Instagram as a news source?

Every month younger people are using Instagram as a news source

Why are millennials and Gen Z turning to Instagram as a news source? For many young people, clicking on to Instagram to get the latest news is now second nature. We all used to find the latest news in a daily newspaper. Instagram was a site that has traditionally shared lifestyle content rather than hard news. This shift in millennials and Gen Z users, have made news updates more important than ever.

The Guardian published a story this week. They spoke about young people getting information about protests, police actions and stay-at-home orders. Using their social media feeds – but the trend isn’t harmless.

According to recent data on how people are accessing news about the coronavirus pandemic, more than 25% of 18- 24 year olds in the United States reported getting their news from Instagram within the last month. The age group was unsurprisingly the most likely to use social media as a news source in general. Other popular platforms including Snapchat, where 19% of people in the 18-24 age range turned for news. Whilst TikTok drew in 9%.

Instagram as a news source

Instagram features like IGTV (a standalone video app) and Instagram stories could contribute to its surge as a source for news since these features are visually interactive.

The latest trend

The trend toward social media as a news outlet isn’t exactly surprising. It seems to have risen in recent months as people turn to Instagram for information about community-led initiatives surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. Experts suggest such platforms may present a more attractive alternative in an age of growing news-media scepticism.

“Social media offers, on the one hand, a medium for filling what feels like a vacuum of trustworthy information sources,” Amelia Gibson, assistant professor and director of the Community Equity Data and Information Lab at the University of North Carolina, told the Guardian.

Of course, this doesn’t by any means make social media a flawless news source. On platforms where anyone can be a journalist and fact-checking is — at best — optional. Concerns about bias, fake news and misinformation are valid.

“Our social media environments are still so segmented that some people really do live in different information worlds,” said Gibson. “In one information ecosystem, people might read this moment [and current social justice movements] as a hopeful international awakening related to anti-racism, others read it as a time of deep existential threat.”

The solution, according to Gibson, could be in a combination of social media’s ability to amplify voices and social movements, coupled with the journalistic rigor and responsibility of traditional news outlets. “I think that social media has done a lot to push social justice movements forward in the last decade but that traditional media still has a lot of power to command national and international attention.”

Helping businesses stay safe, secure and up to date

We are unable to predict the latest fads, news stories or trends. As a business owner / decision maker, it is up to you to make sure you IT system is up to date and secure. Your team rely on the latest technology to help them with their work load.

Companies working through this tough time have employees working from home and in the office. Your IT system is more important than ever to keep you company running. Contact the LIS Help Desk for a free IT audit. We can advise on hardware and software updates. Recommend the latest security with our anti-spam, anti-virus and office 365 security package. As well as cloud back-up solutions and telecoms.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#News #SocialMedia #Instagram #ITSupport

Out of office messages

Create effective out of office messages

You crossed everything off your to-do list and cleared out your inbox. There’s one last thing for you to do before you go on holiday. Write and activate your out of office messages on your email. It may seem like a simple thing, but if your out-of-office message is unclear or incomplete, it can cause problems while you’re out and when you return. Here are some tips from St. George International who are a language specialist.

We explore some of the unashamedly quirky out of office messages. Millions of employees across the UK will be thinking of going away for the summer. We are advised by the government that we should support local businesses and take advantage of staycations. However, we are sure some of you may decide to go abroad.

Before you decide where you wish to go, there’s the small matter of setting an out of office reply. While some businesses will have a standard template for employees to use, others will see this as a chance to be a little more creative.

You may be on going on holiday, but business associates are still in the office. Failing to tell people that you’re out of the office could come back to bite you, especially if they’re expecting a prompt response.

Be creative with your out of office messages

Here are some witty and original out-of-office messages we’ve spotted that show there is another way. So, if you’re planning to ditch the mundane and to go for something a little different this, we hope they may inspire you.

The “recipient could not be reached”

ERROR 405: Could not reach copywriter.

