Will You Send
Christmas Texts Rather Than Cards This Year?
A survey from SecurEnvoy
has found that 53% of people admit that they would rather text or
instant message their friends than pick up the phone or even meet in
person; showing just how relationships are changing. As we approach
the holiday season, it seems more likely than ever that your friends
will text or instant message you to wish you Merry Christmas or
Happy New Year than call, or even meet up in person.
The survey of 1000 people found that women, who have traditionally
had a reputation for spending hours chatting on the phone to their
friends, are worse offenders than men; with nearly 6 in 10
admitting they prefer to text or instant message their friends,
compared to less than half of men. Men, on the other hand, show they
are more sociable, with 1 in 4 saying they would pick up the phone
to their mates.
Interestingly, there are big variations between the different parts
of the UK, with more than 70% in Northern Ireland preferring text.
Perhaps disproving its reputation for being an unfriendly place,
London came in lowest, having the fewest people (43%) who say they
prefer to text their friends rather than phone or meet in person. If
you live in Yorkshire and the Humber, you are more likely than
anywhere else in the UK to prefer to meet your friends in person, at
nearly 1 in 4.
When it comes to age, it is the 25 to 34 age group which relies on
technology more than any other to maintain contact with their
friends; with less than 10% saying they would prefer to meet in
"This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first text
message, and it is amazing how fundamental the technology has become
to our lives. This survey shows just how texts and instant messages
are changing how people interact – if we believe the results perhaps
everyone will be sitting at home on New Year's Eve just messaging
their friends, rather than being out and celebrating with them in
person!" said Andy Kemshall, CTO at SecurEnvoy.
"The popularity of texting, and the important role the humble mobile
phone plays in our every-day relationships, confirms we at SecurEnvoy see every day. Companies are turning to their employees'
mobile phones and using them as two-factor authentication tokens to
access data securely and easily while they are out of the office. We
see again and again, that people won't be without their phones and
that SMS is so commonplace that it makes it the obvious security
choice for users, and is something they use with confidence right
from the beginning."
What is 2 factor authentication?
► 2 factor authentication (2FA) is a way of verifying a person is who
they say they are. It requires the combination of 2 out of 3
possible factors; something you know; so a username, password or
PIN; something you have; a credit card or token, and something you
are; fingerprint. The combination of a username and password does
not constitute 2FA as it is 2 types of the same factor.
► Authentication tokens, first used over 20 years ago, generate a one
time passcode (OTP) which can be entered as part of a 2FA process.
They are different to PIN numbers, which are static, as they change
every time and will expire within a set time. However, unlike the
original physical tokens of the 80s, today OTPs can be generated by
apps on a smartphone or sent via SMS making their use not only easy,
but also practical.
The survey, from SecurEnvoy, was conducted by OnePoll of 1,000
people in the UK.
For a video on the history of SMS authentication, visit
invited to dip in the Pool
OWNERS of vacant properties in Liverpool are
being offered extra support to help them attract new tenants.
Liverpool City Council is rolling out a new incentive for landlords
from Monday 3 December, giving them the chance to advertise their
properties on Property Pool Plus.
The service allows local people who are looking for affordable
housing in the area to see what properties are available, and
express an interest in selecting a suitable new home. The system is
used by Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, and Wirral Councils,
and over 20 housing associations, to advertise and let their vacant
Now, by opening up Property Pool Plus to private landlords, the
Council hopes to give them a helping hand in letting thousands more
people know that their properties are available for rent. It also
means residents who are registered on the system will have a wider
choice of available accommodation, from both the social and private
The new incentive – which supports the drive to bring empty homes
across Liverpool back into use - is the first to be launched under
the Council's '10 Point Pledge' for landlords. The pledge
aims to build on the positive relationship the Council has with many
landlords while taking a robust stance against the small minority of
poor landlords and providing a level playing field for all.
Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann
O'Byrne, said:- "We are fully committed to driving up the
quality of Liverpool's private rented sector. To achieve that, it's
vital we work closely with landlords, offer them support and create
new opportunities which they can take advantage of. Adding
private rented properties to Property Pool Plus is a great way of
promoting good landlords in the City and helping them find tenants.
It will also support our wider plans to tackle the problem of empty
and poorly managed properties in Liverpool. We hope this new
incentive will prove to be popular with landlords, who will have
increased profile for their properties, and with local people, who
will have a wider selection of accommodation to choose from when
using the Property Pool service."
Properties are advertised on Property Pool Plus every week, with
applicants notified what 'priority banding' they are in,
based on the urgency of their need to move from their current
property. Applicants are invited to make a bid for their chosen
property and the system puts them into priority order.
People can access Property Pool Plus in a number of ways, including
by visiting a local housing office or One Stop Shop. They can also
submit a bid for a property by calling the 24 hour automated number:- 0300 777 3022, by using the texting service:- 07537 402 602, or
through their TV (Virgin Media and Sky customers).
Private landlords who wish to advertise on the system will be asked
to ensure their property meets the Council's Landlord Accreditation
Standards. All properties will be inspected before being advertised.
Gas Safety and Electrical Installation Reports and Energy
Performance certificate relating to the vacant property must also be
Liverpool's 10 Point Pledge is an important part of the City's
three-year 'Bringing Empty Homes Back Into Use' programme,
which aims to tackle void properties across Liverpool, deal with
problem landlords and improve the standard of the City's rented
The pledge includes:-
► The adoption of a Liverpool Standard for private rented housing
which will set out the minimum standards expected of landlords.
► A free, voluntary register for landlords to encourage
better communications with the Council.
► A Citywide landlord accreditation scheme, and
'Scores on the Doors' service which recognise good landlords.
► Incentives for landlords who manage their properties
well, including access to renewal funding.
► A dedicated website for landlords and tenants and
confidential freephone line where people can report unregistered or
poor quality landlords.
A Landlords Advisory Group
comprised of landlords and also lettings and managing agents
► A Rogue Landlords Hit Squad, which will seek out and
investigate poor landlords and take appropriate action.