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Parents ‘out of control’ in regulating kids’ activities

Half of parents trust kids to regulate their online activity, despite 70% being unable to regulate their own

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recent global study conducted by Kaspersky has found that, in a bid to promote self-regulation online, 52% of parents globally trust their kids to know when enough is enough. However, 70% of parents admit that they themselves spend too much time online. Almost three quarters (72%) feel that Internet and mobile device usage in general is impeding family life.

There is little doubt that digital activities can be addictive, and seriously distract children from real-world adventure. But over half of modern parents trust their children when it comes to time dedicated to the internet, and what is more interesting is that this practice is more common among fathers. Dads seem to be more trusting of their children to know when to take a break, with nearly three in five (57%) taking this approach, compared to less than half (48%) of moms.

But it’s not just a matter of being trusted to turn off where parents relinquish control. 40% of them do not feel the need to control or oversee their children’s online activities or internet usage at all. This could be a risky strategy as, despite kids’ familiarity with online applications and navigating the internet, cyber-risks are only a click away.

Along with this approach to their children’s online activity, the survey also shows that parents are not restrictive about their own mobile phone habits or the amount of time spent on the internet: 70% recognised that they are somewhat addicted to the web. Furthermore, 84% of them admitted that they have used Internet-connected or mobile devices in front of their child or children at home, and half of parents (51%) have sometimes allowed internet and mobile devices to interrupt a conversation with their children.

“Internet and digital services offer kids a wide range of engaging content, and can take ahold of their attention for a long time,” says Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky. “It must also be remembered that the real world can be even more engaging, especially if parents are ready to invest their time and spend it together with kids, doing joint activities. This time is actually even more important and valuable for families and friends, to connect, create special bonds and share memories.”

To help your children allocate their time appropriately online, Kaspersky recommends taking the following steps:

  • Show your care by putting down your device at moments when your children need your attention
  • If you feel your child is spending too much time online, don’t rush to put limits in place. Instead discuss it with them calmly, so as not to provoke a negative reaction which could do damage in the long term
  • Make leisure time more varied and appealing so your child actively wants to spend time away from their device. This could be trying out a new sport or doing more activities as a family
  • Discuss ground rules around social media use and other communications tools, so it does not affect schoolwork or interaction with friends in the real world
  • Introduce rules for the whole family, so children don’t feel singled out or unfairly restricted in their internet use. This could include no phones at the dinner table, having a curfew on device usage or even leaving devices downstairs at bedtime
  • The Family edition of Kaspersky Security Cloud incorporates Kaspersky Safe Kids which will help to guard your family and private data, as well as protect your kids online and beyond

For further advice on how to keep your children safe online, read renowned psychologist Emma Kenny’s post with her top tips on tackling online safety conversations here.

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Alexa can now read all messages

For the first time, an Alexa skill is available that makes it possible to listen to any kind of message while driving

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For the first time, Alexa users can now hear all their messages and email read aloud.

Amazon’s Alexa has become a household name. The world’s most popular virtual assistant is getting smarter every day and now, with Amazon Echo Auto, it’s in cars too. 

“In today’s highly connected world, messaging in the form of emails, texts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and work channels like Slack, are integral to our daily routine,” says Barrie Arnold, chief revenue officer at ping. “However, distracted driving is responsible for more than 25% of car crashes and thousands of preventable fatalities every year.” 

ping, a specialist in voice technology founded by Arnold and South African Garin Toren, has developed a new Alexa skill as a companion to its patented smartphone app, that enables any message type to be read aloud. Designed for safety, productivity and convenience, “pingloud” is the first skill of its kind for keeping users connected when they need a hand or an extra pair of eyes.

“The ping Alexa skill is specifically designed to help drivers stay off their phones while giving them exactly what they want – access to their messages.” says Toren, ping CEO. 

Opening up Alexa to developers has resulted in an explosion of new skills available either for free or for a fee that unlocks premium services or features. These tools magnify the usefulness of Alexa devices beyond common tasks like asking for the weather, playing music or requesting help on a homework assignment. According to App Annie, the most downloaded apps in 2019 were Facebook Messenger, Facebook’s main app and WhatsApp, highlighting the importance of messaging. 

“The ping Android app is available worldwide from the Google Pay Store, reading all messages out loud in 30 languages,” says Toren. “The iOS version is in global beta testing with the US launch coming very soon.” 

Once you’ve signed up for ping, it takes a few seconds to link with Alexa, enabling all messages and emails to be read aloud by a smart speaker or Echo Auto device. Simply say, “Hey Alexa, open pingloud.” ping links an account to a voice profile so unauthorised users with access to the same Alexa cannot ask for the authorised user’s messages.

All major message types are supported, including Texts/SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Snapchat, Slack, Telegram, Twitter DM’s, Instagram, and all email types. Promotional and social emails are not read by default.

*For more information, visit www.pingloud.com

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Coronavirus to hit 5G

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Global 5G smartphone shipments are expected to reach 199 million units in 2020, after disruption caused by the coronavirus scare put a cap on sales forecasts, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global 5G smartphone shipments will grow more than tenfold from 19 million units in 2019 to 199 million in 2020. The 5G segment will be the fastest-growing part of the worldwide smartphone industry this year. Consumers want faster 5G smartphones to surf richer content, such as video or games. We forecast 5G penetration to rise from 1 percent of all smartphones shipped globally in 2019 to 15 percent of total in 2020.”

Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “China, United States, South Korea, Japan and Germany are by far the largest 5G smartphone markets this year. The big-five countries together will make up 9 in 10 of all 5G smartphones sold worldwide in 2020. However, other important regions, like India and Indonesia, are lagging way behind and will not be offering mass-market 5G for at least another year or two.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The global 5G smartphone industry is growing quickly, but the ongoing coronavirus scare and subsequent economic slowdown will put a cap on overall 5G demand this year. The COVID-19 outbreak is currently restricting smartphone production in Asia, disrupting supply chains, and deterring consumers from visiting retail stores to buy new 5G devices in some parts of China. The first half of 2020 will be much weaker than expected for the 5G industry, but we expect a strong bounce-back in the second half of the year if the coronavirus spread is brought under control.”

Exhibit 1: Global 5G Smartphone Shipments Forecast in 2020 1

Global Smartphone Shipments (Millions of Units)20192020
5G19199
Rest of Market13941165
Total14131364
 
Global Smartphone Shipments (% of Total)20192020
5G1%15%
Rest of Market99%85%
Total100%100%

Source: Strategy Analytics

The full report, Global Handset Sales for 88 Countries & 19 Technologies, is published by the Strategy Analytics Emerging Device Technologies (EDT) service, details of which can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/wep83gc.

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