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TikTok trends for SA revealed in big 2019 Throwback

The TikTok video-sharing social network has launched an-app 2019 year-end rewind that lists the most popular TikTok creators, challenges, stickers , hits and hashtags – including #bringithomebokke

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It has been a year filled with fun, laughter and extraordinary moments as we watched millions of South Africans jump onto TikTok, the world’s leading destination for short-form videos, to express themselves and entertain others in 2019. Through viral challenges, popular stickers, filters and effects, South Africans took centre stage in 2019 to show off their greatest attributes in ways that tugged at our heartstrings or made us roll on the floor with laughter.

As the year draws to a close, all users were invited to vote for their favourite and the most creative video content based on five different categories.

Without further ado, here are the 2019 winners based on user votes:

  • Best in Comedy:

The first category celebrates the TikTok comedians who kept the community laughing in 2019. The award in this category goes to comedian, @troysheperds, who is known for his local South African humour. When he isn’t imitating women and cross-dressing, he’s commenting on relatable, cultural differences in a light-hearted and humorous way.

  • Best in Dance:

Known for featuring the coolest tracks, TikTok hosted a number of dance challenges that got everyone’s feet moving this year. One of the most popular was the #MacarenaChallenge. And the award goes to professional dancer, @kelly_kikx!

  • Best in Fashion:

This category includes the TikTok creators who kept up with 2019 fashion trends and how they shared this with the community. Based on her glowing videos, makeup artist @glowup_entle was crowned 2019’s TikTok fashionista.

  • Best Moving Moment:

Browsing through TikTok can often be an emotional journey as you never know what content you’re going to find. We have to congratulate @chanegrobler as she definitely kept the community in touch with their emotions this year through her boss acting skills.

  • Best Transition:

TikTok videos are best watched with a smooth transition between compiled videos. But who was the smoothest of them all? We say @curlykenter. Congratulations.

As a platform that encourages creative expression, TikTok has naturally attracted a diverse list of local celebrities who are using TikTok to create bite-sized, fun videos that give fans a sneak peek into their day-to-day lives. The most popular creators in 2019 include Pearl ThusiDJ ZinhleSho MadjoziMr Cashtime (K.O), and Busiswaah.

Furthermore, as a platform that empowers users to showcase their true selves and real lives, TikTok has also served as the launchpad for an array of local creators. The most popular creators in 2019 include @wianmagic@chanegrobler@kelly_kikx@witney8 and @troysheperds. These creators are only a few that have gained a massive following during 2019 and have been connecting with the local community as well as a global audience. 

That’s a wrap: 2019 was indeed an unforgettable year for TikTok in South Africa, with one of the most popular challenges being #BringItHomeBokke, which gave everyone a chance to not only to be part of a historic moment, but to celebrate diversity and creativity through content. South Africa also closes the year with the most popular and memorable music hits on TikTok Absolutely Anything by CG5 amongst other favorites such as The Git Up by Blanco Brown and Dames by Biggy.

Wait, it’s not over yet: Before 2019 officially comes to an end, TikTok has yet another challenge for creators to share the festive joy with fellow users. Look out for the Summer Christmas challenge which will start from 20 December 2019. To join in on this challenge, simply look up #MzansiXmas on TikTok and share your version of a local Christmas.

Here’s a sneak peek at what other creators have already posted:

Follow Gadget’s Editor-in-chief, Arthur Goldstuck, on TikTok: @arr2gee

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Security issues grow with transition to smart TVs

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You can’t picture a modern home without smart equipment. Smart thermostats, smart refrigerators, robot vacuums, and smart TVs won’t surprise anyone these days. For example, around 70% of the TVs being sold worldwide are smart TVs. Although they bring more entertainment, these devices also carry new digital threats. 

Sometimes people forget that smart TVs are as vulnerable to cybercrime as their smartphones and computers. Daniel Markuson, the digital privacy expert at NordVPN, says that “although smart TVs are connected to the internet and have similar functions to computers, they aren’t equipped with the same security tools, which makes them easy prey for hackers.” 

What’s so scary about your TV getting hacked? As smart TVs gain more features, the amount of your private information they handle increases too. TVs aren’t just for watching movies and shows anymore. Now you can use them for web browsing, streaming video content, gaming, and even shopping online. 

To enjoy your smart TV to the fullest, you need to download various apps and games. These cost money, so you need your credit card details filled in. Putting your financial information, logins, and passwords on your TV makes it an appealing target for hacking. 

According to Daniel Markuson, a smart TV can be used to spy on its users. Hackers can access its camera and microphone through malware, which they can slip into your TV when it is connected to Wi-Fi. They can use footage from your bedroom or living room to blackmail you and your family. By watching your home and listening to your conversations, hackers know what goods you have, where you keep them when you’re away, and what your plans are. 

If you use your smart TV for web browsing, you can infect it with various viruses too, says the digital privacy expert at NordVPN. Like computers, smart TVs run on software, but they don’t have the same strong antivirus and firewall systems installed. Once your TV gets infected, your browsing history, passwords, and other private data become accessible to hackers. And they won’t miss the opportunity to use this information in ransomware attacks. 

Even though smart TVs are vulnerable to cyber threats, Daniel Markuson says there is no need to panic yet. The expert names a few simple principles every smart TV owner should follow to protect their device.

