Archive for April 10, 2018

Survey reveals why girls do not enter STEM careers

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 10, 2018 by itnerd

A recent survey conducted by Canadian not for profit STEM Camp reveals the biggest reason for girls not pursuing STEM education is the stereotype of traditional perceived male roles vs female roles.

The survey was conducted in three hundred and sixty three (363) Canadian households as well as across social media channels. While the traditional role perception was revealed as the biggest obstacle (74.10%), girls’ interest in STEM careers in general was second (44.63%) followed by a lack of peer support (41.05%) with lack of support from Canada’s education system following closely behind (38.02%).

Moreover, results revealed that 23.14% of respondents felt that a lack of support from parents was the cause while 25.62% indicated a lack of career opportunities for women in STEM fields.

68.78% of responding parents indicated they would encourage their sons to pursue a career in a STEM-related field, while 72.53% of parents would encourage their daughters to pursue STEM-related careers. Why is this different? Interesting to note that more parents would encourage their daughters yet enrolments in STEM-related programs show traditionally that more boys participate. Another interesting result revealed that 99.17% of parents acknowledged that a solid education in STEM subjects will be important to their child’s future. Even though they recognize this fact, the number is still lower for encouraging their sons and daughters to participate in STEM.



Majority of Canadians uncomfortable storing medical or financial information in cloud: Citrix

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 10, 2018 by itnerd

A new survey shows that while a majority of Canadians are familiar with cloud computing, there remains a high degree of skepticism and uncertainty about cloud security. The Citrix Cloud and Security Survey, a Leger poll of1,505 Canadian residents, found that a third of employed respondents (31%) answered “no” when asked if the cloud is secure.

 Canadians are less comfortable storing sensitive personal information in the cloud

When asked how secure they would feel storing certain information in the cloud, the level of comfort was low for sensitive personal information. Almost half (46%) of Canadians are either not at all secure or not very secure storing family information in the cloud. This figure rises to over half (52%) for medical information and 59 per cent for financial information. This comes in contrast to the just 11 per cent of respondents who feel storing music in the cloud is not secure. Overall, the more sensitive the information is, the less comfortable Canadians are with storing it in the cloud.

Workplace security – Most feel safe storing work documents

The survey also shows Canadians are less concerned about cloud security in the workplace, despite the sensitivity of corporate data and prevalence of cyberattacks. Sixty-two per cent of employed Canadians feel either somewhat secure or very secure storing work documents in the cloud. At the same time, 42 per cent of workers think their employer is solely responsible for maintaining and upgrading security on all devices. 

The survey provided a window into cloud awareness among Canadian workers and Canadians as a whole:

  • A third of workers (34%) weren’t aware if their company uses cloud services
  • 40 per cent said their employer uses the cloud
  • 20 per cent responded that their employer did not use the cloud
  • Four-in-10 of ALL Canadians (41%) were not familiar with the cloud while six-in-10 (58%) were familiar.
  • The following groups were most familiar with cloud computing, millennials (75%), high income earners of $100k+ (74%), employed Canadians (71%) and Men (69%). Those most unfamiliar with cloud computing were Seniors 65+ (70%), unemployed Canadians (56%), Atlantic Canadians (53%) and women (51%).

 Here are some of the other standout workplace findings:

  • In the workplace, the 18-34 cohort feels most secure storing documents (67%) and the 45-54 and 65+ cohorts feel the least secure (54%)
  • Those with a university education were most likely (71%) to feel secure storing work documents in the cloud; those with a high school education or less were least likely (51%)

About the Citrix Cloud and Security Survey

An online survey of 1,505 Canadian residents was completed between February 13th to 18th, 2018, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.


Facebook Launches Data Abuse Bug Bounty Program So That You Won’t #DeleteFacebook

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 10, 2018 by itnerd

Facebook today launched a data abuse bug bounty program just hours ahead of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress in Washington, DC. The bug bounty program is asking for people to report any apps that abuse data on Facebook, and it offers a reward based on how severe the abuse is:

This program will reward people with first-hand knowledge and proof of cases where a Facebook platform app collects and transfers people’s data to another party to be sold, stolen or used for scams or political influence. Just like the bug bounty program, we will reward based on the impact of each report. While there is no maximum, high impact bug reports have garnered as much as $40,000 for people who bring them to our attention.

