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Add sorting your digital clutter to your New Year’s resolutions – Kaspersky

Cybersecurity company Kaspersky suggests adding another practical and smart resolution to your 2024 list: to protect your precious data by clearing your digital clutter!

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This new year, you could have resolved to quit a vice, to learn something new, to manage your finances better and maybe check a couple off your bucket list of places to visit. 

Cybersecurity company Kaspersky suggests adding another practical and smart resolution to your 2024 list: to protect your precious data by clearing your digital clutter!

What is digital clutter?

It’s a by-product of the digital age. This happens when users of devices create digital documents and files at an unstoppable rate as it is now. Users install way more apps than they use, rarely update them and usually don’t adjust the security/privacy settings of these apps properly. In this situation, users don’t worry about storage limits and become lethargic about reviewing these files and updating the apps. For example, users typically install 12 Android apps every month but delete only 10 so they actually add two apps to their device every month that are generally left unused and idle. 

This means that the digital junk sits on the devices or in the cloud forever. These all amount to what we call digital clutter. 

Poor user maintenance of device content also generates a build up of digital clutter. Kaspersky data shows that in 55% of cases, people regularly revise the contents of their device and delete unused docs and apps. In 32% of cases, people sort their digital clutter occasionally and in 13% of cases, users do not try to delete any docs and apps at all. 

A Kaspersky report showed the top five data that’s commonly stored on devices are general photos and videos (90%), photos and videos of travel and personal emails (tied at 89% each), address information/contact information (84%), and personal messages via SMS/IM (79%). 

A research that Kaspersky ran with OnePoll in 2019 showed that one’s fridge can show the security risk of this human habit. Two-thirds (66%) of those who have bought the same item to go in their fridge twice by accident have also found it difficult to locate a document or file while at work. 

2023 saw at least three major cyber incidents in the Philippines that caused fear, anger and frustration among Filipinos. From ransomware attacks to data leaks that compromised massive public data and personal financial information, these threatened not just the government and businesses but especially ordinary people who didn’t think they would be affected until it happened. 

“When it comes to cybersecurity, education is the most powerful form of defense. The more we educate and prepare ourselves, the more likely that we can minimize the risks to our personal data and money,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.  

“It’s been found that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions due to a lack of personal control, excessive stress and negative emotion. I say start small until it becomes a habit. A few simple changes in the beginning will go a long way towards protecting yourself and your data. Stay committed and most importantly, get help. There are so many resources, tools and people that you can count on for support to help you keep your resolutions,” added Yeo.  

Kaspersky suggests doing one or more of these tips to become safe digitally this new year: 

  1. Kiss passwords goodbye. We saw one major improvement in network security in 2022: giants Apple, Google and Microsoft simultaneously introduced passwordless sign-ins. Instead of a password, your device stores a unique cryptographic key for each site. There’s no need to type it in and it’s extremely difficult to steal. You can read more about this interesting technology here. We recommend switching wherever it’s offered as it will slash the risk of your account being hijacked. It’s also convenient because you no longer need to think up a password, memorize it and later enter it. Chrome, Edge, and Safari support the technology on both desktop and mobile platforms. 
  1.  Go disposable. Information leakage remains one of the biggest digital risks for all of us. User data gets stolen from ISPs, insurance companies, delivery services, social networks, and even school databases. The stolen data is then used to perpetrate various scams.

Unfortunately, there’s little we users can do to prevent leaks. But we can ensure there’s less information out there about us, and make it harder to match: that is, comparing the names and phone numbers in two stolen databases wouldn’t give an attacker any more info on us. We recommend giving minimal information to non-critical services (primarily online stores and commercial digital services) by not specifying your last name or social media accounts, and generally skipping optional fields. And use disposable e-mail addresses and phone numbers as your contact information. Numerous services provide temporary phone numbers for receiving confirmation texts, as well as one-time email addresses — just google “disposable phone number/e-mail address”. Some paid services of this kind even offer disposable credit card numbers, which makes online shopping even safer.

