In the coming weeks, TikTok will launch two new practical tools as a part of its digital wellbeing mission to make it easier for its growing community of users to manage the time they spend on the entertainment platform in a single sitting and enable regular screen time breaks, thereby remaining in full control of their TikTok experience.
According to Global Media Insight, the average daily time spent on the internet in the UAE is 7 hours and 24 minutes per person, which is why a new screen time dashboard will give TikTok’s creative community data about how much time they are spending on the platform, with summaries on the daily time they’re spending using the platform, the number of times they opened the app, and a breakdown of daytime and night-time usage available at all times. Users can also opt for weekly notifications to review their dashboard and monitor the time spent in a single sitting.
These prompts will remind TikTok users to take a break after a certain amount of uninterrupted screen time, which they can set as per their choice and convenience. TikTok will also introduce weekly digital well-being prompts for younger members of the community. When users aged between 13 and 17 spends more than 100 minutes on the app in a single day, he or she will get a reminder from TikTok of using the screen time limit tool the next time they open the app.
The new features are in line with TikTok’s goal to promote a safe and positive experience for all its users and ensure that the entertainment platform is equipped to offer the best possible viewing choices for the TikTok community. The entertainment platform is focused on delivering digital experiences that bring joy, entertainment, and enrichment to our community. Part of this includes ensuring that the community have a positive relationship with their devices and allowing them to be more in control of their experiences. This is why TikTok is taking a number of steps today to help support our community’s digital well being as they create, including the new screen time management feature that allows users restrict the uninterrupted time that can be spent on the app.
TikTok is supporting the rollout of the new screen time management tools and encouraging its community in thinking about their digital habits by publishing a new guide, titled “How can I reflect on my digital well-being with my family and friends?” on the platform’s Safety Centre. The guide encourages the TikTok community to reflect more holistically about how they spend their time online – whether on TikTok or elsewhere – and how it makes them feel as they set the boundaries that best suit them.
The tools are part of TikTok’s continuous efforts to nurture its growing diverse global community and develop new tools and initiatives that support an environment where its users can create a customised experience, express themselves and have joy. Commenting on the well-being updates, Dr. Hamed AlNeyadi, the Director Executive Government Relations of IAT/ACTVET and member of TikTok MENA Safety Advisory Council, said “It’s essential that TikTok provides tools to control our time on the platform, this will increase the productivity time for the user and improve their physical and mental health. By providing options for parents to manage and control screentime for their children on TikTok, it helps to promote healthy use and proactively assists the user to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Sharing her insights on parenting and online activity, Dr. Lamar Kanafani, MA LMFT Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Supervisor said, “It’s already widely known what the negative mental and physical effects are of screen-time-overuse. So, in my eyes, the first step to helping your kids find the right balance is to get yourselves better disciplined with screen time as well, model it, and put in the initial and ongoing effort to engage physically with your kids. The quality of your relationship with them is key.
Launching within the coming weeks, the new features will be found in the Privacy and Settings, under the section Digital Wellbeing.
Free Fire to Celebrate 5th Anniversary with Justin Bieber
Free Fire’s 5th-anniversary celebrations are off to an exciting start as it launches a spectacular 5-part extravaganza to delight fans and players. The festivities are set to culminate on 27 August with several in-game content drops involving global icon Justin Bieber, who is headlining this special anniversary collaboration. The Free Fire community can revel and reminisce iconic anniversary celebrations over the years with the weekly rollout of 5 specially-designed chapters – Battle, Style, Map, Hero and Memory. Experience new in-game events, gain exclusive rewards, and enjoy Free Fire like never before.
Free Fire will host its first ever in-game performance on 27 August, with Justin Bieber set to debut an exclusive track “Beautiful Love (Free Fire)” as part of the 5th-anniversary celebrations. Players can look forward to immersing themselves in an interactive set-up, groove along to custom emotes, participate in minigames and potentially even perform with Justin Bieber’s avatar on stage. A permanent in-game character modelled after Justin Bieber will also be unveiled and distributed to all players.
To commemorate this unique celebration, Free Fire will also give away the highly coveted Magic Cube to players, allowing them to easily redeem their favourite exclusive costume bundles and battle in style. Players will be able to try their hand at various daily and time-limited missions, accumulating tokens which can be swapped for exclusive rewards in the exchange store. With iconic costumes and classic guns available to unlock during these missions, players can expect a nostalgic and exciting experience every day.
