Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Are you next on cybercriminals radar?

Cybercrime is rising at an alarming rate. Despite the increasing awareness about cybercrime and ways to protect ourselves from the spying eyes of hackers and scammers, cyber attacks continue to plague our digital world. According to a new research conducted by iYogi Insights, nearly 30% of the Americans have become victims of cyber theft, including online scams, credit card frauds, and identity thefts.

iYogi conducted an online survey on its 2,000 customers to gain an understanding about online security, cybercrime, information sharing, and related issues, and recorded some astonishing figures. iYogi Insights also referred to a study released by Javelin Strategy & Research that found out that in the year 2011, more than 11.6 million US adults became victims of identity frauds.

The world is adopting the digital route
Every day, more and more people are adopting the digital road for settling their bills, shopping online, getting in touch with their loved ones, and doing various kinds of bank transactions. Internet is rapidly becoming the shopper’s paradise and there has been a steep rise in revenues garnered through online shopping.

As per the Forrester study, it is projected that by the year 2016, the total amount of money spend by an average American in online shopping will be around $1,738. So, with a rise in the use of Internet, it is natural that Internet has also attracted cyber thieves, who develop new sophisticated ways to swindle people off their hard-earned money.

iYogi Insights team reported that even though 78% of the Americans use Internet for various online activities, only 19.32% followed secured means of transactions. Thus, USA ranks in the list of bottom five protected countries in the world from cyber crime.

Hackers invent new ways to scam people
Hackers are designing new and improved techniques to fool online users to seize their personal information and financial data. They go to great extent to cheat customers and steal their money. To make their operations look genuine, they create fake e-mail ids to send infected e-mail attachments; build phony websites and shopping portals that resemble the original ones; and design various types of phishing attacks like credit card frauds, identity thefts, and malicious codes.

The survey conducted by the team of iYogi Insights recorded figures that are a cause of serious concern. They show that instead of being cautious about their online activities, many of the Americans are ignorant. The figures show that out of the group of people surveyed, as many as 10% have been the victims of at least three different types of crimes and nearly 20% of the Americans do not follow any protection while surfing online.

iYogi also recorded a survey by McAfee, according to which, one out every five PCs in America have zero antivirus protection. This puts people using these PCs at a greater risk of identity theft and data loss.

Many people are unaware of safe online practices
The iYogi Insights team also discovered that many of the people are still ignorant about the basic constituents of online safety and are completely clueless about precautions that they must adopt while sharing their sensitive information, which can, otherwise, put their online identity at stake.

Here is a metaphoric analysis of what iYogi Insights team recorded:

  • 30% of the Americans don’t consider their date of birth as sensitive information
  • 10% of the people studied think that it is safe to share their credit card numbers and details
  • 11% don’t think that bank account numbers should not be disclosed
  • 40% think that it is safe to share their full name, address, and personal e-mail ID
  • 73% don’t consider their employer’s name to be confidential information
  • 67% of the consumers believe that by browsing safe sites, they are protected from virus threats and cyber theft
  • 66% of all think they are protected if they don’t use public computers for online transactions
  • At least 15% of the respondents know someone who has been victims of cybercrime
The numbers are too scary. Even though there is a wealth of information floating on the Internet about online scams and ways to safeguard ourselves from hackers, some of us are still unaware of the facts and are ready to compromise our personal identity without realizing its ill effects.

iYogi found out that every sixth respondent in the group of population studied had a friend who had been a victim of these scams.

Some basic online safety tips & tricks

While online, we must adopt some basic safety measures that include:
  1. While browsing social networking sites, connect only with those people whom you know and trust
  2. Create separate profiles for personal and professional purpose
  3. Log off your account after finishing your browsing session
  4. Always use virtual keypad to enter your passwords and other bank details
  5. Be careful while shopping online. Shop only with reputable companies and do not fill your personal details if the site is being redirected. It could be a scam
  6. Change your passwords every 15 days and be sure that they include a series of numbers, letters, and symbols
  7. Do not reveal your full name, address, or any other professional details to strangers
  8. Regularly check your credit card transaction details to look for false or fraudulent activity
iYogi Insights team firmly believe that everyone must follow adequate online security measures whether you are interacting with your friends on social media, managing business, doing online shopping, or carrying out bank transactions. You should also protect your sensitive personal information from the prying eyes of the cybercriminals.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Will Small Businesses Be Early Adopters of Windows® 8?

Windows 8 is mobile, more secure, more accessible, more compatible and completely touch-friendly. But, will these advantages ease or aid in computing activities of small business owners? iYogi conducted a survey on its small business subscribers. iYogi’s survey had asked small business owners questions on device they mostly rely on, platforms they find easy to use, preference of features, usability and connectivity and their upgrade plans for Windows 8. Later, they collated, assessed and identified the trend of device usage and migration plan of small business users.

