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Peter Flynn

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Later this year you'll be able to say "Alexa, call Mom on Skype" and have Amazon's digital assistant do the right thing with Microsoft's messaging network.

A security analysis of cyber-attacks against universities and colleges in the UK has discovered staff or students could often be responsible, rather than organised crime or hacking groups who are often blamed for these cyber attacks.

To complement the release of the new Echo audio options, Amazon have also upgraded the Echo Show and Echo Dot.

Over a third (37%) of UK workers are concerned their jobs will be negatively affected by automation by 2028.

Nearly a third of Britons don't think they have the required computer skills to do their jobs despite 9 in 10 households having internet access, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The government numbers agency's latest survey also reckons that 16 to 24-year-olds are the most likely group to be using cloud storage services, with 68 per cent of those surveyed in this age bracket copping to a habit for the fluffy stuff.

89 per cent of Brit households had internet access, a figure that was flat year-on-year – and one which may have the architects of the UK's universal service obligation scratching their heads about getting the last 10 per cent online.

Titled "Internet access – households and individuals, Great Britain: 2018", the survey looks at how many private individual Britons have internet access and what they used it for. Almost 9 in 10 (89 per cent) of Brits used the internet at least once a week in the first half of this year, up from half the population in 2006.


Concerningly, the ONS said that 70 per cent of employed adults in the survey "considered that they have the required computer skills for their jobs" – meaning 30 per cent did not or weren't sure. 8 per cent said they need further training to do their jobs well.

IT transformation appeared to be affecting the population a little less than one might proportionally expect from the amount of marketing hype around it, with 19 per cent of Britons reporting that their jobs had changed as a result of new software or computerised equipment being introduced into the workplace within the last 12 months.

Of interest to the infosec world will be the public's self-reported use of two-factor authentication, where three-quarters of 25 to 34-year-olds said they had logged into a secure online service with the aid of a code sent in a text message. Across the board, 83 per cent of Brits are still using usernames and passwords only, though relatively few (41 per cent) are using those social media shared login systems where your Facebook or Google creds can get you into a range of other sites too.

A generational shift is clear in the numbers, with those aged 45-plus proportionately less likely to use online services at all, let alone use them for work or online shopping or banking. ®

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Democracy is at risk unless the government and regulators take urgent action to combat a growing crisis of data manipulation, disinformation and so-called fake news, a parliamentary committee is expected to say.

Openreach claims it is now more independent of BT than ever before, adding that the UK's fibre rollout is going just fine and all ISPs are now very happy with the BT-owned telecoms infrastructure company.

The company said this would help the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen to upgrade its customers from copper based services for cheaper.


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