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ONTAPtv.com launches in South Africa

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

ontaptvLast month we reported on the future of television and looked at the main role players on the VOD (video on demand) field – Naspers’ Showmax, VIDI and FrontRow.

Barely a month later, last Wednesday, a new contender, ONTAPtv.com, was announced. And with packages starting at R39-00 it will be an attractive choice if you need to keep your budget in check.

Standard packages include a family package with family friendly content, one for just TV series, one for the movie buffs, a package for over 16s and a Mega Pack, which includes all these options. Package are R69-00 per month, but you can also subscribe to two per month at a cost of R79-00 or opt for the Mega Pack at a monthly fee of R89-00.

Apart from the local content, ONTAPtv provides the opportunity to watch specific African content at R39-00, Chinese television (nowTV) at R88-00 and FightSports at R69-00 per month.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel like committing just yet, you can just download movies at R15-00 (old movies) and R25-00 (new releases). Just like ShowMax you don’t have to sign your name away immediately – ONTAPtv does provide a trial period to ensure you are happy with your selection.

What makes ONTAPtv different from other VOD choices, is the option to download your chosen content instead of watching it online. Series and movies are also available in lower resolution to save bandwidth.

ONTAPtv.com is accessible via the service’s web platform and is currently compatible with PC, Mac, iOS- and Android devices. The platform was built with Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari in mind. At the moment it does not support on Google Chrome, but this might change in the future.

[SOURCES: www.memeburn.com]


Think you’re safe online?

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Memeburn, a website specialising in tech news and analysis recently reported on the state of cyber security in South Africa. (Read the article here)

According to the article, it was announced during the 2015 Security Summit in Johannesburg that over the previous six month, South Africa was the most popular target in Africa for criminal cyber attacks. DDOS attacks in Africa also increased 150% over the past 18 months.

Antonio Forzieri, an executive at Symantec, stated that one out of 214 e-mail sent in South Africa last year, was a spear phishing attempt.

South Africans are losing R2.2 billion per year to cybercrime. Statistics like these emphasise the importance of being informed and careful with personal information.

Online sales are on the increase and providesan additional platform for cybercrime.

onedollarKaspersky Lab, a company renowned for their expertise in security, launched a new project which, in a very visual, simple and interactive way, demonstrates the danger of cyber threats.

The one dollar lesson is an animated website which shows what happens to your money when you shop online and your information is intercepted.

One dollar lesson also hosts three training modules – each of which shows one dollar’s virtual trip to the bank and the possible obstacles it can encounter along the way.

Don’t assume you know everything there is to know about cyber safety. Stay up to date on new cyber threats and be careful with your personal information.

High internet usage problematic

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Our service desk has been inundated with calls regarding high internet accounts over the past two weeks.

In one incident unusually high traffic on a user’s account was detected. When investigated it came to light that someone else saw him type his password and used it to download illegal series from the internet.

Information Technology can’t safeguard users in against incidents like these. Unfortunately it remains your sole responsibility to keep your password safe,

Sharing of usernames and passwords are still commonplace on campus, as is writing passwords down on post-its and leaving them on desks.

It’s just as important to keep your network password safe as it is to keep your bank card’s PIN number safe and surely you won’t share your PIN with someone?

With your password someone can not only access your internet, but also your e-mails containing bank and other private information, as well as human resources information – including your salary information! The risk remains the same.

Make sure you use a strong password. Microsoft has some clear guidelines on this.

Always close Inetkey when leaving your PC or lock your PC (ctrl+alt+del). If it’s open, anyone can use it and there’s no way for IT to establish who really used the account if you logged in.

Regularly check your internet usage and make sure you don’t get any nasty surprises. Your internet balance is displayed on the Inetkey prompt box and can also be checked at www.sun.ac.za/useradm.

Keep in mind that the university internet speed and your ADSL line at home aren’t the same speed. You might assume because you’re spending the same amount of time online, it will cost you the same, but downloading is much faster on the university network.

If you notice a sudden increase in your internet usage, lodge a query at IT at the cost of R200-00. More information on internet usage on the SU network can be found in our service catalogue.

Online shopping on the increase

Friday, May 29th, 2015


Whether you’re a bookworm who frequently visits the Exclusive Books’ website or a techie who always finds a gadget on Takealot – there’s an online shop for everyone.

