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Cybersecurity tips you should follow at home

To make sure your Internet security is impenetrable, Eastern Communications shares four ways to keep your family safe online.

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Cyberthreats are undeniably on the rise as we navigate the new normal mainly through the Internet. With individuals opting for cashless transactions, staying home to work, or attending classes online, being on guard is key to maintaining our digital security. 

Eastern Communications, one of the premier telecommunications companies in the country, recognizes this challenge as people are online more than ever. Its trusted partner, Trend Micro showed in its 2020 Annual Cybersecurity Report that a total of 16 million COVID-19 related cyberthreats occurred in the past year, ranging from basic to the most sophisticated attacks. 

“Work from home employees are no longer protected by their office network and children who do online learning and games are more exposed to predators. Digital transformation is a double-edged sword and people need to learn how to keep themselves cyber-safe to fully harness its benefits. One way to achieve this is to start at home,” shared Edsel Paglinawan, Eastern Communications Product and Innovation Head. 

To make sure your Internet security is impenetrable, Eastern Communications shares four ways to keep your family safe online.

Utilize privacy and security settings 

One of the basic ways to prevent cyberattacks is to always keep your privacy settings on. You can do it in your web browsers, social media apps, and even smartphones so it would block or notify you of malicious sites and downloads. It is also important to enable multi-factor authentication and One Time Password (OTP), which are secure ways to protect your family members’ online accounts from virtual thieves. Take note that OTP and even your personal contact details should not be shared with anyone. 

Shop from legitimate online stores  

E-commerce has boomed since the pandemic, and with the convenience of online shopping, more consumers have become complacent when it comes to online security. Eastern suggests teaching family members to purchase only through secure online shopping apps or websites that are running on https:// with a padlock next to it in the address bar. Otherwise, there is a high risk that the transaction and your personal information are not being safeguarded.   

Another tip as well is to regularly monitor your bank’s transaction to see if there are any suspicious charges or spending that you are not aware of so you can immediately report to your bank. 

Educate yourself and the family members

The same report by Trend Micro reveals that 88% of cyberthreat incidents are spam-related which also include phishing. It helps to stay vigilant before opening emails or clicking suspicious links that trick the users to enter their username and password leading to data and money theft. 

Kids and grandparents are also the most vulnerable members due to their lack of knowledge when it comes to the dangers of the Internet. Monitoring their online activities and teaching them not to share sensitive information such as complete address, credit card details, passwords, ID numbers, and more will lessen the chances of cybercriminals in attacking your family.   

Keep your home Wi-Fi secure

Your Wi-Fi network at home allows every family member to get access to the Internet and once its security becomes compromised, intruders might use your bandwidth or even infect your devices with malware. Although it is commonly advised, Eastern still reminds everyone to use strong Wi-Fi passwords with at least 8 characters, combination of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters. That way, cyber attackers will have a harder time to infiltrate your network. 

Enabling wireless encryption also helps restrict illegal access. To do this, just open your wireless security settings and choose WPA2 as your security method. That way, your family can enjoy and utilize your home Internet to the fullest without the worries of cyberthreats. 

Eastern Communications’ Eastern Home is a secure network and reliable home Internet service that makes doing many things online possible. It offers several plans with unlimited data and no data throttling for as low as Php 998. To top it all off, Eastern Home offers 24/7 customer support for all connection concerns. 

While staying home and doing things online keeps everyone from contracting the virus, Internet security should be prioritized as well to keep every family member safe from malicious attacks in these uncertain times. 

To learn more about Eastern Home, visit eastern.com.ph/eastern-home or contact 5300-1000. 

Tech & Innovation

Social media can be a lifesaver for international new ventures

Newly established international firms and start-ups with limited resources can effectively use social media to learn about their new foreign markets and customers in a fast and inexpensive way.

