Author: My Office News

Windows 10 upgrades stagnate

NetMarketShare has released new data showing that the number of Windows 10 users grew by just 0.06% in the month of June.

This brings total market share to 45.79%.

Windows 7’s market share dropped slightly from 35.44% to 35.38%.

As Microsoft announced that support for this operating system will end in January 2020, the numbers are expected to decline.

Market share figures show that users are not following Microsoft’s recommendations to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Windows 8.1 surprisingly increased its market share from 3.97% to 4.51%, while macOS declined by just 0.03% to 5.31%.

Windows XP continues to witness its user base decline, but it still boasts a 1.81% share of the market – which is higher than Linux’s 1.55% market share.

The first portable music player turns 40

By Chaim Gartenberg for The Verge

The world changed on July 1st, 1979: the day that Sony released the iconic Walkman TPS-L2, the first real portable music player that would revolutionize the way we listened to music in a way that no other device really had ever done before. Boomboxes and portable radios had been around for a while, but the Walkman made portable music private, ushering in a whole new era of people listening to music away from home.

Forty years later and Walkmans aren’t exactly popular to use anymore (outside of things like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films, anyway), but the sea change that the Walkman caused in our lives is more apparent than ever.

We don’t use cassettes or CDs anymore. Nearly every mobile device we carry now can play music, storing thousands of songs and streaming tens of thousands more from the internet anywhere in the world. But the whole idea of taking music with you — that you could listen to your favorite songs on the go, without subjecting everyone nearby to your music — started with the Walkman.

And make no mistake, the Walkman was designed mainly for music. It was a simple product in that regard: according to Sony’s photo history, the original device was ridiculed at the time for lacking the ability to record tapes, but it didn’t need that feature. It even offered two 3.5mm headphone jacks (the same hardware that, until recently, was found on our far more advanced hardware today), allowing you to listen with a friend in lieu of a speaker.

The Walkman would go on to see numerous hardware iterations over the years, including “Discman” CD models and MiniDisc players, as well as more modern portable media player devices that Sony still sells today. It’s not quite the powerhouse of a brand as it once was, but 40 years on, the changes the Walkman caused in our lives and in how we relate to both music and technology are still as relevant as ever.

 

 

South African consumers will experience their first price drop at the pumps in six months as the price of fuel decreases by nearly a rand today.

Petrol 95 will fall by 95 cents a litre and 93 octane by 96 cents, while diesel (0.05% sulphur) will decrease by 74 cents and diesel (0.005% sulphur) by 75 c/l.

However, analysts are pointing out that consumers will have little to celebrate as electricity tariffs hikes kicked in on 1 July.

Despite the fact that the average car will cos R30 to R40 less to fill, consumers are unlikely to achieve much relief.

  • Bus and taxi fares are unlikely to go down
  • Electricity tariffs are increasing
  • The petrol price decrease only accounts for about R2.50 for every R1 000 people have

Government runs out of money

Pay insecurity is on the rise amongst state-owned enterprises and municipalities as it seems the government is running out of money.

A recent Business Tech article illustrates this, listing the likes of Denel, Metrorail, Prasa and the SABC as not having paid staff on time.

Municipalities in trouble

  • 30 municipalities in the country have not paid employees due to lack of funds
  • Employees at the Amahlati municipality in the Eastern Cape were last paid in April
  • The latest report from the auditor general showed a shocking decline in the state of the country’s municipalities over the last year
  • 257 municipalities and 21 municipal entities were audited for the 2017-18 financial year
  • 63 municipalities regressed
  • 22 improved improved
  • Only 18 municipalities obtained a clean audit by producing quality financial statements and performance reports, as well as complying with all key legislation

Big bailouts

A large portion of South Africa’s state companies are currently heavily reliant on the state for bailouts.

  • The SABC is currently waiting on government approval of a R3.2-billion bailout
  • Eskom has a R69-billion guaranteed pledge from the government coming in over the next three years
  • SAA needed over R21-billion from government to fully implement its turnaround strategy, but had to turn to private funding after the government could not meet its needs.

Watch out for these common banking crimes

SABRIC, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre, on behalf of the banking industry has released its annual crime stats for 2018.

“We are concerned about some of the increases, which clearly reflect that criminals will take every opportunity to get their hands on bank customers’ money,” says SABRIC CEO, Kalyani Pillay.

