Kaspersky Lab, together with the research agency Opeepl, surveyed 7,740 household pet owners from 15 countries around the world to find out how modern technologies affect pet safety. It turns out that every fifth pet owner uses some type of digital device to monitor or secure their domestic pet, and for 39% the use of such devices, ended up posing a risk to the pet or its owners.
At the end of May this year, Kaspersky Lab published a report on vulnerabilities in cat and dog trackers that allow attackers to manipulate information about the pet’s location or even steal its owner’s personal data. In the course of the latest study, it was found that the penetration of technologies and digital devices in the daily life of pets is not limited to just trackers. Among popular tools cited by respondents were web cameras for watching pets, smartphones and tablets with games designed for pets, digital toys, automatic feeders/water dispensers, and much more.
However, can there be any guarantee that a malfunctioning temperature controller will not overheat the fish, or an unresponsive auto-feeder will not leave a cat to starve? Such cases can be distressing for both the pets and those who take care of them. According to the survey, for example, half of the devices used for pets have access to the internet, which makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks. 14% of the surveyed pet owners reported that at least one of the digital devices they use for their pets had been hacked. Other problems reported by respondents included that the device stopped working or started malfunctioning. In the vast majority of cases, this resulted in a risk to the pet’s life (32%), its health (32%), its emotional well-being (23%), and even the emotional well-being of its owners (19%).
“Technology makes life easier not only for people, but also for our furry friends. With the help of technology, we can protect our pets, take care of them, and provide them with comfort. However, as is the case with any digital equipment, it’s important to remember the risks: any device can break down or be hacked by a cybercriminal. To avoid any unpleasant consequences, it’s important to implement simple security measures in advance, and have a backup plan in the event of device failure or infection. And, of course, you need to choose your digital device carefully, focusing on the most important thing – your pet’s safety,” says David Emm, Principal Security Researcher from Kaspersky Lab.
The experts at Kaspersky Lab suggest the following simple rules to ensure the security of your household pets:
- If you are the proud owner of a smart home, set safety rules for the pets who live there, like this Kaspersky Lab employee has in his pet-friendly smart home (watch the video here);
- Pay close attention to the security issues of connected devices before purchasing. Information on discovered and patched vulnerabilities is usually available online and is often easy to find. It is likely that the device you are going to purchase has already been examined by security researchers and it should be possible to find out whether the issues found in the device have been patched. The best choice is to buy products that have already undergone several software updates;
- Before you start using your device, change the default password and set a new strong password;
- Do not allow access to your device from outside of your local network, unless you specifically need it to use your device;
- Disable all network services that don’t need to use your device;
- Regularly update your device’s firmware to the latest version (when such updates are available);
- To overcome the challenges of smart device cybersecurity, Kaspersky Lab has released a solution for smart homes and the internet of things – Kaspersky IoT Scanner. This free application for the Android platform scans the home Wi-Fi network, informing the user about devices connected to it and their level of security.
PC sales crash as virus hits
COVID-19 is now an integral element of forecasting of computer sales, as the impact of coronavirus begins to be felt in the supply chain
Overall shipments of personal computing devices (PCD) will decline 9% in 2020, reaching 374.2-million by the end of this year, as a result of the impact of coronavirus, or COVID-19, on manufacturing, logistics and sales.
According to new projections from the Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, International Data Corporation (IDC) has lowered its forecast for PCDs, inclusive of desktops, notebooks, workstations, and tablets.
The long-term forecast still remains slightly positive, with global shipments forecast to grow to 377.2-million in 2024, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.2%. However, this is based on an IDC assumption that the spread of the virus will recede in 2020. Since the figure represents only marginal growth, the ongoing impact of the virus could quickly reduce long-term forecasts into negative expectations. IDC did not provide alternative scenarios should this occur.
The decline in 2020 is attributed to two significant factors; the Windows 7 to Windows 10 transition creates tougher year-over-year growth comparisons from here on out and, more recently, the spread of COVID-19 is hampering supply and leading to reduced demand. As a result, IDC forecasts a decline of 8.2% in shipments during the first quarter of 2020 (1Q20), followed by a decline of 12.7% in 2Q20 as the existing inventory of components and finished goods from the first quarter will have been depleted by the second quarter. In the second half of the year, growth rates are expected to improve, though the market will remain in decline.
“We have already forgone nearly a month of production given the two-week extension to the Lunar New Year break and we expect the road to recovery for China’s supply chain to be long with a slow trickle of labour back to factories in impacted provinces until May when the weather improves,” said Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices & Displays. “Many critical components such as panels, touch sensors, and printed circuit boards come out of these impacted regions, which will cause a supply crunch heading into Q2.”