Although online shopping isn’t the default shopping choice for South Africans, this is changing.

In January of 2015 Statistica.com reported that 40% of internet users worldwide bought products online – that’s 1 billion online shoppers. This amount will increase as more efficient encryption and security measures are developed.

In South Africa the percentage of buyers is around 22% and 48% of internet users claim they might be using the internet for shopping in future. (Survey conducted by IPSOS on behalf of PayPAL and FNB) If we consider that South Africa has the best developed economy in Africa and 86% adults own a cellphone, predictions by IPSOS and Statistica.com aren’t so far-fetched.

Studies show a noteworthy increase in internet purchases, as well as the amount users spend.

The SA council of shopping centres (SACSC) claim that serious internet users already conduct 50% of their shopping online and spend up to R2500 per month. Lighter users make around 14 transactions and spend R350 per month. Shoppers also tend to first do research on a product online and then buy it in the shop.

But where do South Africans like to shop and what do we buy? Woolworths, Exclusive Books and Pick ‘n Pay’s online versions seem to be most popular, while exclusively online shops Kalahari.com, Takealot and Amazon take preference. On the clothing front Zando and Spree totaled a low 9% in 2014.

Popular choices are digital products, event tickets, travel and clothing.

Security remains the biggest reason for not buying online. According to Statistica.com 38% of their respondents don not trust security on the internet enough to do payments online.

Security shouldn’t be a problem when an online shop’s website is PCI DSS certified or uses good encryption methods like 3D secure. As with any other website, trust your instincts and don’t shop and divulge your bank details on unknown or suspicious sites. Rather stick to legitimate, safe shops like Takealot, Zando, Spree, etc.

Some internet users are under the impression that you need a credit card when shopping online. This isn’t the case. Online shops have been adding various other payment options to accommodate shoppers. External payment companies like PayPal ensure that transactions are more secure and if you do feel uneasy divulging credit card details, pay with a bank EFT. Some shops even give you the choice to pay cash when your order is delivered.

Tangibility and quality guarantee is another consumer concern. More effective procedures have been put into place and consumers can easily  return a product they’re not satisfied with.

On the upside, online shopping is convenient and easy. It gives you the opportunity to choose between a wide selection of products, some sourced worldwide and pick the price best suited to your pocket. You don’t have to wait weeks for your purchase to be delivered. Good online shops will deliver within 24 hours if they have the product in stock.

By the end of this decade e-commerce in Africa will expand by 20 times and according to McKinsey & Company, by 2025 10% of retail sales will be done online.

Whether we like it or not, online shops are here to stay and hopefully we as consumers will be the ones who benefit from it.

[SOURCES: www.mybroadband.co.za; www.ventureburn.com; www.eprop.co.za; www.itnewsafrica.com]


Mobile payments making payment easier

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Just when you thought it was safe to leave your credit card at home, along came mobile payment facilities.

Snapscan, developed here in Stellenbosch, is the best-known mobile payment option at the moment. Apart from SnapScan, PocketPOS, FlickPay and Payment Pebble are also widely used in South Africa.

All these use your cell phone as Mobile POS (point of sale) so you don’t have to carry cash or a card on you. The assumption is that most people always carry their phones with them, but not their wallets. The mobile wallet is therefore an easy and convenient alternative. You also don’t have to queue or get for a waiter to notice you – just make the payment yourself.

You may think this is just another passing tech-fad, but according to research mobile transactions are higher in Africa than in America. Easier, cheaper internet access by cell phone when a computer isn’t available, being the main reason. In 2012 Africans spent more than 57.8 billion dollar just on mobile payments.

Although QR codes  (as used by SnapScan) are still used, new technology is already on the cards. Beacon technology uses your location for a different functions.

Snapscan recently developed Snapbeacon, a first in South Africa. Tap a button in the app and a transaction in the shop will be initiated via Bluetooth. If the function has been activated on your phone, it will automatically show a Pay here option.

Snapbeacon is only compatible with specific phones – iPhone 4S and higher and the latest smartphones with Android 4.3 and higher. At the start of April Snapbeacon was available at 30 SnapScan vendors in Cape Town and 20 in the rest of South Africa.

 [SOURCES: www.memeburn.comwww.ventureburn.com]


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