in reshaping their online properties into customer-centric portals reflects the growing maturity of self-service and Internet uptake in the industry, says KEVIN MELTZER of Consology.

Many telcos around the world are overhauling their websites to offer customers more holistic portals that give them a single point of entry into the organisation.

They are doing so because they recognise that service will be a key point of differentiation for their businesses in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive. They have also realised that they have a major opportunity to shift customers away from expensive contact centres towards low-cost electronic channels.

In the past, most telecommunications operators ran multiple sites across multiple domains and subdomains. These web-based properties were built around the way that telcos structured their own businesses rather than around the needs of the customer. But we are now seeing the leading operators take a more user-centric approach to the way that they design their web and mobile sites.

This coincides with a change in the industry from slicing customers into numerous segments and then serving them across a range of functional and product areas. For example, many operators split customers into prepaid and postpaid segments or voice and data users, distinctions that are becoming less meaningful in a world of technology convergence. They now want to present a single face to the customer rather than servicing the subscriber through silos.

These changes are starting to percolate through to operators’ customer service and sales strategies. Telcos are starting to pull together disparate products and services that once resided across multiple sites into customer service portals.

These sites put a wide range of information at the subscriber’s fingertips, he adds. Increasingly, for example, subscribers can log directly into their accounts from the operator’s homepage and then access a wealth of services and information. This marks an evolution from the fractured and inconsistent customer experience of the past.

Leading operators are even thinking about how their Self-Service platforms should be integrated with social media strategies to allow customers to pay their electronic bills or top up airtime with a single click from within a social network.

Whereas Self-Service portals on telco sites were once purely about account management functions, they increasingly offer far richer functionality. In addition to allowing subscribers to pay their bills and check their account information, they are also increasingly becoming the first stop for service and commerce.

Operators have started to recognise that splintering their e-commerce, service and account management functions simply makes no sense. Customers want to be able to do everything through one interface rather than needing to visit two or three Web sites, or eventually possibly needing to phone a call centre or visit a store for certain transactions.

Integrated and easy to use online customer service channels will be central for telco operators who want to be competitive in the markets of tomorrow. They form an advantage in an industry where it will be customer relationships rather than cost or service that drive loyalty and purchasing decisions.

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