Whether you’re unaware or don’t care, counterfeit goods pose a serious threat

‘Tis the season to be ripped off. We look at the problems with online shopping

It is a fraud many people would scoff at the idea of falling for – buying a fake handbag or perfume online through what appears to be a genuine website. For others less worried about the legal, moral or quality implications, it is a way to buy a designer item without the price tag.

The sale of fake goods online has blossomed, as have the problems that come with the illegal products – from perfumes made partially with urine to phone chargers that combust in the middle of the night and children’s toys with dangerous levels of lead. New figures show that British police have shut down 31,000 sites this year in an attempt to stop the spread of counterfeit goods as part of an international effort to make shopping on the internet safer.

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Voice messaging – conversational gain or pain?

The warmth of a call with the ease of a text – or just a time-wasting nuisance? Either way, they are the new chat

Trawl through social media or simply have the misfortune to be friends with an early adopter of tech trends and you’ll see that the next big form of communication is upon us. It isn’t a brand new app or some strange semaphore. In some ways, it’s a throwback to the 1980s era of answering machines. “Voice messaging” – sending recorded voice messages to recipients using apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram – is having a moment. Unlike with voicemail, there’s no opportunity for the recipient to pick up and chat, and you can mix voice messages in with regular chat messages. For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of encountering them, here’s what you need to know.

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