Combined gross card fraud losses on South African issued cards saw an 18% increase from 2017 to 2018, totalling R873 394 351, with credit card fraud increasing by 18.4% and debit card fraud increasing by 17.5%.

Card Not Present (CNP) fraud on South African issued credit cards remained the leading contributor to gross fraud losses in the country, accounting for 79.5% of all losses. CNP debit card fraud showed the greatest increase in losses at 62.3%, due to the enablement of Card Not Present transactions on debit cards.

“We have seen a sharp increase in Vishing incidents, where criminals phone bank customers, lead them to believe that they are speaking to the bank or a legitimate service provider and use social engineering tactics to manipulate them into disclosing their confidential bank card details, as well as other personal information. “A bank will never call you to ask for this information. If you receive such a call, put the phone down immediately,” says Pillay.

In 2018, Lost and/or Stolen debit card fraud amounted to 42.5% of all debit card fraud and bank customers continue to fall victim to fraud at ATM’s while transacting. Criminals approach victims under the pretext of being helpful, and in many instances even pose as a bank official. They then steal the victim’s banks card and shoulder surf to obtain the PIN. SABRIC therefore urges bank clients to never accept assistance from anyone at an ATM, no matter how friendly or helpful they may appear.

In 2018, 23 466 incidents across banking apps, online banking and mobile banking amounted to R262 826 888 in gross losses. It is concerning that incidents across these platforms increased by 75,3%. Mobile banking incidents showed an increase of 100%, with gross losses of R28 941 040, while online banking incidents showed an increase of 37.5% with gross losses of R129 002 523. Banking app incidents increased by 55.4%, with gross losses of R104 883 325 for the same period. SIM swops in the Mobile Banking space saw an increase of over 200% to 11077 incidents.

Criminals are very adept at understanding psychology and will use social engineering tactics to exploit any human vulnerability to harvest confidential information like a PIN or a password in order to steal cash. When it comes to online banking, beware of Phishing emails that request that you click on a link. The link directs you to a “spoofed” website designed to obtain, verify or update contact details or other sensitive financial information. “Never click on links in unsolicited emails!” says Pillay.

We are pleased that Cash in transit (CIT) robberies decreased by 22% from 376 to 292 incidents from 2017 to 2018. Cash losses here also showed a decrease of 22% for the same period. SABRIC will continue to work closely with law enforcement and other partners to address the scourge and ensure further declines.

“To have any significant impact on the fight against all of these crimes, the collective efforts of banks, bank customers and law enforcement are imperative,” says Pillay.

SABRIC urges you to be your money’s best protection by following these tips:

Tips when using ATMs

· If you think the ATM is faulty cancel the transaction IMMEDIATELY, report the fault to your Bank and transact at another ATM.

· Avoid ATMs that are dimly lit or surrounded by loiterers, and never allow your children to draw money using your card, since they’re the most vulnerable to perpetrators.

· Have your card ready in your hand before you approach the ATM to avoid opening your purse, bag or wallet while in the queue.

· Be cautious of strangers offering to help as they could be trying to distract you to get your card or PIN.

· Follow the instructions on the ATM screen carefully.

· ONLY punch in your PIN once prompted by the ATM.

· Report suspicious items or people around ATMs to the Bank.

· Choose familiar and well-lit ATMs where you are visible and safe.

· Report any concerns regarding the ATM to the Bank. Toll free numbers are displayed on all ATMs.

· Be alert to your surroundings. Do not use the ATM if there are loiterers or suspicious people in the vicinity. Also take note that fraudsters are often well dressed, well-spoken and respectable looking individuals.

· If you are disturbed or interfered with, whilst transacting at the ATM, your card may be skimmed, by being removed and replaced back into the ATM without your knowledge. Cancel the transaction immediately and report the incident using your Bank’s Stop Card Toll free number which is displayed on all ATMs, as well as on the back of your Bank card.

· Should you have been disturbed whilst transacting, immediately change your PIN or stop the card, to protect yourself from any illegal transactions occurring on your account.

· Know what your ATM looks like so that you can identify any foreign objects attached to it.

· Do not ask anyone to assist you at the ATM, not even the security guarding the ATM or a Bank official. Rather go inside the Bank for help.

