Internet News

Facebook tops 2 billion monthly users, has designs on rest of world

Facebook has been posting some very Dr Evil-like numbers of late and their newest is also their largest yet. The social network is very pleased with itself, announcing that it has topped 2 billion monthly active users for the first time. That’s a decent jump over February this year and adds up to an awful lot of data being voluntarily shared around the world, with the company drilling down i...[Read More]

How to help kids navigate fake news and misinformation online

Young people get a huge amount of their news from social media feeds, where false, exaggerated or sponsored content is often prevalent. With the right tools, caregivers can give kids the knowledge they need to assess credible information for themselves. Being able to identify the trustworthiness of information is an important concern for everyone. Yet the sheer volume of material online and the sp...[Read More]

How bad can it get for Uber — the ride-hailing service keeps making absurd mistakes

The only company experiencing worse bad press than Eskom, or any related to the Guptas, is rail-hailing app Uber. The world’s most valuable start-up at US$69bn has undergone a slew of disastrous revelations about its executives’ conduct, corporate culture including pervasive sexual harassment, and intellectual property theft for its autonomous car project. Then there’s the ongoin...[Read More]

Explainer: how malware gets inside your apps

Malicious software on popular mobile platforms such as iOS and Android is at best a nuisance and at worst a security threat to individuals and businesses. Known as malware, some perpetrators use it to infect apps and get inside your smartphone. Why do they do it? Money, mostly. The recent Judy malware, for example, was reportedly found in 41 apps in the Google Play store. It seems to have made mon...[Read More]

Social media is nothing like drugs, despite all the horror stories

Letting your child use social media is like giving them cocaine, alcohol and cigarettes – all at once, or so we’re told. If you have been following recent press reports about the effects of social media on young people, you may well believe this. But there is no scientific evidence to support such extreme claims. The real story is far more complex. It is very difficult to predict how social media ...[Read More]

7 in 10 smartphone apps share your data with third-party services

Our mobile phones can reveal a lot about ourselves: where we live and work; who our family, friends and acquaintances are; how (and even what) we communicate with them; and our personal habits. With all the information stored on them, it isn’t surprising that mobile device users take steps to protect their privacy, like using PINs or passcodes to unlock their phones. The research that we and our c...[Read More]

To smiley face or not: the complexity of email etiquette

The Conversation, CC BY-SA Emails are ubiquitous in a modern, globalised workforce. However, a well-crafted email can make the sender appear approachable and competent, while a poorly constructed one is less persuasive, and leaves recipients less willing to comply with the request. Alongside making requests and providing information, emails help us build rapport in the workplace and long-term busi...[Read More]

From botnet to malware: a guide to decoding cybersecurity buzzwords

Words like worm, trojan horse and zombie may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but they’re part of the reality of life online. Now that we communicate, work and entertain ourselves on the internet, these familiar terms start to take on new meaning. They’re just a few of the cybersecurity threats we face. While most of us would rather leave the problem to the IT department, it’s essential we ...[Read More]

Sorry everyone: on the internet, you’re always the product

Anyone who spends much time online knows the saying: “If you’re not paying, you’re the product”. That’s not exactly correct. On the internet, you’re nearly always the product. And while most internet users know that some of their personal data is being collected and monetised, few are aware of the sheer scale of the issue, particularly when it comes to apps. In fact, our research suggests a majori...[Read More]

25 secret WhatsApp tricks you (probably) didn’t know about

There are over a billion WhatsApp users worldwide right now. The bad news? Your mom has already found her new favourite way to spam you. The good news? You can easily avoid her on the down-low, and that’s just one of the messaging service’s many secret tips you probably don’t know about. From disabling its ‘last seen’ feature to bookmarking messages you don’t want to forget about, there are loads ...[Read More]

After the ‘Facebook Files’, the social media giant must be more transparent

Most people on Facebook have probably seen something they wish they hadn’t, whether it be violent pictures or racist comments. How the social media giant decides what is and isn’t acceptable is often a mystery. Internal content guidelines, recently published in The Guardian, offer new insight into the mechanics of Facebook content moderation. The slides show the rules can be arbitrary, but that sh...[Read More]

There’s a technology that could stop Facebook Live being used to stream murders – but it has a cost

It took 24 hours before the video of a man murdering his baby daughter was removed from Facebook Live. On April 24, 2017, the father from Thailand had streamed the killing of his 11-month-old baby girl using the social network’s Live video service before killing himself. The two resulting video clips were streamed hundreds of thousands of times before they were finally removed. This was the not th...[Read More]

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