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SA search went local in 2017

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The top searches on Google in South Africa shows deepening interest in local news and places, writes BRYAN TURNER.

South Africans are searching more locally now than in previous years, according to Google’s Year In Search analysis, which offers a snapshot of the most popular searches of the year.

It shows that, for 2017, the first seven of the Top 10 Trending Searched Personalities in this country were South African, and six out of the Top 10 Trending Search Terms were directly related to South Africa.

“This is really telling of the society, not just that more people are coming online, but also that South Africans are genuinely interested in South Africa and the surrounds,” says Mich Atagana, head of communications and public affairs for South Africa at Google.

Top personality searches at Google's SA search museum

Top personality searches at Google’s SA “search museum”

Dumi Masilela, an actor from the South African TV show Rhythm City, topped the list of searches after he was killed in an attempted hijacking in August this year. Atagana stressed that Google searches might be becoming more relevant due to more South Africans becoming connected and searching for answers to questions arising from daily situations.

“This year I thought it was very telling of South African society to see a question like ‘What is junk status?’.”

Google’s Year In Search launch event was designed as a museum of searches this year, with various sections split up into visual and interactive categories, auch as portraits of trending personalities, and recipe cards for trending recipes. In the recipe section, the number 1 Trending Searched Recipe was Oxtail, but holds a Top Trending result only in South Africa.

This year Google introduced Top Trending ‘Near Me’, which reveals how people search for places of interest closest to them, using location services within a phone or browser. Only three positions were held by restaurants or food outlets: KFC, Steers and Sushi. The topic winner here was healthcare services, which held four positions in the top 10: Pharmacy, Dentist, Gynaecologist and Doctor.

Atagana said that it was interesting to see that serious questions were brought up in the trending question section, with “What role can the private sector play in poverty alleviation?” sitting at 4th place. However, this may have related to it being a school assignment in the Western Cape. Burning topics like Hurricane Dineo and Bitcoin topped the list of questions.

op Near Me searches at Google's SA search museum

Top Near Me searches at Google’s SA “search museum”

There were some surprises about some personalities not making the top 10 list, such as Donald Trump and the Gupta Family.

“One of my biggest surprises was that there are no Gupta mentions on any of the lists.” said Atagana. “Trump didn’t make our people list either, when we thought he would.”

In the 2016 Year In Search results, Donald Trump ranked 4th in overall trending searches and the Gutpa family ranked 3rd in trending South African politicians and prominent figures.

Top recipe searches at Google's SA "search "museum

Top recipe searches at Google’s SA “search “museum

Top Trending Search Terms in South Africa

Near Me

1) Pharmacy near me
2) Dentist near me
3) KFC near me
4) Jobs hiring near me
5) Hardware store near me
6) Gynecologist near me
7) Printing shops near me
8) Steers near me
9) Sushi near me
10) Doctors near me

Personalities
1) Dumi Masilela
2) Joe Mafela
3) Joost van der Westhuizen
4) Zodwa Wabantu
5) Mandla Hlatshwayo
6) Lundi Tyamara
7) Simphiwe Ngema
8) Grace Mugabe
9) Hugh Hefner
10) Chester Bennington

Questions
1) What is dineo?
2) What is bitcoin?
3) Who won the money fight?
4) What role can the private sector play in poverty alleviation?
5) How to lose belly fat?
6) How old is Simphiwe Ngema?
7) What is happening in Zimbabwe?
8) How to make slime?
9) What is junk status?
10) How to manage xenophobia?

Recipes
1) Oxtail recipes
2) Sweet potato recipes
3) Beef stew recipes
4) Vegan recipes
5) Creamed spinach recipes
6) Halal recipes
7) Prawn recipes
8) Spaghetti recipes
9) Cauliflower recipes
10) Bread recipes

Searches
1) Dumi Masilela
2) Zimbabwe
3) Cyclone Dineo
4) Joe Mafela
5) Karabo Mokoena
6) Joost van der Westhuizen
7) Black Friday
8) Mayweather vs McGregor Fight
9) Fast and Furious 8
10) Hurricane Irma

TV Shows
1) 13 Reasons Why
2) Game of Thrones
3) Isibaya
4) Uzalo
5) Big Brother Naija
6) American Gods
7) Idols SA
8) Sex in the City
9) Big Little Lies
10) Riverdale

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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