Despite their origins across the Atlantic, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now as big a part of the UK’s digital economy as they are in the United States. A few UK retail stores use Black Friday to kick off their Christmas offers, but it certainly doesn’t have the same level of traction in the high streets and shopping centers as it does in America. However, online it’s a different matter.
For those of us who have been around social media for a while, we’ve learnt to take the content published with a pinch of salt. Whether it’s the incessant “you will never believe what she did next” buzzfeed-type stories, the ‘looks too good to be true’ discount vouchers or counterfeit goods, or the recently discovered videos proving that the Loch Ness monster is real, the aim remains the same − to drive traffic to external websites where more nefarious activities can be actioned by cyber-criminals.
Three years ago, consultancy firm PwC published a ground-breaking report into the attitudes of consumers towards counterfeit goods. It was the first survey for many years that focused on why people bought or consumed fake items; the results were both enlightening and worrying.
The new gTLD program could be described as a ‘slow burner’ in terms of changing the way we register, market and search for domain names. I’m not alone in hoping that we would have seen a big (dot) bang when the program started in earnest three years ago. Instead we've seen plenty of registration activity but only a small percentage of new gTLDs being actively used.
On this year’s World Diabetes Day1, it is sobering to reflect on the recent, depressing predictions by Public Health England concerning the disease. The organization released a forecast stating that the number of people with the disease could top five million if obesity rates continue to increase, with one in ten adults in the UK being at risk of developing diabetes by 2035. This would mean that £1 of every £6 spent by the NHS would be allocated to providing care for diabetes patients2.
There’s not a week goes by when we don’t hear of another attempted, or successful, cyber-attack. In the past few days, we’ve seen a UK bank admit that around 20,000 customers were affected by an intrusion over the weekend, which represents a new level in the cyber-attacks leveled at the financial sector.
As luck would have it I arrived in New York last night in time to watch the US Presidential Election results unfold. Between 10pm and 1am EST the vote was too close to call but in the next hour or so Donald Trump’s lead started to become clear and by 3am he was announced the 45th President of the United States of America. So how did the ebb and flow of the last few days of campaigning and the events of last night impact domain name registrations featuring the keywords 'Trump' and 'Clinton'?
Today, the fight for the White House will be resolved after the most controversial and divisive political campaigns ever. Both candidates have tried to engage voters of all ages, using social media and online campaigns extensively to try to increase the number of people who will cast their vote, which has traditionally been around 54% of the electorate.
The US economy loses around $100 billion from cybercrime each year, which represents almost 200,000 lost jobs and is almost half of the total loss for the G-8 group of Western countries. Over the years, we have seen major US brands suffer a range of attacks, including DNS hijacking, personal data breaches, server breaches and a growing trend of hacking social media accounts.
From the analog days of cassette tapes and VHS, to the Internet age of Peer2Peer and streaming, piracy has grown to become more sophisticated and, now, more readily available to a much wider audience. As Internet speeds have developed from dial-up to broadband, and technology has advanced, Internet piracy has quickly become a big threat to the TV and film industry.
I’m a keen team-sports fan, and although the clubs I hold an affection for do not always win, I know it is not always about the result. OK – I admit I have an uncanny habit of backing teams that lose more than they win, but that enables me to gain a perspective on what actually makes a good team.
An unconvincing, typo-ridden email purporting to be from a well-known brand is now unfortunately a far too common sight in our inboxes and something that, hopefully, we have learnt not to engage with. The renowned spam email is, however, now just one of several threats targeting our financial details.
After two and a half years of almost weekly excitement and anticipation, the new gTLD program feels like it has stalled. We knew there would come a point when all the new gTLDs that could easily launch would have launched and the only ones left would be those in contention or with issues to resolve − and that’s where we appear to be today.
Today, 1st November, not only marks the start of a new calendar month, it is also World Authors Day, a day during which the literary community celebrates authors and the books they write. Piracy remains an ongoing problem within the publishing industry as more users start to read books on their tablets and e-readers, some even circumventing paying for the books and opting to download them for free.
As we move into November, consumers are once again being advised to be vigilant when buying products for fireworks season. Every year, there are reports of the emergence in circulation of counterfeit or illegal fireworks and – unfortunately all too often – of the injuries caused by these non-legitimate products.
One reason; money. Lots of it. According to the American Pet Products Association, there are over 85 million cats and 77 million dogs in the 54 million households in America. It is estimated that the US alone will spend over $62.75 billion on their pets this year.
The end of this month marks the third anniversary of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), and for many rights holders the time has come to renew the marks they placed in the TMCH at the start of the new gTLD program. Many opted for a three-year registration period, as that was the timeframe in which everyone expected the launches of some 1,000 new Top Level Domains to conclude.