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5 Tips for the Perfect Digital Cleanup

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As life returns to normal following the festive season break, now is the best time to do some much-needed cleaning of your digital footprint. Not only will this give you a ‘fresh’ start to the year, but it will also enable you to be more productive. Below are several tips from Kaspersky experts to give your digital hygiene a boost.

  1. Delete unnecessary files

It does not get any more basic than this. However, deleting files you no longer need can take a surprisingly long time to do. While it can be intimidating, especially if you have thousands of files, it is best to start with deleting 20 to 50 files per day.

You can start by cleaning up your desktop of all those shortcuts and folders you no longer need. See this as a quick win which will improve your computer’s performance and give you a sense of order.

Next steps can be removing unnecessary files as we unfortunately accumulate a lot when surfing the Internet – you can remove these from the downloads folder, while the performance tab of an Internet security app (like that offered by Kaspersky) can help you to check all large files or duplicates in addition to temporary files stored in the deeper layers of your operating system. Once you’ve finished removing unnecessary files, don’t forget to empty the Recycle Bin.

  1. Clean up your email and messengers

In today’s connected world, it has become easy to be overwhelmed with emails. Start with the basics like unsubscribing from all those newsletters you never get around to reading.

Another ‘easy’ task would be to get rid of all those unread messages from months or years ago. If you have not read any of them yet, chances are you will never do. Another great way to declutter your drive is to delete old messenger chats. If they are not relevant to your job or have importance in your personal life, get rid of them. Of course, do not forget to clear out the spam folder.

Most email programmes do so automatically but only after a set amount of time or size threshold has been reached. Do a check once a week and delete any spam messages. This is also a great way to see if there are no relevant messages that accidentally found their way into the spam folder.

Always remember, when you are unsubscribing from email messages, to confirm that the URL in your browser coincides with what you intend on unsubscribing from before entering any login credentials (if at all required). This is to prevent possible phishing attacks stealing your details.

  1. Uninstall unused applications

Whether on your smartphone or laptop, chances are you have apps installed that you have not used in a long time. Some of them, especially on the smartphone side, you might never have opened since getting your device.

These take up storage space and memory and can potentially be a security risk if they are compromised due to being outdated. Start by deleting one unused app per day.

Soon, your device will be feeling ‘fresh’ from the freed-up storage space. You will also be surprised the level of permissions certain apps have to your files and/or your device location.

  1. Turn off unnecessary notifications

Another challenge of our increased connectedness is the number of digital notifications we receive. Whether it is from a fitness app or a birthday reminder, things can quickly get out of control.

You can either decide to disable all notifications, but this defeats the point of getting them in the first place. Rather, identify the apps that abuse notifications and disable these. Many devices have introduced a focus mode that you can activate to temporarily disable notifications while you are attending a meeting or need to concentrate on a specific task.

  1. Check your passwords

This is probably the thing that people dread the most. Very few adhere to good password management practices, often using the same password for all their digital accounts. But now is the time to kick this bad habit and start using a tool like Kaspersky Password Manager.

This application shows which of your passwords might be unsafe, and helps you create secure and unique ones using random generators. It stores passwords in encrypted form and automatically synchronises them across all your devices.

“In a digitally driven and connected world, regular users of digital devices should always consider their cyber hygiene – the steps they can take to improve their online security and maintain system health.

A fundamental principle of cyber hygiene is that it becomes part of everyday routine. Using a reliable security solution like Kaspersky Premium and training yourself to form good habits around information technologies will help you stay protected and productive,” says Brandon Muller, Technical Expert for the MEA region at Kaspersky.

 


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E-Business

Davido Launches Chatter, Own Social Media App

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David Adeleke, Nigerian musician well known as Davido, has launched Chatter, a new social media application.

Davido Launches Chatter, Own Social Media App

Chatter is a social audiovisual utility platform designed to help amplify the voice of content creators and connect them with a vibrant community.

However, the app’s usage goes beyond content creators; business-minded individuals, as well as people looking to connect, have a place on it.

The musician used his social media accounts to announce the app’s release.

He gave a brief history of the development of the software and its features with his friend.

The well-known musician from Nigeria stated that he and Sir Banko, his close friend  are the owners of the app.

The music icon posted information about Chatter, a social audiovisual utility platform that connects content creators to a lively community and helps them magnify their voices.

In the past eight months, Davido has undertaken three internet projects.

Recall that the musician introduced his cryptocurrency.

However, the $DAVIDO coin fell a few days after it launched, prompting some cryptocurrency fans to call it a scam and a rug-pull.

 

 


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Holiday Shopping Season to Look Different for Retailers this Year as Shoppers Take on more Debt

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By Zuko Mdwaba, Salesforce Area Vice President & Africa Leader

New Salesforce research shows that 37% of indebted consumers are using their credit cards more today than they were a year ago, while 32% report using alternative credit services like “buy now, pay later” more frequently. What’s more, 43% of consumers are carrying more debt compared to 2023. And this isn’t unique to one income bracket — consumers across all levels are tapping into their credit lines more today than they were last year.