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The use of social media can be beneficial to international new ventures and help them to survive. This is according to a study – Early Internationalization in the Digital Context: A Capabilities-based Approachfrom the University of Vaasa, Finland, which also showed that newly established international firms and start-ups with limited resources can effectively use social media to learn about their new foreign markets and customers in a fast and inexpensive way.

For any international new venture, acquiring enough foreign market knowledge can be a matter of life and death. According to Emmanuel Kusi Appiah’s doctoral dissertation, an international new venture can use social media, and then employ ambidextrous learning in its knowledge development process. Ambidextrous learning means using two diverse ways of learning: exploratory learning and exploitative learning.

Exploratory learning helps the company to discover new threats and opportunities in its environment. Exploitative learning, on the other hand, utilises the current market information the firm already has.

“A company can use social media for exploitative learning, but also for exploratory learning to survive in foreign markets. The company can also switch between these two approaches,  according to the situation and company strategy. The use of social media has a positive impact on ambidextrous learning,” says Emmanuel Kusi Appiah.

Firms can benefit from social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook in their networking efforts. In addition, social media tools such as Buzzsumo, Tagboard and AgoraPulse can provide the necessary knowledge about customers, competitors, and existing and new markets, thereby reducing the difficulties a new firm would otherwise face in foreign markets. Acquiring knowledge is usually more difficult when a firm is new, especially if it is new and foreign.

Ambidextrous learning can help firms to combine new external knowledge with existing knowledge and prevent inefficiency and short-sightedness. It can also help firms to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

Emmanuel Kusi Appiah reminds us that applying ambidextrous learning is not straightforward. Entrepreneurs and companies that are planning to move into a new market internationally need to understand the drivers and mechanisms that support ambidexterity. The dissertation provides valuable information regarding this aspect.

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Tech & Innovation

Eastern Communications announces holiday deals

Bounce back and spur productivity with Eastern Communications’ special limited-time offers, featuring its reliable Fiber1 and Internet Direct Service (IDS) connectivity solutions paired with exclusive promos and freebies for new subscribers.

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The holiday season is right around the corner and it is the busiest time for many enterprises, catching up with the demand of customers. While there have been ups and downs that helped strengthen various sectors, businesses have gradually returned to normalcy in their day-to-day operations.

With the steady demand for connectivity and ICT solutions in the new normal, premier telecommunications company Eastern Communications treats SMEs with its latest holiday deals to help them further emerge in the most anticipated season of the year.

Bounce back and spur productivity with Eastern Communications’ special limited-time offers, featuring its reliable Fiber1 and Internet Direct Service (IDS) connectivity solutions paired with exclusive promos and freebies for new subscribers.

Business Boosters

Recommended for retail and e-commerce start-ups and SMEs, Eastern Communications offers Business Boosters to new subscribers of the Eastern Fiber1 or IDS Select plan until December 31, 2022. Aside from the high-speed internet service, businesses are eligible for up to Php3,000 worth of Lazada Gift Cards. With these gift vouchers, you can now check out the business devices on your wish lists!

Festive Freebies

They say great things come in threes! For businesses in Metro Manila, new Eastern Fiber1 subscribers can choose this promo to receive exclusive freebies such as three months of free monthly service fee, a Microsoft Surface Laptop, and a Sophos Intercept X Endpoint Security License.

This promo is recommended for emerging companies that have plans for expansion. With integrated ZTNA and a world-class next-generation endpoint product, the free Sophos Intercept X Endpoint Security Solution is perfect for remote working setups. Don’t miss out on this exclusive holiday promo until December 31, 2022 only.

Empowering business to emerge from the pandemic, Eastern Communications has been reaching out to support SMEs throughout the year with its expansion efforts, promotions, and award-winning E-Huddle webinars, and aims to continue doing so in 2023.

For more information about Eastern Communications’ products and services as well as promos, visit www.eastern.com.ph/ or call 5300-7000 (Metro Manila) or 0919-081-7788 & 0917-300-7788 (Regional).

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Tech & Innovation

Food advertisements on Twitch can lead to cravings, purchases

Fifteen percent of study participants reported experiencing cravings of products they saw advertised on Twitch, and 8% reported buying the advertised products.

