UAE consumers are unable to resist a strong, free Wi-Fi network and their online actions may be placing their personal information at risk, according to Norton by Symantec’s 2017 Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report, released today. But the siren song of free data means many throw caution to the wind when it comes to their personal information, with 95 per cent of UAE consumers indicating they have acted in an unsafe matter when connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots, including potentially sharing their email or online bank account log-in information.
“In today’s world, most consumers demand constant connectivity, but there is a deep divide between what people think is safe when it comes to using Wi-Fi hotspots versus the reality,” said Tamim Taufiq, Head of Norton Middle East. “What someone thinks is private on their personal device can easily be accessed by cybercriminals through unsecure or fake Wi-Fi Networks or even apps with privacy vulnerabilities.”
The Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report surveyed more than 15,000 consumers in 15 countries, including 1,000 consumers in the UAE, to learn about their public Wi-Fi practices and perceptions. Many of the global findings show that people are aware of the risks of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots outside their home but are not necessarily changing their approach when accessing these networks. In fact, nearly everyone (95 per cent) is acting in a way that could put risk their personal and private information at risk.
Consumers Yearn for Quick, Free Data Connections
Two-thirds (66 per cent) of UAE consumers can’t wait more than a few minutes before logging onto a Wi-Fi network or asking for the password after arriving at a friend’s place, café, hotel or other location. Nearly one-third have accessed Wi-Fi without the Wi-Fi network owner’s permission, and one in ten guessed or hacked the password to get in.
Even when Travelling, Access to Public Wi-Fi is a Must
Many UAE consumers indicate that access to a strong Wi-Fi network is a deciding factor when choosing:
- a holiday rental or hotel (81 per cent)
- a transportation hub (59 per cent)
- a place to grab a bite to eat or drink (58 per cent)
- or which airline to fly (57 per cent)
Further, half of people surveyed said the most important reason to stay connected so that someone important can contact them. Nearly four in 10 (39 per cent) say it’s important to use public Wi-Fi to avoid draining their data plan.
Yet Despite the Cavalier Attitude, Fear of Exposure is Very Real
- 43 per cent reported they would be horrified if the details of their bank accounts and financial information were posted online.
- One in five (22 per cent) reported they would be embarrassed if the details of their private chats/texts conversation or closest secrets were posted online.
- Nearly half (46 per cent) reported they would even pay to prevent their personal information, such as browsing history, being exposed to their employer. Furthermore, 49 per cent would pay to avoid such information reaching their family.
- 65 percent of the UAE consumers are willing to do or swap something for a strong, free Wi-Fi. One in ten consumers will allow permission to access and edit all social media accounts in exchange for free Wi-Fi.
- Half of the respondents say it’s important to use public Wi-Fi in case someone important needs to get in touch with them. Nearly four in 10 (39 percent) say it’s important to use public Wi-Fi to avoid draining their data plan.
Risky Behaviour on Wi-Fi
In the case of using public Wi-Fi for more personal matters, joining an unsecure network could reveal more about a person’s information than they bargained for:
- More than a quarter (27 per cent) have check their bank accounts or accessed financial information on public Wi-Fi, and 24 per cent have shared their credit card information.
- Three in ten consumers have shared their travel plans or location information while using public Wi-Fi.
- 72 per cent of the consumers used public Wi-Fi to log into social media networks while 61 per cent have logged into personal emails.
- UAE consumers also conduct business over public Wi-Fi with 44 per cent stating that they’ve accessed their work email, and 31 per cent have also share work documents (including financials).
Help Ensure Your Personal Information Doesn’t Fall into the Wrong Hands
Despite the need for access to a strong, free Wi-Fi connection, there are simple steps consumers can take to help protect their information online:
- Sharing Less is Best: Think twice before entering any type of personal information – from passwords, to financial details and photos – over public Wi-Fi networks. Even if you’re not actively sharing the information, your device may be doing so for you. Many devices are programmed to automatically seek connections to other devices on the same network, which could cause your files to be vulnerable. Be sure to disable sharing on your devices to ensure what’s yours stays yours.
