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Mobile technology survey reveals new trends

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Android and Apple mobile phones look likely to dominate share amongst students within a year while Blackberry’s share is dwindling rapidly. The picture has changed significantly since 2012:

mobile-phones

This is just one example of the results of a recent mobile technology survey conducted by the Information Technology division to track trends in students’ mobile devices. The purpose of these surveys (the first was conducted in September 2012) are to identify trends so that relevant university mobile services and strategies can be implemented in future. Understanding the mix of devices that students possess and how rapidly the picture is changing, is crucial for informed planning and decision-making.

Another unexpected trend is the slow penetration of tablets on campus. Since the vast majority of students have daily access to a laptop, ultrabook or notebook, the tablet seems to be an optional “third” device, which 47% of students can’t afford and 25% prefer not to use. Only 28% of respondents have a tablet, almost half of which are Apple iPads, closely followed by Android tablets. Students indicate that the take-up is likely to increase but accelerate slowly.

Unfortunately awareness of the national Student Technology Programme, which provides students with the opportunity to purchase heavily discounted tablets, laptops and notebooks, is also still lacking.

On the positive side students consistently rate mobile services and content related to learning and academic events and schedules as the most important. It is possible that as more learning content, including e-textbooks, becomes available via mobile devices, for offline consumption as well, that the penetration of tablets may accelerate.

mobile-content

More surveys will be conducted in the foreseeable future to discern trends and changes over time and students are encouraged to participate.

One lucky respondent, BComm student, Pierre-Etienne Rossouw, was the winner of an Incredible Connection gift voucher to the value of R1500.

2832 students out of 32266 invitees responded.

 

[PHOTO: Ralph Pina (director of development) with winner Pierre-Etienne Rossouw]

 

 

 

Geared for the future

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Do you still remember those enormous Casio watches with the built in calculators? Well, don’t start sniggering just yet (besides, we know you also had one). Because soon you’ll want a large watch again and this time around it will be able to do more than just adding and subtracting.

The Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch was recently launched in Berlin by Lee Young-hee, Samsung‘s vice president of mobile technology, two weeks before the Berlin IFA electronic consumer show.

With Samsung’s new smart watch you’ll be able to make calls, browse the internet and manage your e-mails. All this while you’re looking the part  – bodyguard meets FBI agent.

Other useful extras include a camera, various applications such as Evernote and Pocket, as well as MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper for the fitness fanatics among us. For those who prefer wine above exercise, the Gear comes with Vivino Wine Scanner – an app which allows you to take a photo of  a wine label and immediately have access to the wine’s information.

[Photo: www.samsung.com]

But BEFORE you get too excited, I have to warn you that, to use a Galaxy Gear, you also need a Galaxy Note. It is estimated that the Gear will be available during October for the recommended price of  R4 599. The latest Galaxy Note model, with which the Gear is compatible, has been available since 27 September at R8 999.

In total this comes to the considerable amount of approximately R14 000. Not necessarily an option for someone earning an average salary, but at least the technology is now available and with a little bit of patience, we all will be able to afford one one day.

More information on the Samsung Galaxy Gear can be found on Samsung’s website

[SOURCES: www.cnet.com, www.wikipedia.org, www.news24.com, www.mybroadband.co.za, www.pcadvisor.co.uk  en www.t3.com]

 

 

Beware of SIM card swap fraud

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

 

Although it is a known scam, when it hits one of your colleagues, it makes you aware that there are very real dangers out there. A SIM card swap fraud occurs when criminals obtain and utilise a replacement SIM card to acquire security messages and one-time passwords (OTP) sent to you by the bank. Using the OTP, criminals are able to change, add beneficiaries and transfer money out of your account using your personal information that they would have obtained through phishing. One of our colleagues lost R20 000 over the holidays and asked us to warn other staff as well:

How does a SIM swap scam work?

  • The SIM swap takes place after the fraudsters have received a your bank logon details as a result of the you responding to, for example, a Phishing e-mail. (this is why phishing e-mails are so dangerous and you should never ever respond or click on links contained in these phishing e-mails.)
  • Once the fraudsters have the your cell phone number and other personal information, the fraudster can pose as you, requesting a new SIM card from a cellular service provider.
  • The cellular service provider transfers the your SIM card identity to the new SIM card, cancelling your old SIM card in the process.
  • The result is that there is no signal on the old SIM card, which means the you cannot receive / make phone calls or send SMS messages. (This ought to be the first sign of something wrong, so if you get  “SIMCARD INVALID” error on your cell phone)
  • The SMS authorisation reference number, which is normally sent to the client, reaches the fraudster instead of you, the legitimate owner, and the fraudster is able to make once-off payments and create beneficiaries fraudulently

What should I do if I suspect an unlawful SIM swap?

