Mother’s Day 2020 gift ideas: 15 gadgets and gizmos for tech-savvy Aussie mums

Raising a family is not an easy job, and the women who care for us each and every day deserve to be told how special they are each and every day. While we tend to forget that, Mother’s Day reminds us we need to celebrate the women in our lives, whether they’re our own mothers or our wives and partners helping us raise the young ones.

Mother’s Day 2020 is fast approaching, and there’s a pretty good chance you won’t be able to take her out to her favourite restaurant this year, or even get to a store to shop for something she might like. So we have to get creative, and TechRadar’s Australian team has put together this little list of great tech gift ideas that you can buy online and have delivered in time for May 10.

Whether she’s a whiz in the kitchen, loves to cosy up with a book or entertain at home, we’ve got a gadget or gizmo that’s sure to make her smile from ear to ear.

Top 10 Mother’s Day 2020 gift ideas at a glance

  1. Bellabeat Leaf Urban
  2. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
  3. Tile Mate
  4. Google Nest Hub
  5. Sonos Move
  6. Dyson Supersonic
  7. Nespresso Vertuo Plus
  8. Fitbit Versa 2
  9. Foreo UFO
  10. Jabra Elite 75t

Bellabeat Leaf Urban

You’re probably familiar with fitness wearables that go on the wrist, but did you know there’s a new niche growing that could make the perfect gift for your mum? Smart jewellery. The Bellabeat Leaf Urban is a wellness tracker without a screen or the insistent buzz of notifications. It looks exactly like a beautiful piece of jewellery that can be worn as a necklace, bracelet or brooch – something that will look great with any outfit – and it will track activity, sleep, stress and reproductive health, then present it all through the accompanying smartphone app. As a gift, it straddles the best of both worlds: elegant jewellery that does more than the eye can see.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

If you’ve got a mum who’s an avid reader, the Kindle Paperwhite is a gift she’s sure to enjoy. Even on the base 8GB version, this ereader can store thousands of books which she can read on a wonderful 6-inch E Ink display that imitates the look of real paper. It’s waterproof, so mum can relax in the bath or by the pool with her favourite stories, while the built-in light will minimise screen glare when she’s reading in bright sunlight. Font sizes are easily adjusted too, and with a battery life that lasts weeks, she’ll be able to read comfortably for long periods of time.

Read our Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Does your mum often find herself searching for her keys before heading out the door? Then you might want to get her a Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker. It’s designed like a keychain and can be attached to a variety of items: her keys, handbag or even the family pet (if it has a habit of hiding away). Clip it to her frequently misplaced items, so next time your mum says “have you seen my…” she can use the companion app to help find it. It has a 200m range and the Tile Mate will ring out when she’s near the lost item. 

Smart displays are truly useful and they don’t even need to be connected to other smart devices to make best use of them – and the Google Nest Hub is one of the best you can get your mum. It makes for a great digital photo frame with family memories automatically cycling through chosen albums, or your mum can ask for any specific photo simply by saying “Hey Google, show my pictures from Christmas” and they’ll appear. But it’s not just there to sit and look pretty – this nifty device puts Google Assistant at her fingertips, so she can get hands-free help around the house, including following step-by-step recipes if she loves to cook or make video calls via Google Duo.

Read our Google Nest Hub (formally Google Home Hub) review

Doesn’t the best mum in the world deserve the best Bluetooth speaker money can buy? If that’s what you’re after, the Sonos Move stands head and shoulders above the rest. It sounds incredible, serving up living room-worthy sound from a portable device that can be used both indoors and out. That means it’s the perfect speaker if your mum loves to entertain, or if she just appreciates high-fidelity sound. She won’t have to worry about it getting knocked about at a party either – it’s durable with an IP56 rating and can withstand more than a few spills.

Read our Sonos Move review

Our mums are beautiful women who deserve to look their best, and this premium tool will give her that fresh-from-the-salon feeling at home. The Dyson Supersonic dries hair without using extreme heat, and has intelligent heat control that works to protect hair from heat damage, helping preserve that natural shine. It comes with a number of attachments to suit various hair types, so whether your mum has thick, curly tresses or super-fine, straight hair, there’s an attachment to help her style it. Time to tame the frizz and flyaways.

Read our Dyson Supersonic review

Spoil mum with her very own coffee machine at home. The Nespresso Vertuo Plus is a pod machine that’s convenient, easy to use and serves up delicious coffee in a variety of fancy flavours. She won’t be grinding coffee beans with this sleek system, just simply pop the pod into place and the machine gets to work with the press of a button, reading the pod’s built-in barcode automatically to tailor its blending technique to fill the order. It’s compact size will save mum from taking up valuable countertop space too. It’s our favourite coffee machine here at TechRadar, and we wouldn’t hesitate to get one for our coffee-loving mums.

Read our Nespresso Vertuo Plus review

Would your mum love the benefits of health and activity tracking without feeling inundated by unnecessary stats? Then the Fitbit Versa 2 is a near-perfect fitness wearable with added smartwatch perks. It’s got the essentials covered such as heart rate, steps and sleep, and if she likes to go for a swim, she can even take this waterproof device for a dip. With Amazon Alexa built-in, it offers your mum a little more than the rest of Fitbit’s range, so she can check in with the weather or start a guided exercise right from her wrist. Moreover, the ‘squircle’ design Fitbit has adopted for the Versa range looks pretty darn good on any wrist, with plenty of bands available to mix and match.