Expansive, dynamic maps are iconic features of Free Fire and players can look forward to the release of a new map Nexterra, which has been enhanced with various elements to elevate and diversify the battle experience for players. There will also be new game modes for players to explore, including:
- A new limited-time mode Free For All. Set against the backdrop of El Pastelo, it will simulate intense close combat point-based matches where up to 16 players will battle it out. Players will be able to select their own weapons and can obtain points by eliminating other players. Matches will be decided by the first player to accumulate a predetermined amount of points.
- An exclusive 5th-anniversary mode Droid Apocalypse, which will see 12 players compete in each match, vying to become the ultimate droid. Players will get to select their own type of droid and convert as many humans as possible before the timer runs out. When only a predetermined number of humans remain, they will transform into hunters and have enhanced stats, as well as the ability to permanently eliminate droids. Points can be gained based on performance and the player with the most points after three rounds will win the match.
New Malicious Campaign Hunts Discord Messenger Users
On July 26, using the internal automated system for monitoring open-source repositories, Kaspersky researchers identified a malicious campaign dubbed LofyLife. The campaign employed 4 malicious packages spreading Volt Stealer and Lofy Stealer malware in the open-source npm repository to gather various information from victims, including Discord tokens and credit card information, and to spy on them over time.
Volt Stealer was used to stealing Discord tokens from the infected machines along with the victim’s IP address and upload them via HTTP. The Lofy Stealer, a new development from the attackers, is able to infect Discord client files and monitor the victim’s actions – detecting when a user logs in, changes email or password details, enables or disables multi-factor authentication and adds new payment methods, including full credit card details. Collected information is also uploaded to the remote endpoint.
“Developers rely heavily on open-source code repositories – they use them to make IT-solution developments faster and more efficient and significantly contribute to the development of the IT industry as a whole. As the LofyLife campaign shows, however, even reputable repositories cannot be trusted by default – all code, including open-source code, that a developer injects into his products becomes their own responsibility. We’ve added detections of this malware to our products, so users who run our solutions will be able to identify whether they have been infected and remove the malware,” comments Leonid Bezvershenko, a security researcher at Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team.
Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) Removed From Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India
India blocked a popular battle-royale format game from Krafton Inc, a South Korean company backed by China’s Tencent, using a law it has invoked since 2020 to ban Chinese apps on national security concerns, a source said. Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was removed from Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store as of Thursday evening in India.
The removal of BGMI, which had more than 100 million users in India, comes after India’s 2020 ban of another Krafton title, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). The PUBG crackdown was part of New Delhi’s ban of more than 100 mobile apps of Chinese origins, following a months-long border standoff between the nuclear-armed rivals.
The ban has expanded since to cover more than 300 apps, including popular gaming app ‘Free Fire’, owned by Singapore’s technology group Sea Ltd. Tencent held a 13.5% stake in Krafton as of end-March through an investment vehicle, according to Krafton’s regulatory filing.
Krafton shares slumped more than 9% on the news on Friday, later paring losses to trade down 4.5% as of afternoon trade in Seoul. The company said in May India accounted for a high single-digit percentage of its revenue in the first quarter of this year.
According to news reports, a Google spokesperson said it blocked the game following a government directive. In Seoul, a Krafton spokesperson said the developer was talking to relevant authorities and companies to figure out the exact situation regarding the suspension in the two major app stores in India.
Review: MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD eSports Gaming Monitor
Gamers are very particular about the products they use for their setup. Apart from the gaming PC, the next most...
Review: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (2022)
Lenovo makes some great gaming laptops under the Legion brand. The new Legion 5 Pro is the latest to come...
Review: ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402ZA)
The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402ZA) is one of the most elegant and premium-looking ultrabooks we have reviewed in recent...
Review: HP Spectre x360 Convertible Laptop
The HP Spectre x360 Convertible Laptop is a beautiful device that comes packed with a brilliant set of specifications. The...
Review: HUAWEI MateBook X Pro (2022)
In recent years, the demand for lightweight, high-performance laptops has been increasing. Users are craving portable laptops to satisfy their...