We’ll review all legitimate reports and respond as quickly as possible when we identify a credible threat to people’s information. If we confirm data abuse, we will shut down the offending app and take legal action against the company selling or buying the data, if necessary. We’ll pay the person who reported the issue, and we’ll also alert those we believe to be affected.

Of course this is meant to stop you from becoming part of team #DeleteFacebook. The problem is that I have to wonder if anyone has any confidence in Facebook taking any report that is filed using this mechanism seriously? After all, data is their business and I am certain that they don’t want to interfere with that too much. Thus I think that despite this announcement, I am still on team #DeleteFacebook.

Facebook Punts Out Help Center Tool To Help You Check If Your Data Leaked So That You Won’t #DeleteFacebook

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 10, 2018 by itnerd

On the day that Mark Zuckerberg goes to Washington to get beaten to a pulp by Congress, Facebook has launched a new section of its Help Center focusing on user data breaches following the Cambridge Analytica scandal that’s been ongoing for the past few weeks. The updated Help Center tool allows you to check to see if any of your Facebook data was shared with Cambridge Analytica. Among other things, it will tell you whether or not you or any of your friends ever logged into “This Is Your Digital Life,” a quiz app that Cambridge Analytica used to steal information and tailor political messages towards Facebook users.

In my opinion, this is something. But not enough for some to stop them from joining the #DeleteFacebook camp. Why? Facebook put the burden of discovering information to protect users on the user. It’s just another reason that you should #DeleteFacebook today.


YouTube Pwned… Videos Erased Or Defaced

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 10, 2018 by itnerd

This is embarrassing if you’re YouTube.

The BBC is reporting that several high-profile music videos on YouTube were mysteriously deleted early Tuesday, in what appears like the result of a security compromise. Some of the videos that have been pulled from Google’s video platform include Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” — which is also the most popular video on the platform. Users reported Tuesday that the thumbnail of the video was replaced by a masked gang holding guns, who identify themselves as “Prosox and Kuroi’sh.” Several songs from DJ Snake, Drake, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Shakira, and Taylor Swift have also been either deleted or altered with. On Twitter, a person who claims to be one of the hackers said this:

Google who owns YouTube has yet to acknowledge the incident. But it will be interesting to see what they say if and when they do

CCTS Mid Year Report Is Out…. Surprise! Bell Is The Most Complained About Telco In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on April 10, 2018 by itnerd

In a sure sign that Canadian telcos are frustrating and infuriating their customers, The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) published their mid year report and noted that complaints are way up. And by that I mean a 73% increase over this time last year. And what are people complaining about? Here’s the number one issue:

The most frequently-raised issue in complaints remains the non-disclosure or inaccurate information about the terms under which a service is being provided. This is by far the most problematic issue for wireless customers. For TV and phone customers, the largest area of concern is incorrect charges, and for internet customers the number one concern is quality of service.

Hmmm…. Bell have been accused of that recently. I wonder how they finished in this report. Let’s rank the telcos in order:

  1. Bell with 2275 complaints
  2. Rogers with 707 complaints
  3. Telus with 511 complaints

Additional details can be found here.

That’s not a shock that Bell is number one seeing as the sort of stupid stuff that they’ve been caught doing recently have surely annoyed Canadian consumers from coast to coast. It illustrates just how bad their customer service is. It’s also a major reason why I haven’t switched from Rogers to Bell for my telco services. Sure Bell has a way better Internet offering than Rogers. And unlike Rogers they support the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE. But their customer service is so bad and they have a reputation of “baiting and switching” when it comes to their pricing, that I would rather just live with what I get, and don’t get from Rogers than to switch to Bell. By the way, Rogers shouldn’t be celebrating Bell’s misfortune as they got caught doing some of the same things that Bell has been accused of.

One other data point. Clearly the increase in complaints is affecting the CCTS too as they have a job posting for people to help them to field all the complaints that are coming in. That shows the level of discontent that Canadians have when it comes to telcos.

If I were an exec at any of the three major telcos that was responsible for customer service, I would looking at this report and say to myself that I need to up my game. Then go about improving things so that my customers don’t complain. But when it comes to Bell specifically, they need to take a bit of a different angle as this just further highlights how bad they are as a telco when it comes to how they treat customers. And I don’t know how they fix that so that they can regain the trust of Canadians. Bell has a good product offering, but without quality customer service, that doesn’t mean anything.