Always update your TV’s software whenever a new version becomes available. The expert says that software updates are crucial for cybersecurity as manufacturers do their best to patch vulnerabilities. Updates often repair security flaws, fix or remove various bugs, add new features, and improve the existing ones. Some TVs install updates automatically by default. With others, you may need to check for updates periodically to make sure your device runs on the latest version. 

Use available security measures such as a VPN. The best practice for any internet-connected device is to install a firewall and use a VPN such as NordVPN. It secures your device and lets you enjoy fast internet access with encryption-powered privacy.

Connect your smart TV to the internet only when needed. It isn’t necessary to have your TV connected to Wi-Fi all the time. To make it less vulnerable to hacker attacks, turn on the Wi-Fi connection only when you are using it.

Download apps from official stores only. Do not install any programs and games from unofficial sources on your smart TV. Make sure that both the app and its provider are reliable. Moreover, if an application asks for access to your data, camera, or microphone that isn’t necessary for its operation, never accept it.

Be careful with personal files and financial data. Shopping online on a big smart TV screen might be fun, but be careful providing your credit card details and other sensitive information this way. Although some manufacturers equip their TV sets with security features, they cannot guarantee safety online. “People who synchronize their smart TVs with their computers to access compatible media content should be especially cautious,” warns Daniel Markuson. The connection between your smart TV and your computer can be a weak link and lead to a data breach.

Use strong Wi-Fi passwords. This practice is the most obvious and the easiest to follow. Create a strong password to protect your Wi-Fi connection at home and don’t share it with any outsiders.

Turn off your TV camera when not in use. Whether it’s a built-in camera or the one connected to a TV via Wi-Fi, turn it off when not using it. If you can’t turn off your camera, use a piece of tape or a sticker over the camera lens to cover it. 

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Tech too complex? It stresses out even the tech-savvy

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Picture by hobvias sudoneighm on Flickr.

Even the savviest members of the tech industry get stressed by common devices that power their everyday lives, according to a recent poll conducted at CES 2020 by Asurion, the global leader in helping people connect, protect and enjoy their tech.

Survey screen by Asurion at CES 2020.

Asurion surveyed nearly 1,400 attendees of CES 2020, the world’s largest and most influential tech industry event, about their relationship with personal tech and their role as tech expert for family and friends. What the tech care company found is that even the tech-savvy, tech DIY’ers and early adopters stress out over some of the most ordinary devices in our hands and homes.

So, what tech tops the list of devices that stress out some of the consumer electronics industry’s tech enthusiasts?

  • Mesh routers and Wi-Fi networks (33%)
  • Phones (26%)
  • Smart home security systems (23%)

And, the tech-related activities that even the tech-savvy dread the most?

  • Troubleshooting a device that worked perfectly yesterday (39%)
  • Device security (27%)
  • Setting up devices (nearly 27%)

Asurion helps nearly 300 million customers worldwide unlock the potential of their tech with a team of over 10,000 Experts who are just a call, click or tap away. The company’s Experts provide ongoing tech support, same-day device repair, and same-day delivery and setup services. They’ll meet customers virtually, in-home, at select partner stores, and in more than 540 uBreakiFix stores across the country or wherever it’s convenient.

“The tech industry just spent four amazing days experiencing and celebrating the latest innovations in the future of tech,” said Teresa May, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Asurion. “What we heard is that even common tech tasks and devices can be challenging. Every day, our Experts help people across the country with their devices – everything from setting up a new phone to troubleshooting streaming issues on their smart TVs. Our CES poll reveals that the industry’s top tech innovators share the same pain points affecting millions of Americans.”

Asurion’s Experts received more than 18.5 million calls and chats from customers seeking tech help last year. And while the No. 1 question this holiday was a strong “How do I activate my new phone?” Asurion Experts also received many questions ranging from “How do I connect to Wi-Fi?” to “Can I sync my smart speakers to play them in tandem?”

And while the tech industry may have tech challenges of their own, they also get tapped by family and friends for help. Eight out of 10 attendees surveyed said their family and friends rely on them to help set up and troubleshoot their tech. Nearly two-thirds (63%) said they hesitate to gift tech to their loved ones because the recipient won’t know how to use it, and nearly half (46%) gave pause to gifting tech to family and friends because they didn’t want to be the one to help set it up.

Asurion CES Tech Poll

Consumer Tech Devices That Stress CES Attendees Out the Most

1. Mesh Routers and Wi-Fi Networks (33%)
2. Phones (26%)
3. Smart Home Security Systems (23%)
4. Smart Home Assistants/Hubs (20%)
5. Bluetooth Printers (19%)
6. Smart Home Automation (19%)
7. Laptops/Tablets (18%)
8. Smart TVs (17%)
9. Smart Appliances (14%)
10. Home Energy, Lighting and Switches (13%)

Tech Activities That Stress Out CES Attendees the Most

1. Troubleshooting Tech That Worked Perfectly Yesterday (39%)
2. Security (27%)
3. Setting up a Device (27%)
4. Privacy (23%)
5. Helping Others With Their Tech (20%)
6. Managing or Connecting Multiple Devices (19%)
7. Wi-Fi Connectivity (19%)
8. Paying for Personal Data Storage (18%)
9. Learning a New Operating System (17%)
10. Choosing Which Brand To Purchase (17%)

To learn more about where you can get tech support and protection, visit Asurion.com.

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