  1. Get away from toxic social media. Year after year, we encounter way too many negative events, plus the waves of hate on social media continue to reach new heights. If social media gave you the jitters in 2023, this year it’s time to part company for good. Incidentally, we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to walk away without losing valuable data. That said, some prefer not to quit, but to migrate, for example, to Telegram or Mastodon. 
  1. Stop doom scrolling. Social networks and news sites can consume hours of our time and lots of nervous energy. To avoid endless checking of news and posts, set a time limit on your phone for social networks and news apps. Start with an hour a day, and try to stick to it. Many vendors offer this feature: Apple’s name for it is Screen Time, Google’s is Digital Wellbeing, and Huawei’s is Digital Balance. And if your children are spending too much time on social networks, Kaspersky Safe Kids can help. Those prone to deceive themselves by making up for the missing time on their devices should enable additional self-control tools in the settings of the social network itself. YouTube also has such a feature, called Take a Break.
  1. Keep private and work lives separate. Separating work and private life is good for many reasons. It helps both physical and mental health since work doesn’t interfere with family-and-friends time, and domestic matters don’t distract you during working hours. And your employer gets improved cybersecurity because you don’t mix personal and work information, apps, and so on. Ideally, the separation should be physical, which means different phones and computers for work and private life. It remains only to remember not to use personal sites, e-mail, and social networks on your work device, and vice versa.
  1. Observe cyber hygiene. Use security software on all computers and phones. For each site that still requires a password, make it unique. Regularly update all apps and the operating system. These tips are nothing new, yet millions of people continue to ignore them, some out of ignorance, others out of laziness. You can avoid all the hassle by entrusting the whole routine to a comprehensive solution like Kaspersky Premium. 

Kaspersky Premium has a Hard Disk Cleaner and Health Monitor feature that:

  • removes duplicate and large files from your PC and declutters unused apps from your Android phone
  • alerts you if your hard drive is about to crash so you can back up your photos, files and data. 

This solution also has Performance Optimization that helps your computer run faster by:

  • deleting invalid Windows Registry entries
  • cleaning your folders and emptying your recycle bin
  • turning off data-hungry apps and stopping some apps from opening as you switch your PC on
  • prompting you to install app and software updates so your device gets the latest security.

Discover more about Kaspersky Premium’s security features for the entire family at https://www.kasperskyph.com/

Strategies

5 Tips for small business owners to help grow their business online

Choosing and registering a domain name for your business that’s memorable is increasingly important in an expanding digital marketplace, as it helps to shape your online business identity.

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Small businesses are embracing digitalization and catering to their customer needs through a variety of online channels. With new technologies emerging such as artificial intelligence, there is no time like the present to help your small business grow by taking advantage of the online world.

A GoDaddy 2023 global survey examined the status of small businesses including their ways to reach customers and survive in highly competitive markets. APAC countries surveyed, including Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, showed use of a business website, online store, ecommerce or a combination of them ranking at 57% of survey respondents. These results support having a strong online presence with multiple complementary channels can be vital for businesses to thrive and grow in today’s competitive digital environments.

With this in mind, GoDaddy shares five tips to help your small business grow with an online presence.

1. It starts with a domain name

When getting started, check availability of domain names for the desired name. A domain name can be considered a business’ piece of real estate and identity on the internet. It is a way for customers to easily find a business online.

Choosing and registering a domain name for your business that’s memorable is increasingly important in an expanding digital marketplace, as it helps to shape your online business identity. If the .com extension is not available, there are many new extensions available, such as: .shop; .co.; .photography; .tech, to name a few, for you to consider which can help define your business.  After choosing a domain name register it with a reliable hosting provider right away.

2. Build a website 

Websites help create visibility for small businesses and acts as a home base for your business on the internet, even if you have a brick-and-mortar store.  A website can help consumers easily find your business, learn about your product offerings and services, and contact you for more information.

A well-designed professional looking website can offer an engaging customer experience with the use of text along with photo images and video.  Having a website gives you control over the messaging about your business and can serve as a hub by linking with your social media channels.

3. Listen to your customers

The growth of your business is directly related to customer satisfaction. Listen to your customers and pay attention to the needs of your target market. Identify their problems and pain points. How can your offerings act as a solution? Is it possible to develop new products to help solve these problems?  Engage for customer feedback and keep an eye on customer behaviour changes and audience interests.

4. Develop a business support system

By developing a strong business support system, entrepreneurs can benefit from new ideas on ways to address a particular issue or ideas for growth. In addition to close family and friends, consider mentors and business coaches who can provide relevant insights into your business.

5. Review your business plan

Many entrepreneurs make a business plan at the beginning of their business journey, but do not take the time to revisit it from time-to-time. So, analysing aspects of that business plan like target audience and competitors, examining cash flows and what can make the business profitable, while also checking timelines to reach business goals is all equally essential to help ensure continued growth of your business.

For more information on how GoDaddy can help your small business: Domain Names, Websites, Hosting & Online Marketing Tools – GoDaddy PH.

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BizNews

Sticking with old technology can be a strategic move

As competitors adopt new technology in some markets, firms that stick with the old technology may experience an initial decline before actually rebounding and even reaching new heights.