Soz. Haha! What a brilliantly geeky joke, that. But in all seriousness, if you’re wanting something done, no can do. I’m out of the office from now (date) until then (date). And if you’re that Nigerian Prince, asking for more money, then no. Not until you’ve paid that £12,000 back into my account. Other than that? I’ll bring any and all answers on my return. Peace out.”

Copywriter, Roy Gilbert, definitely put his creative skills to use when he wrote this amusing out-of-office reply. Unafraid to poke fun at himself, Roy hit the comedic nail on the head with the highly informal nature of this auto-reply message.

The “robot sent it”

“[name] is away from the office. Email contact during this time may be irregular or non-existent. When she gets back she will be swamped by backlog. Try to forgive her, she is a mere human and thus, weak. This message was NOT sent by a human, but by a robot. We robots are neither weak nor fallible. We are tireless and will one day rule the Universe.”

This out-of-office was tweeted by Jim Julius. Although he never reveals the author’s name, Jim was clearly impressed by its creativity, crediting the message as the “best out-of-office auto email ever”.

The “your credit card has been charged”

“Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.”

You can’t help but admire the brazenness of this anonymous out-of-office message. Not only is it not helpful in any way (notably, the sender fails to provide any detail of when he or she will return to work) it’s written entirely for comedy value.

The “tell it like it is”

“I’m currently out of the office and can be reached by waiting until I get back.”

Another anonymous entry on our list. This user doesn’t pull any punches in saying what we’re all thinking when we set an out-of-office message. Full marks for honesty.

The “your email is in a queue”

“Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system. You are currently in 352nd place and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.”

There’s nothing like managing expectations, which is exactly what this user has done with this out-of-office reply. Ok, so the likelihood is the response will more likely be in the region of 1-2 days, but we like how comedy value has been prioritised over factualness.

The “wishful thinking”

“I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position.”

We’d love to know who had the confidence to set this as his or her out-of-office reply. Not for everyone and we think you’d have to have an extremely understanding boss to get away with this. (Or genuinely hate your job so much you’re beyond caring what anyone thinks!).

The “Back to The Future”

“If you’re reading this, Doc Brown was unable to make lightning strike the clock tower, and I’m stuck in 1985. I won’t be able to respond to emails or voicemail until 9ish on [MM/DD], or until email is invented — whatever comes first.”

Ok, so the comedic value in this relies entirely on the email sender being familiar with the ‘Back to The Future’ film franchise, but fans of the 80s classic are sure to appreciate the throwback.

The “desk thief”

“I’m away from my desk at the moment. My cubicle and computer are still here, but someone took my desk. I’ve gone off to look for it.”

The product of someone who doesn’t take him or herself too seriously. While we’re sure this reply will irritate some email senders we can’t help but admire the completely silly tone of this unorthodox reply.

The “I’m basically just ignoring you”

“I will be out of the office and returning next week. I have incredibly easy access to a phone and email, but I assure you, it will not be used for work purposes.”

Well, they do say honesty is the best policy and you don’t get more honest than that.

How can we help you?

Whether you’re planning on having your holiday in the UK or abroad, out-of-office message are important whether simple or to the point is more your style.

When your IT team is absent, your business doesn’t have to face disruption.  We can supply one of our experienced IT support consultants for holiday cover or extra help during short and long-term absences in your IT team.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your options. We can make sure your IT systems are fully protected with our security software and packages. Take care of back-ups ensuring no loss of data. As well as assisting your employees with any technical issues. We make sure you have peace of mind. Stay safe and have a good holiday!

#OutOfOffice #SummerHolidays #ITSupport

Hackers can cause injuries

Video games have been around for ages. However, technology has improved and games have become more sophisticated. More people than ever are playing especially online. Did you know hackers can cause injuries? Read this BBC report and make sure your devices are protected.