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Food advertisements on social media are pervasive, but research has not yet comprehensively documented the effects of these ads on adolescents and young adults. A new study by researchers at Penn State and Dartmouth College found that advertisements on the social media platform Twitch can lead to cravings for and purchasing of nutrient-poor foods like candy and energy drinks among some adolescents and young adults.

Twitch is a streaming platform that allows viewers to have conversations while sharing a common video feed. It offers channels across a broad range of topics including travel, sports, food, art and music. But videogame play is the original — and by far most common — use of the platform.

The use of Twitch is growing rapidly, with over six billion hours of content viewed on the platform during the first three months of 2021. This represented a 97% increase over the same period in 2020.

“People can be baffled by Twitch, but anyone old enough to have played home videogames as a teenager likely had a similar experience,” said Travis Masterson, assistant professor of nutrition, Broadhurst Career Development Professor for the Study of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and co-author of the research. “You would go over to a friend’s house after school, or on Saturday morning, and if they were trying to get through a particularly tough part of a videogame, you might sit and watch them play. The videogame was an excuse for a conversation. This was certainly true for me. Twitch offers the same opportunity to hang out in a community with your friends, but now it is all online.

“Endorsement deals on Twitch can be worth many millions of dollars, and younger people — who are always attractive to advertisers — are moving their eyeballs away from television into these more interactive forms of entertainment, often to Twitch specifically,” added Masterson.

The researchers noted that, as the popularity of Twitch increased, advertising for nutrient-poor foods like candy and energy drinks became more common on the platform. The research team, which included Jennifer Emond, associate professor of biomedical data science and pediatrics at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, and Catherine Pollack, Emond’s former graduate student, wanted to understand how advertising on Twitch affected the cravings and purchasing habits of viewers.

The team recruited 568 Twitch users through Reddit. Participants were predominantly male and either non-Hispanic White or Asian. Using three existing instruments for measuring food cravings, the researchers sought to understand whether they could predict which people were more susceptible to food advertising.  

In a publication in the journal Public Health Nutrition, the researchers demonstrated that some Twitch viewers are more likely than others to remember, crave and purchase brands that they see advertised on the streaming platform. The researchers also found that three questions from an instrument called the External Food Cue Responsiveness inventory could help identify members of this “highly susceptible” group. Highly susceptible viewers endorsed the statements, “I want food or drinks that I see others eating,” “I want to eat when people talk about food” and “I notice restaurant signs/logos.” 

Fifteen percent of study participants reported experiencing cravings of products they saw advertised on Twitch, and 8% reported buying the advertised products. Masterson said that the researchers were concerned that people who are highly susceptible to advertising and who spend multiple hours per day on Twitch could be prone to buying foods that undermine their health.

“In academic research, we are playing catch up with food advertisers,” Masterson explained. “Advertising is pervasive for a reason: It works, and companies understand how it works. People tend to understand that children are susceptible to advertising messages, but we often like to think that once we grow up and start making our own decisions, adults are immune to advertising’s power. But advertising didn’t grow to be a $100 billion-plus industry in the United States because it is ineffective. Advertising works on us, and on a subset of us, it is especially effective.”

Masterson added that academic researchers need to understand consumer behavior as well as advertisers, so that society can determine what advertising is or is not safe in different environments.

“This is a single study, and these results cannot be generalized to everyone, but the study still has broad implications,” said Masterson. “This research shows that some people are highly susceptible to advertising and that the External Food Cue Responsiveness inventory can help researchers identify those vulnerable people.

“I am a gamer. I am on Twitch and am part of these communities,” Masterson continued. “It bothers me when I am watching League of Legends, for example, and I see a branded candy ad in the middle of the game. It bothers me because I know that these ads affect people, including me. This work provides researchers with one tool for understanding who is most affected, and in the long run, that could promote greater health for gamers and everyone who is exposed to food advertising.”

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