- Go in knowing the potential consequences: Only share or look at less sensitive information on public Wi-Fi. Catching up on the daily news on public Wi-Fi is fine. Paying your bills or entering any account information is not wise. Avoid any websites that hold any of your sensitive information, like banking sites or transactional sites on which you store credit card information.
- Check the Network: Whether it’s at a coffee shop or in the airport, make sure to verify the name of the network with staff or on signage before connecting. It’s pretty easy for someone who wants to intercept your data to set up a network called “Free Wi-Fi”, or any other variation that includes a nearby venue name, to make you think it’s a legitimate source
- Do HTTPS: Many companies use secure websites — HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) — to provide online security. You can tell if a website is secure if it has “https” in its URL and has a small lock symbol next to it. However, even though the website itself might be safe, your personal information could still be vulnerable if your network connection isn’t secure.
PHANTOM GALAXIES Comes to Steam and Epic Games Store on 2nd November 2023
Blowfish Studios, a subsidiary of interactive entertainment company Animoca Brands, announced today that its mecha space opera PHANTOM GALAXIES is launching in free-to-play early access on 2 November 2023 for PC. PHANTOM GALAXIES will be available on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and the official website.
PHANTOM GALAXIES is an expansive online multiplayer sci-fi action RPG set in a vast and immersive universe, featuring fast-paced mecha combat, high-octane action, and a captivating story and characters. After an interstellar war, the Commonwealth and the Union have united to form the Ranger Squadron — a unit of elite mecha pilots devoted to protecting human colonies on the frontiers of known space.
Players will take on the role of an ensign in the Ranger Squadron, piloting a transforming mechanized Starfighter to defend against the incursions of ruthless pirate factions and treacherous alien foes, from the scavenging Junkers and paramilitary Brooksea to the reviled Xanorra and vicious Sha’har zealots. In PHANTOM GALAXIES, players can create unique characters, build and customize their transforming Starfighters to suit their playstyle, engage in high-intensity combat in space or on the ground as they protect the human colonies against vicious pirate hordes, fend off mysterious alien civilizations, and secure strategic locations to defend humanity’s territory.
Players can fight alone or team up with other pilots online. Player freedom is key, with a variety of mecha types to choose from — specializing in close, medium, or long-ranged combat and fully customizable to focus on offence, defence, or both. PHANTOM GALAXIES Gameplay Features:
- Engage in fast-paced battles against enemy mechs, spacecraft, and sky-filling capital ships
- Gain new abilities, weapon configurations, and more as you upgrade the mecha class that fits your playstyle
- Choose between four unique mecha classes and customize your loadout to triumph on the battlefield
- Travel among the stars, exploring sectors inhabited by pirates, scavengers, and rogue factions.
PHANTOM GALAXIES will launch on PC in early access on 2 November 2023; the game is free-to-play and available on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and the official website. PHANTOM GALAXIES features language support for English, Russian, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.
RAZER Launches Viper V3 Hyperspeed Gaming Mouse
Razer has launched the Razer Viper V3 HyperSpeed. As an extension of the Viper line, the Viper V3 HyperSpeed stands as an embodiment of Razer’s longstanding motto: For Gamers. By Gamers. Reaffirming Razers’ pledge to equip all gamers with tools that amplify their competitive edge, it signifies a prominent entryway to the world of professional gaming.
Years of collaboration with esports professionals have culminated in the Viper V3 HyperSpeed’s precise shape enhancements, which provide optimal support, grip, and comfort. The result is a gaming mouse crafted for claw and fingertip grip styles, minimized finger strain, and enhanced accessibility to vital commands.
Featuring the Razer Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor, the Viper V3 HyperSpeed guarantees pinpoint accuracy. Its staggering 280-hour battery life on HyperSpeed wireless mode, powered by just a single AA alkaline battery, ensures uninterrupted gameplay. With the option to upgrade to a true 4000 Hz wireless polling rate with the Razer HyperPolling wireless dongle (sold separately), gamers gain that critical microsecond advantage over the competition.
