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Social Circles Pose More Risks Online Than Strangers: Microsoft Study

In 2018, a new classification of perpetrators — colleagues and co-workers — accounted for nine per cent of people’s unpleasant interactions online

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While strangers pose the majority of threats online, a new study from tech giant Microsoft says people are now at more risk of being bullied, getting unwanted contact and receiving unwelcome sexual images and messages from immediate family and social circles. The study showed that more than 60 per cent of online risks were sourced from strangers and people whom respondents knew only online.

But, 28 per cent of online risks came from family and friends. The respondents who had met their abuser in real life were almost twice as likely to experience an online risk, said Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft Chief Online Safety Officer in a blog post. More disheartening were indications that people were targeted because of their personal characteristics, namely gender, age and physical appearance, Beauchere added.

The commonly experienced hoaxes, scams and fraud risk was led by false and misleading information. Fake news and internet hoaxes were the most common type, far outpacing fake anti-virus scams. Compared to data from 2017, negative experiences from family, friends and acquaintances were up by four per cent, seven per cent and two per cent, respectively.

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Microsoft says people are now at more risk of being bullied, getting unwanted contact and receiving unwelcome sexual images and messages from immediate family and social circles. (Wikimedia commons)

In 2018, a new classification of perpetrators — colleagues and co-workers — accounted for nine per cent of people’s unpleasant interactions online, Beauchere said. Bullying like name-calling, purposeful embarrassment topped the behavioural category, followed by repeated unwanted contact experienced by more than four in 10 respondents.

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In the sexual risk category, receipt of unwelcome sexual imagery and messages dominated, with nearly four in 10 experiencing repeated attempts to start a romantic relationship. The findings are based on attitudes and perceptions of teenagers and adults in 22 countries including India, Canada, France, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and Vietnam, among others, about the online risks they face and how their interactions impact their lives. (IANS)

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Microsoft Planning to Integrate Google’s Services into Outlook.com: Report

The feature is only rolling out to Outlook.com Web mail client users

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Microsoft is planning to integrate several Google services into Outlook.com, including Google Drive, Google Calendar and Gmail.

This integration would work in a very similar manner to how it does on the existing Android and iOS Outlook apps, with separate inboxes and side-by-side integration in the calendar, The Verge reported on Wednesday.

The new integration was recently shared on Twitter by user Florian B who tweeted screenshots that show a new feature in Outlook.com allowing users to integrate their Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar into their Outlook.com account.

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FILE – A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

As per the report, the Google Drive integration supports documents and files from Google’s service so a user can quickly attach them to Outlook or Gmail emails.

Also Read: Twitter Introducing Feature to Schedule Tweets from Web

Right now it is not clear how many Outlook.com users will get access to this, or when the company will make it available more broadly.

The feature is only rolling out to Outlook.com Webmail client users. (IANS)