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Samsung warns on fakes

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Counterfeit goods in the electronic industry has become an increasingly disturbing problem in South Africa. Samsung Electronics South Africa has debunked the difference between authentic and counterfeit smartphones that consumers should note before making a purchase.

Counterfeit goods have become an increasingly worrying problem in South Africa. Not only is the clothing industry suffering under the scourge of counterfeit goods but the Electronics industry has also been under fire. Consumers who purchase a smartphone device from unauthorised dealers are at risk of losing out financially, as there are limited options they can resort to should they subsequently discover that the device is faulty.

Richard Chetty, Service Director at Samsung Electronics South Africa, says, “Samsung is committed to providing its customers with the best service, with regards to solutions and devices, which is reflected in the quality of after-sales service, customer and technical support. The problem facing consumers who do not purchase their device at a Samsung approved dealer, is that there are no consumer care or repair options available to support any of the device components, or any way of being compensated if the product turns out to be a counterfeit.”

“If the purchase price is too good to be true, then it probably is. For example, if a Samsung Galaxy smartphone is found on sale at a much reduced price, we urge consumers to check with our customer care centres before purchasing the device, or else they may be left with a fake product”, says Chetty.

Examining the physical differences between an authentic Samsung smartphone and a counterfeit model can help identify an imitation phone. The Samsung logo on counterfeits is slightly raised, like a sticker. The screen will also appear a tad lighter than on a genuine device.

“A closer look at a genuine Samsung device will reveal sensors on the forward facing camera, which do not appear on the fake unit. When a genuine product is placed next to a fake one, a customer will easily recognise the lack of quality in the counterfeit version of the phone just by comparing the rear facing cameras,” adds Chetty.

Battery size is another obvious giveaway especially on the Samsung Galaxy S4. The genuine battery is much larger, has higher quality labels and well-designed positive and negative nodes. “The battery is probably the most important determinant of a fake device as it will impact how the device is charged,” warns Chetty. “The design of the battery compartment is very different with softer connectors on the genuine phone while the sticker displays the IMEI number clearly alongside the ICASA branding.”

 

Other elements that determine the validity of authentic Samsung smartphones:

 

Authentic Smartphones Counterfeit Smartphones
·         The genuine device has around seven to eight screws. ·         The counterfeit device has only two or three screws and the rest are imitations.
·         The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes in a genuine Samsung box. ·         The counterfeit Samsung Galaxy S5 also comes in a genuine Samsung box, it is advisable to open it first to ensure it is a genuine device.
·         On screen off mode, the authentic device’s screen appears darker. ·         The counterfeit appears much lighter.
·         Samsung uses a variety of manufacturers across the globe to produce its smartphone batteries. These batteries will always specify where the ‘cell’ was made and assembled. ·         A fake battery will always say ‘Made in Korea’, with no specific mention to where it was assembled.
·         Samsung smartphones are sold at authorised Samsung dealers or local operators. ·         Counterfeit Samsung smartphones can be sold anywhere, including off the street.

·         Online purchases that do not allow for returns are not sold by genuine dealers.

·         Ensure your purchase comes with the Samsung South Africa two year Warranty ·         Samsung smartphones that do not carry a two year Warranty are not authentic.

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Seedstars seeks tech to reverse land degradation in Africa

A new partnership is offering prizes to young entrepreneurs for coming up with innovations that tackle the loss of arable land in Africa.

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The DOEN Foundation has joined forces with Seedstars, an emerging market startup community, to launch the DOEN Land Restoration Prize, which showcases solutions to environmental, social and financial challenges that focus on land restoration activities in Africa. Stichting DOEN is a Dutch fund that supports green, socially-inclusive and creative initiatives that contribute to a better and cleaner world.

While land degradation and deforestation date back millennia, industrialization and a rising population have dramatically accelerated the process. Today we are seeing unprecedented land degradation, and the loss of arable land at 30 to 35 times the historical rate.

Currently, nearly two-thirds of Africa’s land is degraded, which hinders sustainable economic development and resilience to climate change. As a result, Africa has the largest restoration opportunity of any continent: more than 700 million hectares (1.7 billion acres) of degraded forest landscapes that can be restored. The potential benefits include improved food and water security, biodiversity protection, climate change resilience, and economic growth. Recognizing this opportunity, the African Union set an ambitious target to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.

Land restoration is an urgent response to the poor management of land. Forest and landscape restoration is the process of reversing the degradation of soils, agricultural areas, forests, and watersheds thereby regaining their ecological functionality. According to the World Resources Institute, for every $1 invested in land restoration it can yield $7-$30 in benefits, and now is the time to prove it.

The winner of the challenge will be awarded 9 months access to the Seedstars Investment Readiness Program, the hybrid program challenging traditional acceleration models by creating a unique mix to improve startup performance and get them ready to secure investment. They will also access a 10K USD grant.