The Viper V3 HyperSpeed is Razer’s commitment to pushing gaming boundaries, ensuring both veterans and rising stars stay ahead of the curve. With pro-endorsed ergonomics and best-in-class technologies, it offers every gamer the opportunity to experience peak Razer performance.
The Razer Viper V3 HyperSpeed is available for $69.99, while the Razer Viper V3 HyperSpeed and HyperPolling Wireless Dongle are available for $84.99.
The 43rd Edition of GITEX GLOBAL to Take Place From 16th to 20th October 2023
The surge in international demand has rallied the world’s largest tech and start-up event to scale even higher and bigger in 2023, spearheading a global tech takeover across two Dubai mega venues next month. The 43rd edition of GITEX GLOBAL will take place from 16-20 October 2023, the blockbuster tech showpiece once again reaching full capacity at the Dubai World Trade Centre as it prepares to host more than 6,000 exhibitors, while Expand North Star, the world’s largest start-up event hosted by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, will kick-off its largest ever edition from 15-18 October 2023 at the new Dubai Harbour venue, featuring 1,800 start-ups from 100-plus countries at the Middle East’s biggest iconic superyacht hub.
GITEX GLOBAL and Expand North Star will comprise a combined 41 halls spanning 2.7 million sq. ft of exhibition space – a 35 per cent increase over the previous year – converging the best minds and most visionary companies to scrutinise, challenge, define, and empower the digital agendas of the world. GITEX GLOBAL will present the year’s largest AI showcase and summit, its record growth fuelled by the AI innovation wave currently gripping the globe’s imagination, as 3,500 AI-infused exhibitors reveal how this next big technology shift is transforming lives, governments, businesses, and society.
The AI boom has also added another layer of complexity to protecting digital assets and critical IP infrastructure, with the elevated GITEX Cyber Valley taking the fight directly to the dark cyber-criminal underworld, gathering leading info-sec brands and global experts at the year’s biggest cyber security showcase. Amplifying this growth, the launch shows GITEX Impact and Future Urbanism Expo promise to be the epicentre of ground-shaking shifts in climate technology while advancing sustainable cities, and co-creating a net zero future ahead of the UN climate change summit, COP28.
“The intense demand for involvement in GITEX from the global tech and start-up community is an acknowledgement of the strong impetus to learn, exchange, debate and challenge the recent developments in the tech sphere,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President of Events Management at DWTC, the organiser of GITEX GLOBAL and Expand North Star. “From AI, and cyber to the mounting interest in clean tech, GITEX converges public and private sector leaders from more than 170 countries to explore the new unknown paradigms of the future digital economy.”
Expand North Star hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy will scale to a record size in 2023, featuring 1,800 start-ups start-up exhibitors this year to connect, inspire, and extend engagements in one of the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystems. More than 1,000 investors from 70 countries with $1 trillion under management will also converge at the new Dubai Harbour venue, as they look to ramp up the momentum in start-up investment after a year of tepid achievements.
Saeed Al Gergawi, Vice President of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, said, “Expand North Star is set to drive the next era of digital entrepreneurship and inspire the next generation of innovators and thinkers. This landmark event will serve as a strategic catalyst to expand the future of Dubai’s digital economy, creating an unrivalled platform to gather key stakeholders from the global start-up community here in the emirate.”
GITEX GLOBAL 2023 welcomes the biggest tech names delving into the latest trends, risks, challenges, and opportunities that are redefining entire industries, spearheaded by returning titans including Dell Technologies, e&, Google, Huawei, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and Tonomus. Among the debut exhibitors supercharging their international growth strategies and forging new connections are Salesforce, Broadcom, Beyon, and Deloitte.
Steven Yi, President of Huawei Middle East & Central Asia said: “At Huawei, GITEX GLOBAL continues to hold great importance to our business year after year. This year, our theme, ‘Accelerate Intelligence,’ demonstrates our commitment to delve into the transformative power of AI, networks, and cloud technologies. Together, we will explore how these converging forces are reshaping our world and how we can unleash the full capabilities of AI-powered solutions to reshape industries worldwide with cyber security, privacy protection and safeguarding our customer’s digital transformation journey remaining our top priorities.”
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