Which small business enterprises should upgrade to Windows 8?
According to iYogi survey, 33% of survey respondents had shown interest and considered switching to Windows 8 platform. But it is not only Windows 8 that small business owners want to upgrade to. Around 28% of iYogi survey respondents also wanted to upgrade to Microsoft Office 2013 while upgrading to Windows 8. Use of tablet device is becoming a growing trend in small business enterprises. Hence, adoption of Windows 8 among tablet users is strongly indicated among small business users. According to iYogi survey, about 56% respondents are using tablets and 34% respondents are reportedly planning to add their tablets to their company network.

How many of these tablet users plan to use Windows 8-based tablets?
According to iYogi survey, many tablet users may switch to Windows 8 platform from other OS. And there are people who have admitted to even give up on iPad to get the taste of tiled computing of Windows 8. According to iYogi, 38 percent of survey respondents may consider switching to Windows 8-based tablets from their iPad. Likewise, there are many tablet users who are ready to ditch Android-based tablets to adopt Metro user interface. The survey has shown that about 45% Android tablet users want to consider Windows 8 tablets. Two more types of tablet users want to adopt Windows 8. These include 10% survey respondents who are already using Windows 7 tablets and 29% tablet users who are planning to get Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT tablets. 

Why is Windows 8 be a catch among small businesses?

Though many enterprises use iPad for communication, media playing and sharing, Microsoft Windows continues to be a preferred platform for computing among most IT departments in small business enterprises. Hence, Windows 8 being a tablet ready operating system is able to strike the balance between the fun of media playing and the work productivity. Windows 8 operating system will enable small business users to take advantage of a wide range of features that provide more affordability and options in hardware. 

Mobility and connectivity 
Moreover, with 25 percent small business employees, traveling a lot brings the need of a device that offers greater connectivity and integration, Windows 8 is the said choice. Windows 8 brings these two advantages with affordability that is a one necessary criterion of computing in small business enterprises. 

Compatibility and security
There are two more reasons why Windows 8 has huge potential to be a preferred platform in small business enterprises. Windows 8 is designed to run Windows 8 apps and older Windows apps. Thus, small businesses can migrate to the latest operating system and can enjoy compatibility of the new OS with older apps. In addition to compatibility, iYogi recommends Windows 8 for enhanced security features. Windows 8 bundles security enhancements including Windows Defender with virus protection (other than spyware protection), Secure Boot, AppLocker and BitLocker that prevent devices from unauthorized use of software and intrusion of malware. 

Ease of use
iYogi survey respondents favor tablets which are simple to use. When asked which tablet device small business survey respondents find easy to use, there are three groups of people favoring Android, iPad and Windows 8 tablets. 58% respondents choose Android-based tablets for ease of use, while 74% went with iPad and 52% wanted Windows 8 tablets for ease of use. Evidently, when it comes to ease of use, tablet users select an Android device or an iPad than relying on Metro styled user interface of Windows 8.    

Small businesses favor tablet use 
When iYogi conducted the survey on use of tablets by small business users, a whopping number of people favored using tablets. Large number of iYogi survey respondents (around 56% respondents) from small business admitted using tablet devices to stay connected to the corporate network. And about 34% iYogi survey respondents claimed that they are planning to sync their tablet to company network. Even number of tablets used by one small business is radically increasing. iYogi survey has shown that more than 7% small business enterprises have more than eight computers, 5% of them use more than eight laptops and 4% of them are using more than eight tablets. Evidently, small business enterprises are choosing devices that render in mobile computing to improve connectivity among employees and run business better.     

Will these small business based tablet users upgrade to Windows 8? 
Small business employees who have to travel a lot rely heavily on tablet for greater mobility and integration to company network. Moreover, with smaller number of device in use as compared to large enterprises and lesser cost to incur for training on the new operating system, small enterprises are a better target market for Windows 8. The iYogi survey has shown why small business users are willing to adopt to Windows 8 operating system. 33% of survey respondents are planning to upgrade their devices to Windows 8, while 28% of respondents will upgrade to Windows 8 along with Microsoft Office 2013. Of 67% of Windows 7 users, 28% respondents have plans to upgrade to Windows 8.