“Our current economic system does not meet the growing need to improve our society ecologically and socially,” says Saskia Werther, Program Manager at the DOEN Foundation. “The problems arising from this can be tackled only if a different economic system is considered. DOEN sees opportunities to contribute to this necessary change. After all, the world is changing rapidly and the outlines of a new economy are becoming increasingly clear. This new economy is circular and regenerative. Landscape restoration is a vital part of this regenerative economy and social entrepreneurs play an important role to establish innovative business models to counter land degradation and deforestation. Through this challenge, DOEN wants to highlight the work of early-stage restoration enterprises and inspire other frontrunners to follow suit.”

Applications are open now and will be accepted until October 15th. Startups can apply here: http://seedsta.rs/doen

To enter the competition, startups should meet the following criteria:

  • Existing startups/young companies with less than 4 years of existence
  • Startups that can adapt their current solution to the land restoration space
  • The startup must have a demonstrable product or service (Minimum Viable Product, MVP)
  • The startup needs to be scalable or have the potential to reach scalability in low resource areas.
  • The startup can show clear environmental impact (either by reducing a negative impact or creating a positive one)
  • The startup can show a clear social impact
  • Technology startups, tech-enabled startups and/or businesses that can show a clear innovation component (e.g. in their business model)

Also, a specific emphasis is laid, but not limited to: Finance the restoration of degraded land for production and/or conservation purposes; big data and technology to reverse land degradation; resource efficiency optimization technologies, ecosystems impacts reduction and lower carbon emissions; water-saving soil technologies; technologies focused on improving livelihoods and communities ; planning, management and education tools for land restoration; agriculture (with a focus on precision conservation) and agroforestry; clean Energy solutions that aid in the combat of land degradation; and responsible ecotourism that aids in the support of land restoration.

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The dark side of apps

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Mobile device security threats are on the rise and it’s not hard to see why. In 2019 the number of worldwide mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.68 billion of which 2.7 billion are smartphone users. So, if you are looking for a target, it certainly makes sense to go where the numbers are. Think about it, unsecured Wi-Fi connections, network spoofing, phishing attacks, ransomware, spyware and improper session handling – mobile devices make for the perfect easy target. In fact, according to Kaspersky, mobile apps are often the cause of unintentional data leakage.

“Apps pose a real problem for mobile users, who give them sweeping permissions, but don’t always check security,” says Riaan Badenhorst, General Manager for Kaspersky in Africa. “These are typically free apps found in official app stores that perform as advertised, but also send personal – and potentially corporate – data to a remote server, where it is mined by advertisers or even cybercriminals. Data leakage can also happen through hostile enterprise-signed mobile apps. Here, mobile malware uses distribution code native to popular mobile operating systems like iOS and Android to spread valuable data across corporate networks without raising red flags.”

In fact, according to recent reports, 6 Android apps that were downloaded a staggering 90 million times from the Google Play Store were found to have been loaded with the PreAMo malware, while another recent threat saw 50 malware-filled apps on the Google Play Store infect over 30 million Android devices. Surveillance malware was also loaded onto fake versions of Android apps such as Evernote, Google Play and Skype.

Considering that as of 2019, Android users were able to choose between 2.46 million apps, while Apple users have almost 1.96 million app options to select from, and that the average person has 60-90 apps installed on their phone, using around 30 of them each month and launching 9 per day – it’s easy to see how viral apps take several social media channels by storm.

“In this age where users jump onto a bandwagon because it’s fun or trendy, the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) can overshadow basic security habits – like being vigilant on granting app permissions,” says Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky in Africa. “In fact, accordingly to a previous Kaspersky study, the majority (63%) of consumers do not read license agreements and 43% just tick all privacy permissions when they are installing new apps on their phone. And this is exactly where the danger lies – as there is certainly ‘no harm’ in joining online challenges or installing new apps.”

However, it is dangerous when users just grant these apps limitless permissions into their contacts, photos, private messages, and more. “Doing so allows the app makers possible, and even legal, access to what should remain confidential data. When this sensitive data is hacked or misused, a viral app can turn a source into a loophole which hackers can exploit to spread malicious viruses or ransomware,” adds Badenhorst. 

As such, online users should always have their thinking caps on and be more careful when it comes to the internet and their app habits including:

  • Only download apps from trusted sources. Read the reviews and ratings of the apps as well
  • Select apps you wish to install on your devices wisely
  • Read the license agreement carefully
  • Pay attention to the list of permissions your apps are requesting. Only give apps permissions they absolutely insist on, and forgo any programme that asks for more than necessary
  • Avoid simply clicking “next” during an app installation
  • For an additional security layer, be sure to have a security solution installed on your device

“While the app market shows no signs of slowing down, it is changing,” says Opil. “Consumers download the apps they love on their devices which in turn gives them access to content that is relevant and useful. The future of apps will be in real-world attribution, influenced by local content and this type of tailored in-app experience will lead consumers to share their data more willing in a trusted, premium app environment in exchange for more personalised experiences. But until then, proceed with caution.”

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