  • If you fall prey to an unlawful SIM swap, or suspect that you have, contact your cellular service provider for assistance.
  • Also contact the internet banking helpdesk to request that your internet banking access be suspended with immediate effect. This will prevent fraudsters from gaining access and transacting on your accounts.

What can I do to prevent SIM swap fraud?

  • Protect your information – all your information.
  • Do not disclose your ID number on websites unless you have verified the legitimacy of the site. The bank already knows your ID number and will not require you to give it to us again.
  • Do not disclose your cell number on websites unless you have verified the legitimacy of the site. Phishing sites often request for information such as ID Number, email address and email address password, physical address, etc.
  • Always make sure that your contact details on Internet banking are valid and correct. You know when your details have changed, so when you are ready, you can update the information on Internet banking or at a local bank branch.

[INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY DAVID WILES]

 

Keep your cell phone secure

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

These days your smartphone is just as powerful as your laptop or pc a few years back. You store more personal and work information on your device and it’s always connected to the internet.

It’s exactly this convenience that puts you as a smartphone user at risk. Cooltech, iAfrica’s tech section, has a few ideas to minimise risk and ensure your personal information stays, well, personal and safe from malware and cybercriminals and other security risks.

Set up a password

Your first line of defense is to simply set up a password on your phone. Most cellphone providers allow you to type in a pin number each time you switch on your phone or after a period on inactivity.

Install security software

Since smart phones are no longer just for storing phone numbers and sms’s, but also bankdetails, they’re also an easy and perfect target for cybercriminals.

Consider installing anti virus software to protect your device against malware. F-Secure, Norton and other large security software vendors each have their own version for the main smartphone platforms.

Activate the remote wipe function

The biggest risk is the the theft or loss of your device. Rather than worry about a stranger snooping through your information, activate the remore wipe function.

This function will allow you, by means of an internet connection, to delete your photos, business contacts and e-mails when you suspect you might not be able to recover your phone.

Some manufacturers like BlackBerry and Apple offer the remote wipe function and location applications for their latest devices, while third party applications are available for other platforms.

Download safe and approved applications

The temptation to download a free, unofficial application on your iPhone or Android instead of purchasing one through iStore, is big, but do you really want to take the risk and expose your phone to malware.  Rather stick legitimate sources where proper quality control is done and applications don’t come with added nasty surprises.

Backup your data

As we’ve already established, a substantial amount of your life is on your smart phone – e-mail, phone contacts, documents, photos and much more. Just as you back up your computer (hopefully!), do the same with your cell phone so you won’t lose everything if you lose your phone.  Many smartphones allow you to make a thorough backup from your device to your pc or at least sync the most important data and settings to an online service.  Many smartphones allow you to make a comprehensive backup of your device to a computer, or to sync your most critical data and settings to an online service.

New procedures for setting up Outlook on Android causes confusion

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Since the recent Exchange upgrade a few people have been confronted with a few unusual questions when trying to set up Outlook on their Android phones.Fortunately the process is less intimidating than it seems at first glance.

After the standard Outlook setup on your Android (click here for the full instructions),  Activate device administrator” will appear, prompting you to select a long list of options, for example Erase all dataChange Screen unlock passwordPassword recovery . Do not be alarmed as this is standard for setting up Exchange/Outlook on any Android phone. This just indicates what the app is capable of doing. Other cell phone operating systems include the same settings, but it’s not always displayed to the user when the programme is being installed.

The text being displayed is therefore standard for the specific Android application – IT has no control over the text it displays. It is also standard practice at various universities using MS Exchange.

One of the options is – Erase all data: Perform a factory reset, deleting all of your data without any confirmation. This option in particular led to many questions. If we look at the Exchange implementation, it’s very clear that the only person who has access to this function and can actually wipe the device, is the mailbox owner himself.

These and other advantages  and additional e-mail functionality, is available to Android users on www.sun.ac.za/webmail. In webmail, under Options -> See All Options -> Phone -> Mobile Phones there are various functions available:

Sync Logging: Enables you to look at the synchronisation of your phone, to select what you want synchronised, which servers should be used, etc.

Remote Wipe: With this option, you can wipe your phone’s data (contacts, photos, etc.) if it ever gets into the wrong hands. The phone will then be reset to it’s default factory settings. ONLY the registered e-mail user will have access to this function, no one else has access.

Details: Shows exactly which devices is linked, model, software versions, etc. 

Delete Device: This removes the connection between the Exchange and the selected device. If you initiate this via webmail, the person who has your phone will not be able to reinstall the mailbox. Your data stays protected.

(INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY FRANCOIS DE KOKER)

 

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