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Tech Talk: Pirates of the digital world, technology this week

Almost one million users in Asia daily become a victim of cybercrime. The temptation of getting hold of premium applications without paying a dime is so strong that we often overlook major issues including a threat to privacy and data loss.

The most common example is when people buy a computer, especially the assembled ones, a majority of them are not aware that the operating system and other key applications are supposed to be bought separately thus willingly or un-willingly become a victim of piracy. This habit of downloading pirated software off the internet and sharing them freely is very common in developing countries. In fact, Indians still top the chart when it comes to using unlicensed software and digital content.

Though the desi jugaad is the simplest solution to any requirement not only it means taking away food from the plate of the content or the app developer but leaves us susceptible to vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals these days are very organised and are highly skilled criminals. They can easily disguise software to make them look authentic and can easily hack into your systems.

Common software downloaded from a torrent site or patched applications may easily install keyloggers and other trackers and without you being even aware hackers can spy on you. I can cite several examples of a simple “free” application downloaded off the internet that has caused losses of millions. In fact, as a precautionary measure, Facebook has started to block torrent links from being shared on its platform and Google had long back stopped suggesting PirateBay links in automatic suggestions.

Huawei Mini Speaker

Though not paying for licensed products is an easy way out but just a bit of research can give you loads of authentic sources offering you products with similar features or benefits yet rewarding the creator. For example, you can always stream music online for free instead of downloading from illegal resources. Apps and sites like Gaana, Jio Saavn, Spotify, SoundCloud, iHeartRadio and YouTube, etc offer you an unlimited resource of music for free, all you need to bear is occasional advertisements. Obviously, paid subscription removes these ads, but that is in case you don’t mind paying a small fee.

Similarly, instead of downloading the pirated version of movies, steaming them free through OTT apps or renting them out is a better solution. YouTube, Vimeo, and other streaming sites also offer a lot of movies, documentaries free of charge. A quick search will give you a long list of available movies to stream online for free. While the latest blockbusters may still not be available free online, but do remember that you stream from official channels only.

In the case of an operating system for your PC, Linux is a worthy, secure and freely available Windows alternate. Ubuntu is one of the most widely used open source linux based OS that can be downloaded from its website and works perfectly fine on any laptop or PC. For other popular apps like MS Office, Photoshop etc as well there are multiple open source software available online. A simple Google search can help you find the right resources. While the latest laws against piracy can land you in jail for watching pirated movies, pirated software can offer a backdoor to cybercriminals to access your system causing serious monetary damage. Simple solution like saying no to pirated products is the first step in safeguarding yourself from cybercriminals.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Tech this week:

Samsung Galaxy Fold

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has finally made its debut in India. The phone comes with a triple camera setup both on the rear and front along with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. This phone comes with an updated design and a slew of premium benefits like Fold Concierge and one-year accidental damage protection as well as a one-time free screen replacement. It is priced at Rs 149,000 in India.

LG G8s

LG G8s

LG’s flagship comes with a 6.2-inch FHD+ FullVision display, Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It houses a triple rear camera setup with 13MP Super Wide, 12MP Standard, and a 12MP Telephoto sensor. While on the front there is an 8MP selfie camera. The phone is priced at Rs 36,990.

Huawei Freelace

Huawei Freelace and Mini Speaker

Huawei Business Group has announced two new Bluetooth audio accessories Freelace and Mini speaker in India. While Freelace is a wireless neckband styled earphone priced at Rs. 4999 and is available in Graphite Black, Amber Sunrise, Emerald Green and Moonlight Silver color variants, the Mini speaker is priced at Rs 1,999. Both these products are available exclusively on Flipkart.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC

Skullcandy Crusher ANC Headphones

Skullcandy’s Crusher ANC comes in two color options: Hip Red and Fearless Black. These headphones come with features like ‘Skullcandy Sensory Bass’, ‘Active Noise Cancellation’ offering listeners an immersive audio experience. It is available on Amazon India and the Skullcandy website at a price of Rs 24,999.