· Never force your card into the slot as it might have been tampered with.

· Do not insert your card if the screen layout is not familiar to you and looks like the machine has been tampered with.

· Don’t use ATMs where the card slot, keypad or screen has been tampered with. It could be an attempt to get hold of your card.

· Your PIN is your personal key to secure banking and it is crucial to keep it confidential.

· Memorise your PIN, never write it down or share it with anyone, not even with your family member or a Bank official.

· Choose a PIN that will not be easily guessed. Do not use your date of birth as a PIN.

· Cover your PIN when punching the numbers even when alone at the ATM as some criminals may place secret cameras to observe your PIN.

· Don’t let anyone stand too close to you to keep both your card and PIN safe.

· Some fraudsters wait until you’ve drawn your cash to take advantage. Be wary of people loitering around the ATM and ensure that you are not followed.

· Take your time to complete your transaction and secure your card and your cash in your wallet, handbag or pocket before leaving the ATM.

· Set a daily withdrawal limit that suits your needs (the default amount is set at R1000.00), to protect yourself in an event that your card and PIN are compromised.

· Check your balance regularly and report discrepancies to your Bank IMMEDIATELY.

· Avoid withdrawing cash to pay for goods/services as your Debit Card can be used for these transactions. You can use your Debit Card wherever the Maestro/Visa Electron logo is displayed.

After you have completed your transaction successfully, leave the ATM area immediately. Be cautious of strangers requesting you to return to the ATM to finalise/close the transaction because they are unable to transact. Skimming may occur during this request.
Prioritise the setting of daily withdrawal and transaction limits.
Set a daily ATM withdrawal limit that suits your needs.
Transaction limits should also be in line with daily spending.
Set limits on international transaction expenditure.
Inter account transfer limits should also be managed wisely.

Tips to prevent phishing and vishing

Phishing:

· Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited e-mails.

· Do not reply to these e-mails. Delete them immediately.

· Do not believe the content of unsolicited e-mails blindly. If you are worried about what is alleged, use your own contact details to contact the sender to confirm.

· Type in the URL (uniform resource locator or domain names) for your bank in the internet browser if you need to access your bank’s webpage.

· Check that you are on the real site before using any personal information.

· If you think that you might have been compromised, contact your bank immediately.

· Create complicated passwords that are not easy to decipher and change them often.

Vishing:

· Banks will never ask you to confirm your confidential information over the phone.

· If you receive a phone call requesting confidential or personal information, do not respond and end the call.

· If you receive an OTP on your phone without having transacted yourself, it was likely prompted by a fraudster using your personal information. Do not provide the OTP telephonically to anybody. Contact your bank immediately to alert them to the possibility that your information may have been compromised.

· If you lose mobile connectivity under circumstances where you are usually connected, check whether you may have been the victim of a SIM swop.

Tips for carrying cash safely

Tips for Individuals

· Carry as little cash as possible.

· Consider the convenience of paying your accounts electronically (consult your bank to find out about other available options).

· Consider making use of cell phone banking or internet transfers or ATMs to do your banking.

· Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.

Tips for Businesses

· Vary the days and times on which you deposit cash.

· Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.

· Do not openly display the money you are depositing while you are standing in the bank queue.

· Avoid carrying moneybags, briefcases or openly displaying your deposit receipt book.

· It is advisable to identify another branch nearby you that you can visit to ensure that your banking pattern is not easily recognisable or detected.

· If the amount of cash you are regularly depositing is increasing as your business grows, consider using the services of a cash management company.

· Refrain from giving wages to your contract or casual labourers in full view of the public; rather make use of wage accounts that can be provided by your bank.

· Consider arranging for electronic transfers of wages to contract or casual labourers’ personal bank accounts.

Tips for Stokvel Groupings

· Refrain from making cash deposits of club members’ contributions on high-risk days (e.g. Monday after month end).

· Ensure persons depositing club cash contributions or making withdrawals are accompanied by another club member.

· A stokvel savings club or burial society can arrange for members to deposit cash directly into the club’s account instead of collecting cash contributions.

· Arrange for the club’s pay out to be electronically transferred into each club member’s personal account or accounts of their choice.

· Take another person with when going to deposit club cash contributions

Tips for protecting your personal information

· Don’t use the same username and password for access to banking and social media platforms.

· Avoid sharing or having joint social media accounts.