Zuko Mdwaba

Zuko Mdwaba

But this increased reliance on credit isn’t due to consumers buying more. According to the Salesforce Shopping Index, online order volumes have been falling since 2022 and decreased by 2% year over year in the first quarter of this year. When they do buy, they’re trading down, buying discounted merchandise, and seeking private labels.

Holiday shopping prediction #1: Chinese shopping apps will take market share

As consumers face uncertainty around rising prices, they’re changing shopping habits. Long gone are the pandemic times when the fastest shipping time could win over new business. Now it comes down to price.

Shoppers are looking for the best deal. Two-thirds of global shoppers report that prices dictate where they chose to shop, with less than one-third prioritising quality of the goods. Temu is the clear winner, with 43% of Western shoppers purchasing on this platform within the last six months. But for Gen Zers, Shein is the top destination, with half of this group placing an order recently.

This holiday season, we predict that Chinese shopping applications will capture $160 billion in global ecommerce market share outside of China.

Holiday shopping prediction #2: Middle-mile shipping puts strain on margins

The Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and rising crude oil prices are driving up container costs worldwide, putting strain on the middle-mile infrastructure for the first half of the year. Additionally, last-mile challenges are also stacking up thanks to events like the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and rising delivery costs – stalling delivery times and adding expenses for retailers.

But retailers shouldn’t push the shipping expenses back on shoppers. Free shipping offers are a top-three reason why consumers choose to make a purchase from a particular brand or retailer. Over half of shoppers say they are more likely to purchase online than in store if delivery is free.

This holiday season we predict brands and retailers will spend an extra $197B in middle-mile expenses, increasing 97% over last year.

Holiday shopping prediction #3: Shoppers embrace AI to search for the perfect gift

Last holiday season, 17% of online purchases were influenced by AI – both predictive and generative. That totalled a whopping $199M of onlines sales worldwide in November and December. This year, consumers will increasingly leverage AI – knowingly or not – to search for the right gift at the right price. In fact, 53% of shoppers surveyed said they are interested in using generative AI for inspiring the perfect present. As retailers increasingly embed AI into search experiences, we predict search will drive a nearly 3x better conversion rate compared to traffic not engaging with site search.

Holiday shopping prediction #4: Black Friday becomes Cyber Friday

Over the years, as online shopping grew in popularity and consumers could shop from anywhere, holiday shopping started earlier and earlier in the month of November. Last year, Black Friday gained back 4% of online holiday sales, establishing itself as the biggest online shopping day of the year.

We’re expecting the same of the upcoming holiday shopping season. Two-thirds of shoppers say they’re holding out on making big purchases until Cyber Week, anticipating better deals. The big news is that Black Friday is going to be the biggest day for digital. Salesforce research predicts online sales will take 7% of in store sales on Black Friday.

Holiday shopping prediction #5: Retailers tap loyal shoppers to avoid skyrocketing digital marketing costs

Customer acquisition continues to be costly for retailers. In the face of a busy election cycles, and as Chinese companies buy up advertising inventory, digital marketing costs continue to get more expensive, and opportunities to get in front of the right audience grow scarce. This means that brands and retailers have to better engage their existing customer base amid this tug of war over digital advertising space.

But there are other opportunities. Shoppers are doubling down on loyalty. According to our Salesforce Shopping Index, the rate of repeat buyers in the first quarter increased by 8% over the last two years. And shoppers are prioritising brands and retailers that offer loyalty programmes. Our research shows 63% of shoppers are making more purchases from stores where they can earn and redeem loyalty points. This holiday season, we predict that 2 out of 5 holiday purchases will be made by a loyal repeat buyer.


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APTS Cyber-Attacks Target African Governments, Others

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Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity firm, has said that it is keeping a close eye on advanced persistent threats (APTs) and nine active threat actors targeting African organisations.

APTS Cyber-Attacks Target African Governments, Others

Kaspersky researchers’ intelligence has identified government, energy, and telecommunications as the primary targets in African countries.

APT groups are long-term, targeted cyber-attacks in which intruders obtain network access and go undiscovered for a lengthy period of time. APT attacks are typically initiated to steal extremely sensitive data.

These APT organisations are frequently driven by espionage, financial gain, or, in some cases, hacktivism.

According to Kaspersky intelligence, MuddyWater, FruityArmor, and Sidewinder are among the region’s most prominent groups.

Kaspersky, which says it protects over a billion devices worldwide from cyberattacks, collaborates with law enforcement and offers intelligence to help them track down these sophisticated hackers.

These threat actors, according to the company, use a variety of methods to infiltrate their targets in the region.

Social engineering is a typical method employed on social media or via email, such as placing a bogus job advertisement for software developers.

According to Amin Hasbini, head of Kaspersky’s global research and analysis team for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, said it is critical to keep up with these sophisticated syndicates and stop corporate espionage.

“The current geopolitical climate is a hotbed for APT activity, therefore, investigating these attacks and gaining intelligence on their movement is vital for security teams and corporations in Africa. Our research allows businesses and government entities to determine the significance of the threat posed, understand the attackers’ next move and accordingly be able to take the appropriate security steps to protect themselves,” he said.

 

 

 


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