Travellers caught unaware by mobile bills

Personal and business mobile phone users are in the dark about potential costs they'll incur for making calls overseas, according to price comparison site uSwitch.

Around 33 million Britons will be going abroad with their mobiles for business and pleasure this year – ten million more than in 2010.

However, only 22 per cent of those surveyed checked how much they'll be charged for using their phone overseas, with 42 per cent saying they had "no idea" about the costs.

Of those surveyed, 14 per cent will risk racking up huge bills to check in on work e-mails, while 83 per cent think that mobile phone providers charge too much for services abroad.

"If you really can't do without your mobile while you are away, at the very least you should make sure you understand the charges and try to limit the scope for a huge bill," advised technology expert Ernest Doku.ADNFCR-2811-ID-800575351-ADNFCR

Fasthosts Internet: Home-workers put data at risk

Employers have been warned that too many of their workers are being haphazard with data and documents out of the workplace.

The boom in business smartphones and home working has put information security at risk, according to Fasthosts Internet.

Marketing director Steve Holford warned: "Too many workers are taking risks with work-related data and documents."

He complained that the lack of uniform policies for transferring and storing data was the core of the problem.

"Most workers surveyed are expected to determine their own method for transferring data off-site, and are free to make their own arrangements for its storage whilst off-site. Particularly at home or when travelling, this can often lead to complacency and so a real risk to the business," Mr Holford added.

A recent study by the web hosting provider found that 37 per cent of workers have taken risks with documents, such as storing data on a home computer. ADNFCR-2811-ID-800574956-ADNFCR

Broadband Genie: UK lagging behind in mobile broadband race

The UK is dragging its heels when it comes to developing mobile broadband networks, according to Broadband Genie. 

Chris Marling, editor of the independent comparison service, points out that consumer and business mobile users are enjoying 4G broadband speeds in the US and parts of Europe.

While those regions boast speeds approaching 10Mb, the UK is languishing behind at an average of 1Mb.

"And the companies providing this superfast mobile broadband are the likes of T-Mobile and O2 parent company Telefonica, so it's even the same companies [as in the UK]," he bemoaned

"We are dragging our heels terribly in the UK when it comes to mobile broadband," commented Mr Marling, saying that it was preventing many companies from instituting flexible working.

However, he added: "A lack of superfast broadband isn't the main barrier to many people working from home – it's untrusting bosses and a failure of many traditional businesses to move with the times." ADNFCR-2811-ID-800573098-ADNFCR

BitDefender launches mobile phone security

BitDefender has unveiled the Beta of its security solution for business mobile users.

The antivirus software for Android devices, BitDefender Mobile Security, uses the company's cloud scanning technology to ward off malware.

In a bid to save on battery power, the cloud anti-virus services are only initiated when needed but will prevent any new malicious applications from being installed.

"The Android system is wonderfully open to developers and we've certainly reaped the benefits when we built Mobile Security. However, the same openness spells easy pickings for malicious hackers, and Trojan malware has been detected even in the Android Market," commented Bogdan Dumitru, chief technical officer.

Businesses were recently warned that their mobiles were in dire need of protection by Vigil Software.

The group claimed that employees failed to protect their mobile devices in the same way as they would their computer and that this security gap would be exploited by hackers.ADNFCR-2811-ID-800571526-ADNFCR

Open Mobile Summit to host leading industry figures

Leaders from the business mobile, internet and media industry will be meeting on June 8th and 9th at the annual Open Mobile Summit in London.

The event will be keynoted by Stephen Elop, of Nokia, who will offer up a glimpse of the company's new Windows phone.

In addition to Mr Elop, the corporate vice presidents of Motorola, LG, Sony Ericsson and HTC will also discuss the future of their devices.

Catching up with Apple's tablet business will likely dominate discussions between manufacturers, according to the event's organiser Open Mobile Media.

Robin Batt, managing director and executive producer, said: "The response to this London event has been phenomenal. The conference sold out a week ahead of time and we’re now fighting to accommodate demand at the venue. It's very exciting to see an audience of this size and stature attending in London."

Describing the atmosphere as an "intimate environment", he explained that it was rare for so many industry leading figures to be gathered under one roof.


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Businesses warned to protect mobiles

Vigil Software has advised business mobile users to look into securing both company and employee-owned devices.

Alex Teh, commercial director for the security company, said the "rise of consumerism", with devices such as smartphones and iPads, created an additional security risk.