· Be cautious about what you share on social media.

· Activate your security settings which restrict access to your personal information.

· Don’t carry unnecessary personal information in your wallet or purse.

· Don’t disclose personal information such as passwords and PINs when asked to do so by anyone via telephone, fax or even email.

· Don’t write down PINs and passwords and avoid obvious choices like birth dates and first names.

· Don’t use any Personal Identifiable Information (PII) as a password, user ID or personal identification number (PIN).

· Don’t use Internet Cafes or unsecure terminals (hotels, conference centers etc.) to do your banking.

· Use strong passwords for all your accounts.

· Change your password regularly and never share them with anyone else.

· Store personal and financial documentation safely. Always lock it away.

· Keep PIN numbers and passwords confidential.

· Verify all requests for personal information and only provide it when there is a legitimate reason to do so.

· To prevent your ID being used to commit fraud if it is ever lost or stolen, alert the SA Fraud Prevention Service immediately on 0860 101 248 or at www.safps.org.za.

· Ensure that you have a robust firewall and install antivirus software to prevent a computer virus sending out personal information from your computer.

· When destroying personal information, either shred or burn it (do not tear or put it in a garbage or recycling bag).

· Should your ID or driver’s license be stolen report it to SAPS immediately.

Tips for protecting yourself against SIM Swops

· If reception on your cell phone is lost, immediately check what the problem could be, as you could have been a victim of an illegal SIM swop on your number. If confirmed, notify your bank immediately.

· Inform your Bank should your cell phone number changes so that your cell phone notification contact number is updated on its systems.

· Register for your Bank’s cell phone notification service and receive electronic messages relating to activities or transactions on your accounts as and when they occur.

· Regularly verify whether the details received from cell phone notifications are correct and according to the recent activity on your account. Should any detail appear suspicious immediately contact your Bank and report all log-on notification that are unknown to you.

· Memorise your PIN and passwords, never write them down or share them, not even with a bank official.

· Make sure your PIN and passwords cannot be seen when you enter them.

· If you think your PIN and/or password has been compromised, change it immediately either online or at your nearest branch.

· Choose an unusual PIN and password that are hard to guess and change them often.

By Michelle Woo for Lifehacker

Just because ‘there’s an app for that’ doesn’t mean you have to use it. This week we’re going analog, reminding ourselves that we can live—and live well —without smartphones, and seeing what’s worth preserving from the time before we were all plugged in 24/7.

My husband works with steam process equipment and often brings home these big catalogues of products. Only one person in our home has ever had any interest in what was inside (that person would be him)—until we had a kid. Our daughter gets excited whenever she sees “Daddy’s work books”, asking to have the ones he no longer needs so she can circle various items as if she were a real buyer.

Wait, why do we buy toys again?

Hearing from other parents, I learned that little kids love “grownup” work stuff, especially if it lets them pretend to be on the job. You might have some of these items, or you can buy most of them at office supply stores for cheap

Guest checks
Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo writes that guest checks, like the ones restaurant servers use, have been a huge hit with her son: “Toby got these for Christmas and has played with them one million times since then. He’s always taking our orders for elaborate breakfasts, dinners and desserts.”

Prescription pads
Kids like playing doctor, so let them write prescriptions on a legit prescription pad. Just know that they’ll probably write themselves a prescription for three scoops of ice cream and that new Toy Story 4 Lego set. Don’t fall for it.

Lanyard badges
Piriya, a member of the Offspring Facebook group, writes: “Both kids love our old ID lanyards from work. Bonus if the lanyards have the retractable badge holders on them.”

Date stamp
They can play librarian or mark the date on their artwork.

Old business cards
Don’t toss business cards after you’ve digitized the info. My kid used to love putting the cards in her wallet. Same with old hotel key cards, which she calls her “credit cards.”

Tickets
Kids love all types of tickets—carnival style, tear-away stubs, or the ones that come in those take-a-number dispensers. My daughter has created ticketing systems for all of her living room singing performances and storytelling sets. Everyone needs a ticket.

Envelopes
These office envelopes help make kids’ letters feel much more official.

MyBroadband has released an explosive report detailing how billions of rands worth of airtime has been stolen from mobile subscribers in South Africa, by rogue wireless application service providers (WASPs) who bill cellular subscribers’ accounts without their permission.

