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Mind the scam: How to shop safely on Singles’ Day?

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Kaspersky researchers have reported on a sharp increase in fraudulent activities around e-commerce during an active sales period in Asian countries – Singles’ Day (November 11). While Singles’ Day originates from China, it is now relevant to users of e-marketplaces all over the world. Pre-holiday promos and sales on global Asian platforms are welcomed internationally, and scammers are now targeting users in different languages.

Our researchers detected a spike in financial phishing attacks before the big Singles’ Day sale in 2018. As can be seen from the graph below, the average number of financial phishing attacks fluctuated at around 350,000 per day in October. Then, a couple of days before November 11, 2018, the spike in attacks reached more than 950,000. The researchers are also witnessing similar spam and phishing attacks at the moment and urge everyone to be careful with their purchases.

Apart from that, Kaspersky researchers have found some threats in mobile apps that were disguised as popular e-commerce platforms. The share of shops that have special offers for Singles’ Day is traditionally high. In 2019, 83% of the online shops were pretending to be Asian marketplaces, while in 2018 the number reached 93%.

“While Single’s Day is the best time to shop, as discounts and promotions are well-advertised to users, this is also a peak time for phishers and spammers. Fraudsters become more active during this period. In the pursuit of great discounts and limited offers, people lose their vigilance and are less likely to distinguish a phishing website from a legitimate one. However, such things should not be an obstacle for those hunting the best offers. Consumers have nothing to worry about if they follow the rules of basic cybersecurity hygiene, so good luck to everyone in finding the greatest deals of the year,” comments Andrey Kostin, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

To make sure your November 11 is not marred by spam and phishing, follow this simple advice:

  • If you receive a link to a great offer via email, make sure to check the embedded hyperlink – sometimes it may differ from the visible one. If it does, access the deal page directly through the legitimate website;
  • Only make purchases through official marketplaces and pay attention to the web addresses if you are redirected to them from other landing pages. If they differ from the official retailer, consider checking the offer you were redirected to by looking for it on the official web page;
  • Use a security solution with behaviour-based anti-phishing technologies, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud or Kaspersky Total Security, which will notify you if you are trying to visit a phishing web page;
  • Never use the same password for several websites or services, because if one is stolen, all your accounts will be made vulnerable. To create strong hack-proof passwords without having to face the struggle of remembering them, use password managers, such as Kaspersky Password Manager.

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Vodacom cuts cost of smallest bundle by 40%

The country’s largest mobile operator has kept to a promise made last month to slash the price of entry-level data packages

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Vodacom has cut the data price of its lowest-cost bundle by 40%, reducing the price of a 50MB 30-day bundle from R20 to to R12. This follows from the operator’s promise in March, when it announced a 33% cut in the cost of 1GB bundles, to reduce prices of all smaller bundles by up to 40%.

Vodacom’s various 30-day data bundle prices will be cut across all of its channels, with the new pricing as follows:

30-day bundle size New Price Reduction
50MB R12 40%
150MB R29 33%
325MB R55 33%
500MB R79 21%
1GB R99 34%
3GB R229 23%
5GB R349 14%
10GB R469 22%
20GB R699 31%

Vodacom confirmed it will provide free data to access essential services through Vodacom’s zero-rated platform ConnectU with immediate effect. The value of these initiatives, it says, is R2.7-billion over the next year.

“Vodacom can play a critical role in supporting society during this challenging time and we’re committed to doing whatever we can to help customers stay connected,” says Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer of Vodacom’s Consumer Business Unit. “Since we started our pricing transformation strategy three years ago, our customers have benefitted from significant reductions in data prices and the cost of voice calls. Over the same period, we invested over R26 billion in infrastructure and new technologies, so our customers enjoy wider 2G, 3G and 4G coverage and vastly increased data speeds.”

The latest data reductions will complement the discounted bundle offers that will also be made available to prepaid customers in more than 2,000 less affluent suburbs and villages around the country. For qualifying communities to access further discounted voice and data deals, they need to click on the scrolling ConnectU banner on the platform via connectu.vodacom.co.za

ConnectU – which is a zero-rated platform – also went live this week. It will provide content aimed at social development and offers a variety of essential services for free. Learners and students enrolled in schools and universities can access relevant information for free, with no data costs. The ConnectU portal includes a search engine linked to open sources such as Wikipedia and Wiktionary as well as free access to job portals; free educational content on the e-School platform; free health and wellness information and free access to Facebook Flex, the low data alternative to Facebook that enables customers to stay socially connected.

Vodacom’s popular Just4You platform has been a significant contributor to the approximately 50% reduction in effective data prices over the past two years. Substantial cuts in out-of-bundle tariffs and the introduction of hourly, daily and weekly bundles with much lower effective prices have also driven increased value and affordability, resulting in R2-billion in savings for customers in 2019.

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OneBlade shaves price of electric precision

Electric razors and their blades are usually quite expensive. But the Philips OneBlade shaves the cost, writes SEAN BACHER

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Electric razors come in all shapes and forms and their prices vary as well. When your nearest electronic retail outlet opens again, you will be able to pay a small fortune for a wet and dry razor that cleans itself, shows you when it needs to be recharged, and tells you to replace the cleaning solution – all via a little LCD panel in the handle.

But does everyone want that? Does everyone need that? Surely there must be customers who want an easy-to-use, no-mess, no-fuss razor that gets the job done just as well as a “smart razor”?

With this in mind, Philips has launched its OneBlade wet and dry electric razor. The razor is dead simple to use. It comes with three stubble combs – 1mm, 3mm and 5 mm –  which can be clicked onto the head much like one would with a hair shaver. Should you want a really close shave, simply the combs off. I found this to be the most effective as I don’t have a beard.

The razor’s blade is the size of the striking side of a matchbox and has 90-degree angles all round. This offers precise shaving and, because of its small size, it is able to get just about anywhere on a person’s face.

The blade has a usage indicator that shows when it is time to replace the blade – usually after four months – and an additional blade is included in the box.

The OneBlade’s battery takes up to eight hours to charge, and will give up to 45 minutes shaving time.

Overall, the Philips OneBlade will give a man a comfortable and precise shave. Its battery life, combined with its size, makes it a perfect travel companion as it is no bigger than an electric toothbrush. Its relatively low price compared to other electric razors also counts in its favour.

The One Blade can be bought from most electronic retailers or can be ordered online from websites like takealot.com. The razor retails for R650 and a set of two new blades will cost around R450.

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