According to this survey done by iYogi Insights, small businesses are more likely to be early adopters of Windows 8 operating system considering the growing trend of tablet use in small business. Do you agree with these? Will large enterprises lag behind of small businesses in terms of adoption of Windows 8 operating system? Drop your comments below.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

iYogi Research Shows Americans Spend More on Internet than Light

We love our gadgets. Today, number of gadgets usually tops the count of members in a family of four. The increasing use of gadgets is a clear indication of tech adaptation in our lifestyle. A recent survey by iYogi shows that Americans spend more on technology bills than on utilities like heating, cooling, light, hot water, gas. Does it mean that US consumers need to stay connected via technology more than maintaining insulation in their homes? Here are the findings of the iYogi survey.

Increased rate of technology adoption 
A recent study conducted by iYogi reveals that Americans spend around 6% to 12% of their income on energy and other utility bills. However, when it comes to technology costs, Americans shell a greater amount of their income on it. With the advent of technological advancements, an average couple owns 7 devices while families of four members own about 11 electronic devices combining television, computer, Smartphone, tablets among others, as studied by iYogi Insights. Earlier, one household would own one TV and the entire family would share one computer. Now, every family member has his or her own computer. But it is not only the computer, there is one Smartphone or tablet per family member and often one member posses extra Smartphone or computer as Smartphone devices are emerging to become a ‘must have’ devices to simplify and organize their life.

Types of costs included in technology bills 
In order to make use of these Internet enabled devices and media streaming services on television, Americans take up plans that combine TV, Internet, fixed phone and mobile phone services. In addition to Internet and DTH services, many households incur expenses on cloud services for data backup services. Combining all these costs, their technology bills are found out to surpass their utility expenses. Around 63% of Americans have admitted to spend 35% more on technology bills than utility bills.    

Type of electronic devices rule technology costs

  • Desktop PC 
  • Notebook and netbook computers
  • Smartphone
  • Tablets and E-readers such as Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble nook among others
  • Gaming consoles including Microsoft XBOX 360 and Kinect, Sony PlayStation 3 and Vita, Wii 
  • Printers, scanners etc. 

Expenses on Internet based services of a family budget

  • Cable television services 
  • VoIP plans connected to fixed phones 
  • Data, voice and text plans for mobile phones and Smartphone 
  • Internet service provider (ISP) service to connect your PC to computer at home, office, restaurants 
  • Media streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, Hulu Plus, iTunes etc.  
  • Data backup subscription plans of Apple iCloud, Microsoft SkyDrive, Dropbox among others. 

Which devices Americans make utmost use of to stay connected?
The research done by iYogi has shown that mobile phones and Smartphone top the chart of devices used to stay connected. Hence, their monthly expenses on mobile phones trump all other electronic devices in use. iYogi carried out the survey on about 1100 iYogi subscribers to analyze their technology usage  and a large percentage of survey respondents have revealed their upmost dependence on mobile phones to stay connected via chat, messaging, video conference, or calls than computer or other devices.

Spending on mobile phones of a household 
iYogi survey has revealed that Americans spend about $94 on their mobile phones every month. Their highest share of technology costs take in mobile services. In addition to the $94 spent on the mobile services per month, they spend extra of about $19 per month on downloading mobile content such as games, music, movies etc. About 60% of iYogi survey respondents have revealed to use voice and data services for mobile devices.

What kind of voice and data plan packages people subscribe for? 
When surveyed by iYogi, half of the 1100 iYogi subscribers have revealed to use Triple Play packages. Triple Play packages include combined voice and data services for Internet, TV and phone. Remaining survey respondents use different types of voice and data plans with –

  • 17% respondents use combined plan for Internet and TV
  • 16% choose two Internet connections for two devices and phone service 
  • About 1% said to use TV and phone services

Triple Play packages may not offer best quality connectivity service, but offer the convenience of combining connectivity services for multiple devices from a service provider. Thus, Triple Play packages subscribers can avoid the complexity of maintaining and tracking separate bills from separate service providers. That’s why Triple Play packages are more in demand than other voice and data plans for enabling users to enjoy diverse types of connectivity options including TV, phone and Internet.

More people depend on cloud service for data backup 
According to the iYogi survey, about 30% people started adopting online cloud based data backup services even though cloud services are still relatively a new concept. And the adoption rate continues to increase as users feel more comfortable in using cloud computing services. An extraordinary increasing rate was witnessed last year with the release of Apple iCloud Amazon’s Cloud Drive, and Dropbox which are steadily becoming popular. 30% of iYogi survey respondents who are using any of these cloud computing services spend about $10 per month.

However, messaging services used to stay connected is still very much in use. iYogi survey shows that about 30% spend in Instant Messaging applications which dominate the chart of app downloads, music download, movies download and downloading games. What do you think of this iYogi survey on surpassing expenditure on technology bills than on utility bills? Do you agree with these figures and explanations? If your technology costs are eating up your family budget, what strategies have you adopted to check technology expenses? Share with us below.