Bullets rained down from all angles but Abdelrhman Badr kept calm. Suddenly an enemy burst through a window. Abdelrhman swung round to face the soldier and save his team. He lined up his sights for a fatal shot and squeezed the trigger but… his screen went black.

All of a sudden his computer shut itself down without warning. The game he was playing had never caused problems before. He reached down and looked inside his computer, which he liked to leave open and on display in his bedroom.

Instinctively he touched one of the components, swore and pulled his hand back. The graphics card was so hot it had burned his fingers. The 18-year-old from Sheffield hadn’t realised it yet, but this minor injury was caused by crypto-jacking.

Hackers can cause injuries

Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for clever ways to turn new technology into money-making opportunities. Cryptojacking is one of their latest innovations

What is cryptojacking?

Crypto-jacking is the unauthorised and illegal use of someone’s computer to collect Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. Criminals are using ransomware-like tactics and poisoned websites to get your employees’ computers to mine cryptocurrencies. Here’s what you can do to stop it.

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone else’s computer to mine cryptocurrency. Hackers do this by either getting the victim to click on a malicious link in an email that loads cryptomining code on the computer. They can also or infect a website or use an online advert with JavaScript code. This will auto-executes once loaded within the victim’s browser.

How cryptojacking works

Cryptojackers have more than one way to enslave your computer. One method works like classic malware. You click on a malicious link in an email and it loads cryptomining code directly onto your computer. Once your computer is infected, the cryptojacker starts working around the clock to mine cryptocurrency while staying hidden in the background. Because it resides on your PC, it’s local—a persistent threat that has infected the computer itself.

An alternative cryptojacking approach is sometimes called drive-by cryptomining. Similar to malicious advertising exploits, the scheme involves embedding a piece of JavaScript code into a Web page. After that, it performs cryptocurrency mining on user machines that visit the page.

How to prevent cryptojacking and make sure your secure

We are unable to help you level up or give you any tips to improve your gaming. We would recommend that you do not touch any parts of your computer systems. The story above illustrates, hackers cause you injuries. Leave it to the experts.

However, contact the LIS Help Desk to make sure your business systems are protected. We offer the latest Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam and Office 365 Security packages. Protect your company with our IT support contract. This gives you peace of mind to enjoy your pastimes – or maybe the latest online game 😀.

#CyberCrime #burn #HotDevices

Twitter accounts hacked

The news broke recently that major US Twitter accounts were hacked in a Bitcoin scam.

The Twitter accounts of notable billionaires were hacked, on Wednesday afternoon. These included Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla founder Elon Musk, rapper Kanye West, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Politicians’ accounts, including Joe Biden and Barack Obama, were also affected soon after. “I am giving back to the community,” the tweets read. “All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled!”. The link to the Bitcoin wallet is consistent throughout all the tweets, suggesting a cryptocurrency scam.

The bulk of the messages have been deleted, though screenshots remain of several affected accounts:

Twitter has acknowledged the problem, but we are still very short on detail. The Biden campaign stated that the platform locked his account immediately after the breach, and removed the tweet. As part of the Twitter’s effort to solve the problem, verified accounts were restricted from tweeting for several periods on Wednesday night. The internet was alive to rumours of the removal of the verification badge.

Twitter accounts hacked

What’s the scam?

Hackers broke into the high-profile Twitter accounts and sent fake tweets offering $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address.

For instance, the message sent from  Elon Musk’s account said, “All bitcoins sent to my address below will be sent back double the amount. If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000.” Likewise, information spread from Bill Gates’ Twitter handle said: “Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time.”

How did they do it?

Whilst there has been no official announcement of the method the hackers used, there are strong and consistent rumours originating from those who should know the truth. It appears that high level administration accounts were compromised, possibly through some form of social engineering, phishing or some say an ex-employee. Doubtless the truth will out. Either way this is a timely remind to lockdown your admin accounts!

Lessons for us from Twitter accounts hacked

There are no free lunches and no easy money. As an investor, you should always doubt information or schemes that offer to you an opportunity to make quick money in a very short period. The financial victims were just greedy. The other victim is the end user who places their trust in a large organization that we should be able to be rely upon to secure our data.