MyBroadband received this information from two industry insiders, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

According to the report, subscribers are defenceless as “there is no way to proactively block WASP billing on their accounts”.

How it works

  • WASPs are able to bill mobile cellular users’ accounts, taking airtime for content subscription services
  • Rogue WASPs exploit the system to bill people’s accounts without their permission or knowledge
  • Users’ only defence is to regularly check their account and ask for a refund if their airtime was stolen
  • Unless the fraud is detected and a complaint is lodged, the money is gone forever
  • Both the rogue WASP and the mobile operator profit

According to MyBroadband, this has been happening for over a decade, and mobile operators are well aware of this problem.

Pay-TV MultiChoice has announced plans to retrench more than 2 000 employees in the call- and walk-in centres of its business, due to a “strategic realignment of its customer service delivery model”.

In a statement, the company said that customers are “increasingly moving away from traditional voice calls and visits to walk-in centres and adopting new self-service and digital technologies to engage with the company.

2 194 employees were given notice on retrenchment, but MultiChoice Group chief executive Calvo Mawela said the restructuring will make new roles available “for multi-skilled employees with the expertise, skills and technological prowess to enhance the customer experience”.

However, media worker trade union ICT said in a statement that “the Union has not been officially informed, which makes the process unlawful”.

SARS (South African Revenue Service) has encouraged taxpayers to submit income tax returns via the SARS eFiling or the SARS MobiApp when the tax season commences on 1 July 2019.

Taxpayers who do not use SARS eFiling or the SARS MobiApp and require assistance from SARS branch staff to file their income tax returns will only be able to do so from 1 August 2019 to 31 October 2019.

What is the SARS MobiApp?

The SARS MobiApp is a mobile channel from which you can complete and submit your Income Tax Return (ITR12).

You can easily install the SARS MobiApp from the App Store (for Apple devices) or Google Play Store (for Android devices). On the SARS MobiApp you can register, complete, save and submit your 2019 return, as well as returns from previous years.

You may also use the app for the following:

  • Register for eFiling
  • Reset your username and password
  • File your return
  • Upload and submit supporting documents
  • Make a payment to SARS
  • Set up a Call Back from the SARS Contact Centre
  • View a Notice of Assessment
  • Request and view the Income Tax Statement of Account
  • View the status of the return
  • Use the tax calculator
  • Which devices are compatible with the SARS MobiApp?
  • iOS version 10 to latest
  • Android version 5.0 to latest

In an exciting first for South African digital advertising, industry leading publishers Caxton, Media24, TisoBlackStar, The Daily Maverick and TheSouthAfrican have collectively established a partnership with Australian video company, Oovvuu, and have now launched a new and inventory-rich Video Private Marketplace.

Digital consumers continue to show a strong preference for accessible and engaging online video content, affording brands the opportunity to reach target markets through compelling video advertising.

Oovvuu sources quality video content from premier international publishers, distributing it to South African consumers through trusted local publishers.

Displayed within the body of news and entertainment articles, Oovvuu collated videos will be thematically linked to each article’s respective subject matter.

Although suggested videos will be sourced via machine learning and AI, editorial approval is still required to guarantee quality to both advertisers and readers at all times.

To streamline booking processes for Oovvuu clients, a convenient and centralised platform called Connect has been built. Through Connect, agencies can purchase from all publishers at once.

This multi-publisher partnership with Oovvuu means that agencies can now offer clients substantial exposure on credible, brand safe websites outside of the Facebook and YouTube environments.

Unlike Facebook and YouTube, pre-roll ads on Oovvuu content cannot be skipped, leading to longer engagement times and an increased opportunity for meaningful brand engagement.

Video ads on Oovvuu have already displayed high viewability, completion and click-through rates.

Moreover, given the recent avalanche of disinformation campaigns on Facebook and YouTube, advertisers are exposed to a significant risk of finding digital assets on exceptionally brand un-safe content.

Oovvuu solves this problem.

Oovvuu CEO, Ricky Sutton, notes: “When we originally met with South African media agencies, there were three primary requirements – brand safety, engagement and cost effective scalability.

“Agencies want the ability to buy volume with one click, therefore Connect was created, allowing agencies to buy from all publishers at one time.

“We’ve simply given agencies what they’ve been asking for.”

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