"iPhones, iPads [and] smartphones – those are all types of technologies now that end users are bringing into the corporate network saying 'we want to actually use these devices, because they are powerful enough for us – they work'."

He explained that it was up to companies to develop security solutions for these new devices.

"You're talking encryption of smartphones, you're talking controlling of what's uploaded and downloaded to smartphones, those types of things," he said.

This follows a similar warning from Symantec that cybercriminals were increasingly targeting smartphones.

Director of regional product marketing Con Mallon said that criminals were exploiting workers' ignorance.

"[Employees] don't see it as a computer, they still see it as a phone and [are] not really all that savvy to the climate for security," he explained.ADNFCR-2811-ID-800568272-ADNFCR

Companies urged to embrace remote working

Companies have been urged to adopt business mobile technologies to allow remote working. 

Virgin Media Businesses has urged firms to embrace remote working to handle future disruptions to travel.

The company highlights the example of the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland that grounded planes due to its hazardous ash cloud.

Alistair McKinnon, senior product manager of IP multimedia, said: "The eruption disruption serves as yet another reminder that businesses need to put contingency plans in place to deal with unforeseen events."

He explained that if workers are unable to attend meetings or get to the office due to travel disruptions the effects on productivity can be profound.

"Yet this can often be avoided by embracing remote collaboration tools, such as videoconferencing, teleconferencing and desktop sharing, which allow workers to meet up virtually," Mr Mckinnon concluded.

Late last month, as many as 500 flights per day were cancelled as air traffic management body Eurocontrol deemed it too dangerous to fly.ADNFCR-2811-ID-800566673-ADNFCR

Crucial: Tablets won’t replace PCs

Business mobile and tablet users won't be using these new devices to replace their desktop or laptop computers, according to Crucial.com.

Roddy McLean, marketing director at the memory upgrade specialist, says he believes that business mobile and tablet devices will only serve to complement traditional computers.

A recent survey conducted by Crucial.com found that the most commonly owned computer device in the UK is the "old desktop computer", as identified by 25 per cent of respondents.

"Everyone is different and uses their computers in different ways, but tablets and smartphones won't replace our personal computers, but actually serve to complement them," explained Mr McLean.

"Most people with tablets and smartphones use their computer as the hub in their computer ecosystem – a place to store photos, videos, data, etcetera; there is a place for all devices to coexist."

The rise of the iPhone and iPad, alongside stable mobile broadband connections, has shaken PC manufacturers' hold on the market, with shipments of desktops and laptops declining in 2011, according to research published by IHS iSuppli.


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Symantec: Cybercriminals targeting smartphones

Computer security expert Symantec has warned that business smartphone users are not as security conscious as they should be.

According to the company's director of regional product marketing, Con Mallon, users don't realise that their smartphones are just as vulnerable as their computer is to being breached and having data stolen.

"They don't see it as a computer, they still see it as a phone and [are] not really all that savvy to the climate for security," he explained.

Mr Mallon called on the industry to educate consumers on the vulnerabilities of smartphones containing information valuable to cybercriminals.

He added: "If [cybercriminals] know that by and large more PCs have some form of security software running on them [and]… the majority of mobiles do not, it's actually much easier for them to basically go off and try and get that information off of the smartphone than it is off of the PC or the Mac."ADNFCR-2811-ID-800561801-ADNFCR

Panasonic connects business laptops to Ericsson mobile broadband

Panasonic has announced that users of its Toughbook models will have a constant internet connection with Ericsson's F5521gw HSPA Evolution mobile broadband module. 

The business broadband connection can be used around the world in a variety of hostile and extreme environments far from fixed connections, according to the company.

"Ericsson's F5521gw module is an ideal addition to our market-leading Panasonic Toughbooks," explained Stephen Yeo, marketing director.

"The long battery life, low power consumption, high performance and cost-effectiveness are exactly what Toughbook users need as they work in environments that would destroy the average laptop."

Launched last year, the F5521gw module supports connections of 21Mbps to HSPA Evolution networks and comes in a standard PCI Express Mini Card format.

The company plans to launch two new models to fit smaller devices, such as media players and personal navigation devices.

Business broadband users were recently warned about the perils of making the leap to cloud computing, by Subbu Iyer, senior director of products at HP.

He emphasised the importance of security when transitioning to a cloud, saying it represented "huge risk" as well as reward. ADNFCR-2811-ID-800561587-ADNFCR