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Technological innovation — especially disruptive innovation — is often heralded as the best strategy for a company. But new research published in Strategic Management Journal found that as competitors adopt new technology in some markets, firms that stick with the old technology may experience an initial decline before actually rebounding and even reaching new heights. While the rise of a discontinuous technology does pose a substitute threat to the old technology, it also further exposes niche segments where companies can gain a foothold with customers who favor the old technology.

The analysis by Xu Li, a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, used archival data from the traditional Chinese medicine industry in China during the 1990s. In his interviews with managers in the field, he found that some chose not to innovate along with their competitors. In many cases, Li found these companies were performing well, if not sometimes better, by not making changes. Inspired by these conversations, Li chose to study under what conditions a firm may benefit from not innovating.

Li found some prior research on why companies would stick with older technology, but none explored why — during times of disruptive change in the market — sometimes firms are able to survive and even perform better within a small niche with old technology. What Li’s paper showed was that adhering to the old technology can, in some cases, be an effective strategy that ultimately improves firm performance.

The data showed a U-curve effect for traditional Chinese medicine firms that chose not to adopt new technology: The decline in performance began as a few competitors started launching a new technology, but later recovered and reached new heights as most competitors had adopted the new technology and exited the old technology market. But a lack of competition within the niche group of consumers who prefer older technology essentially gave these firms a monopoly within a smaller market as fewer competitors remained.

“Even though the new technology is often superior in terms of functionality, it doesn’t mean that every single customer or customer segment will be willing to move to the new technology,” Li says. “It’s important to understand what customers like about your product. We tend to assume that if a firm introduces something new, then customers must appreciate the new thing or the newness of the offering. But that’s not always true. The emergence of new technology can actually reveal people’s preference for something older.”

The research also refutes the idea that when the market is small, a company won’t perform better — but that depends on how many firms are still serving this niche. If only a few firms are left to serve this market, a company has far more power to charge higher prices among loyal customers with few other options.

“When you see a firm that is not actively innovating, we tend to believe the firm must be either incapable or is suffering — it’s always a bit of a negative tone,” Li says. “Sometimes staying with old technology might actually be a strategic choice, because by doing so it might also lead to better performance.”

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BizNews

Customers prefer text over video to provide service feedback

More people indicated they would likely leave written compliments or complaints about service on a restaurant-provided tablet powered by artificial intelligence. A video message option appeared to discourage leaving feedback.

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At a time when one viral video can damage a business, some companies are turning to their own commenting platforms rather than letting social media be the main outlet for customer feedback. Only one wrinkle: in this context, customers appear to prefer writing a message rather than leaving a video.

In a recent study, more participants indicated they would likely leave written compliments or complaints about service on a restaurant-provided tablet powered by artificial intelligence. A video message option appeared to discourage leaving feedback.

With more restaurants and hotels turning to AI to enhance their service, the findings indicate that methods that require “low self-disclosure” would work better, meaning ones that don’t require customers to provide very much identifiable information.

“Some restaurants and hotels actually ask customers to create video testimonials that they can share, but for general customers, it seems they feel more comfortable with low self-disclosure. This is probably because people still do not trust AI to that level,” said lead author Ruiying Cai, a researcher in Washington State University’s Carson College of Business.

With a lot of hype around AI technology, many people have misperceptions about what it can do, Cai pointed out, perhaps believing it is capable of a lot more than simply recording a message.

The study participants reported being concerned about what would be done with their information in all the scenarios, but this was heightened with the option to leave a video.

For the study, published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Cai and her colleagues presented different online scenarios to a total of 439 people. The participants were first asked to imagine a restaurant where they had either good or bad service. Then they reported how willing they were to give the server compliments, or complaints, with either text or video on an AI-enabled tablet.

The researchers found that the participants were more willing to give feedback using text, whether positive or negative.

The scenarios also had participants receiving a theoretical immediate or delayed reward to provide feedback, namely a 5% discount of their current meal or a future one. For complaints, the reward timing did not appear to make much difference, which the authors said was not surprising as people tend to be more highly motivated to complain than compliment.

For compliments, the researchers found an interesting connection: with more participants choosing the delayed reward over the immediate one. This may indicate that giving the compliment itself is its own reward as it makes the giver feel good, Cai said.

“It’s a good start to think about how to encourage customers to leave more compliments which could be very important for frontline employees. It could also be beneficial for the customers themselves,” she said.

Even complaints are important to encourage, Cai added. As her previous research suggests, restaurants and hotels should make it easier for customers to complain to them directly rather than go elsewhere to air their grievances.

“There have been episodes when customers were not afraid of posting angry videos on their own social media,” Cai said. “If restaurants and hotels can encourage customers to complain directly to them, then they may be able to recover and solve that service failure before it goes viral online.”

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