“There’s no doubt that 2020 will remain challenged as manufacturing levels are at an all-time low and even the products that are ready to ship face issues with logistics,” added Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “Lost wages associated with factory shutdowns and the overall reduction in quality of life will further the decline in the second half of the year as demand will be negatively impacted.”
Assuming the spread of the virus subsides in 2020, IDC anticipates minor growth in 2021 as the market returns to normal with growth stemming from modern form factors such as thin and light notebooks, detachable tablets, and convertible laptops. Many commercial organizations are expected to refresh their devices and move towards these modern form factors in an effort to attract and retain a younger workforce. Meanwhile, consumer demand in gaming, as well as the rise in cellular-enabled PCs and tablets, will also help provide a marginal uplift.
Worldwide Topline Personal Computing Device Forecast Changes, Year-Over-Year Growth %, 2020-2021 (Annual)
|Product Category||Forecast Version||
|Total Traditional PCs||4Q19 – Feb. 2020||248.0||-7.1%||251.2||1.3%||1.3%|
||3Q19 – Nov. 2019||252.4||-4.6%||248.3||-1.6%||-1.6%|
|Total Tablets||4Q19 – Feb. 2020||126.2||-12.4%||125.4||-0.6%||-0.6%|
||3Q19 – Nov. 2019||127.8||-10.8%||125.2||-2.0%||-2.0%|
|Total Personal Computing Devices||4Q19 – Feb. 2020||374.2||-9.0%||376.6||0.6%||0.6%|
||3Q19 – Nov. 2019||380.2||-6.8%||373.5||-1.8%||-1.8%|
Worldwide Topline Personal Computing Device Forecast Changes, Year-Over-Year Growth %, 2020 (Quarterly)
|Product Category||Forecast Version||1Q20||2Q20||3Q20||4Q20|
|Total Traditional PCs||4Q19 – Feb. 2020||-6.4%||-10.3%||-6.4%||-5.6%|
||3Q19 – Nov. 2019||-2.0%||-6.8%||-5.7%||-3.5%|
|Total Tablets||4Q19 – Feb. 2020||-11.8%||-17.5%||-15.0%||-6.6%|
||3Q19 – Nov. 2019||-8.1%||-10.7%||-16.3%||-7.8%|
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, February 19, 2020
The chip that will drive the 5G smartphone era
No less than 15 manufacturers have announced they will use Qualcomm’s new mobile platform to power the first wave of 2020 5G smartphones
Qualcomm Technologies has announced that 15 global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and brands have selected the Snapdragon 865 5G Mobile Platform for their 5G device launches this year. The OEMs are ASUS, Black Shark, Fujitsu, iQOO, Lenovo, Nubia, OPPO, realme, Redmi, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE.
The company made the announcement at a media event in San Diego this week under the banner, “What’s Next in 5G”.
Qualcomm described the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform as “the world’s most advanced mobile platform, designed to deliver the unmatched connectivity and performance required for the next wave of flagship devices”. It features the company’s second-generation 5G Modem-RF System, the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55, while redefining Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth audio with the Qualcomm FastConnect 6800 mobile connectivity subsystem. The 865 enables premium devices with breakthrough features, from Gigapixel-speed photography and Elite Gaming with desktop-level features, to intelligent and intuitive experiences due to the 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine.
“As the world’s leading wireless technology innovator, we are committed to driving and scaling 5G to the consumer,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile at Qualcomm Technologies. “This year, the Snapdragon 865 will help make 5G accessible to billions of smartphone users around the world, further enabling immersive mobile experiences like high-speed gaming, intelligent multi-camera capture and all-day battery life.”
Qualcomm says that, after introducing the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform in December 2019, more than 70 designs have been announced or are in development based on the platform. Additionally, more than 1,750 designs have been announced or are in development based on the Snapdragon 8-series mobile platforms. Smartphones announced or coming soon based on the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform, include:
- Black Shark 3*
- FCNT arrows 5G*
- iQOO 3*
- Legion Gaming Phone*
- Nubia Red Magic 5G*
- OPPO Find X2*
- realme X50 Pro*
- Redmi K30 Pro*
- ROG Phone 3*
- Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra
- Sharp AQUOS R5G*
- Sony Xperia 1 II*
- vivo APEX 2020 Concept Phone*
- Xiaomi Mi 10* and Mi 10 Pro*
- ZenFone 7*
- ZTE Axon 10s Pro*
*Features Qualcomm FastConnect 6800 mobile connectivity subsystem
For more information, visit the Snapdragon 865 5G Mobile Platform Product Page.
Read more about new 5G technologies unveiled by Qualcomm this week.
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