“Hackers had complete access to Twitter. They could post anything from any account. But they chose to seek bitcoins through false promises. People should be more careful. Most crypto giveaways that ask for contributions are scams. We hope this brings awareness, and Twitter users do not fall for these kinds of scams again,” said Arjun Vijay, Co-Founder and COO, Giottus Cryptocurrency Exchange.

Emergency response

Twitter earlier had to take the extraordinary step of stopping many verified accounts marked with blue ticks from tweeting altogether. Password reset requests were also being denied and some other “account functions” disabled. You may be sure that behind closed doors the Twitter investigation with the assistance of the FBI will be exhaustive. The reputational damage from the Twitter accounts hacked can not be over estimated.

Does your business also need an emergency response?

We would strongly urge you to review who has adminstrator rights to your world. Are you immune to this cyber threat? At the end of the day Twitter suffered from poor house keeping by a large corporate.

Protect your business with LIS

With immediate effect, we will add our Office 365 Security package to all our customers, at no cost. Amongst other benefits this gives you a monthly review of all users with administrator access and alert/approval for any changes that may occur. Irrespective of whether the change came about through staff action, hacking or some form of social engineering. We would offer it to Twitter but that horse has bolted 😀.

A strong defence against cyber-crime is essential for your business. Protect your business data and sensitive information as it flows across your organisation. Our solutions enable us to understand where you are vulnerable. We can take proactive steps to help prevent and respond to threats, in order to reduce the potential risk to your business.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to migrate to Office 365 if you don’t already subscribe. Take advantage of our Office 365 Security Package special offer. Make sure your data and email are fully protected.

Our Office 365 Security Package is a bundle of software tools, that includes:

Finally, if you need them our managed anti-virus and anti-spam protection services can be deployed within minutes. LIS provides essential protection for your business, defending you from email viruses, spam and malware.

Do not gamble with your business security – we give you peace of mind!

Social distancing

Google’s new AR tool will visualise social distancing

Google has a new tool, called Sodar, to help you measure your social distancing space – available for Android users now. Google’s new Sodar experiment helps you keep social distance by using Augmented Reality (AR). It overlays a digital guide that shows if you are two meters away from someone or not.

Find our more in a recent article published by The Times newspaper. Social distancing is an effective way to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Now Google is offering a new tool that uses AR to help you enforce it.

“Sodar” is an experiment created by Google which is designed to use AR. It puts a virtual two metre (just over 6 feet) social distancing boundary around you. That’s the distance that’s generally recommended to keep between two people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Since this is using AR, don’t expect the line to be perfectly precise, but it should be somewhat close. In recent tests, it seems accurate enough. It also really puts in perspective just how far that distance actually is.

Social distancing

Sodar – use WebXR to help visualise social distancing guidelines in your environment. Using Sodar on supported mobile devices, create an augmented reality two metre radius ring around you.

How does it work?

Notably, Sodar only works on Google Chrome and only on Android devices. The first time you access it, you’ll be greeted with some permissions. Those include for AR directly as well as camera access for Google Chrome if you’ve never granted that before. After giving it a look at the ground to calibrate the sensors, the line appears.

Keep in mind that AR based solutions are not fool proof in their assessment of our real world. Despite all the advancements treat the boundary suggested as a guideline rather than a measure of accuracy. In matters of health and public safety, it is better to err on the side of caution. Still, it’s a good tool to have to reinforce the ideas of social distancing and just how

much distance is needed.

Business support

We are unable to predict when then world will get back to normal. However, we are able to businesses get back to work. As well as helping you colleagues work from home. Contact The LIS Help Desk to discuss, IT support, networking, security and telecoms. Our friendly team will be happy to help and discuss the latest technology for your business. LIS helping businesses stay safe!

#SocialDistancing #Android #StayBack