Read our Fitbit Versa 2 review

Beauty salons may be closed, but shouldn’t stop you from pampering your favourite woman with a spa-worthy treatment this Mother’s Day. The Foreo UFO is a smart mask treatment that will give your mum the benefits of LED light therapy, while the pulsations give the feeling of a relaxing facial massage at home. She can download the companion app too, and get tips from beauty professionals about which masks are best for her skin type.

If it’s time for your mum to cut the cord and upgrade to a stylish pair of true wireless earbuds, consider the Jabra Elite 75t. They’re a compact set of ‘buds that come in an easy-to-carry case that stores plenty of backup battery power, and they’ll comfortably get her through the day with up to seven hours of battery life already available on the buds themselves. The sound is a little bass-heavy, but if that’s not your mum’s thing, she can easily customise the sound using the equaliser on Jabra’s smartphone app.

Read our Jabra Elite 75t review

The HP Sprocket is a mobile printer that could fit inside mum’s pocket. The nifty device can connect to multiple smartphones at once, so your mum can print off wallet-sized photos as soon as she snaps them. The images can even be edited before printing via the HP Sprocket app, where your mum will have access to a bunch of filters and stickers. If she doesn’t like any of the existing ones, she can even add her own – now that’s a unique gift.

Make mum’s life brighter with something from the Philips Hue range of smart lights. These intelligent bulbs offer an interesting way for your mum to create the perfect ambiance in her home with lighting. The Philips Hue White Ambiance is an adjustable smart light system that can be set to light temperatures between cool and warm, or adjusted to mimic sunrise or sunset. If she wants something more fun though, the Colour Ambiance will add a pop of colour to any room in the house.

Read our Philips Hue review

Does your mum fancy herself as an excellent home cook? Then she could really make use of this nifty gadget in the kitchen. It’s a single piece of kit that works as a pressure cooker, a slow cooker and a rice cooker – not to mention a steamer, a sauté pan and a yoghurt maker. That’s filling the job of several different appliances, freeing up valuable space on the kitchen counter. The Instant Pot also comes with a recipe book which your mum can try out, or you can too if you’d like to pamper her with a delicious meal on Mother’s Day. 

Read our Instant Pot Duo V2 7-in-1 electric pressure cooker review

Our homes are getting smarter, kitchens included, so why not the garden? Your favourite lady can now set up an indoor herb garden – no green thumb required. All she needs to do is fill the water tank in this ‘smart’ indoor garden box and plant some seeds. Once her little seedlings sprout, she can turn on the LED light and watch her herb garden flourish, only needing a watering every two weeks. A perfect way to make sure there’s a supply of fresh herbs at home.

Ecovacs Deebot 900

In more ways than one, vacuuming can really suck, so why not get your mum something that can give her a helping hand? The Ecovacs Deebot 900 is a robot vacuum that will blitz the dirt off hard floors, and do a decent job on carpets too, provided they aren’t high-pile rugs. The app is very easy to use, so your mum can lay out exactly where she wants the little droid to go, and control when its job is done, all without leaving the lounge. It’s one of the best autonomous cleaning solutions you can get right now without having to spend top dollar for some of Ecovacs’ competition.

Read our Ecovacs Deebot 900 review

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Double your 5G speeds with this little-known technology

It turns out, you can combine two 5G streams into one using a little known VPN called Speedify – the only VPN to feature channel bonding.

You’ll obviously need two wireless internet connections, ideally on two separate networks (in the UK, that might be Three and Vodafone and in the US, Verizon and AT&T). It is more expensive, but has its advantages for remote working, allowing you to continue work even if one line fails (automatic failover/redundant mode) – and you can add additional lines.

The best deal currently available is a 3-year plan that costs $53.82 when you use the coupon code CONNECTIFYCARES (roughly £45/AU$90). That’s less than $1.50 per month, for which you’ll receive VPN access on up to five devices simultaneously.

Editor’s note: for the best rates, purchase in US dollars with a fee-free card 

If you need VPN access on even more devices, you can opt for the Families bundle, which includes five accounts (25 simultaneous devices in all) for $81 (roughly £66/AU$135), or $0.45 per month per member.

Businesses, meanwhile, can buy VPN accounts for thousands of users at a time and benefit from a dedicated server (for an extra cost). Business accounts come with a centralized account management dashboard, plus CLI, API and dedicated server access.

Another interesting feature for businesses is a “streaming mode” that prioritizes audio and video streams and dynamically adjusts to network conditions. This means you can stop asking “Can you hear me?” and start streaming at the speed of all your connections combined!

To be clear, as well as 5G, you can also combine other kinds of internet connection; including wired, WiFi, 3G, 4G, wired, hotspots and more.

Head to this page to find out how a VPN works and this page to learn about the benefits of a VPN

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Amazon Prime Day 2020 in Australia: has the shopping event been postponed?

Prime Day may have arrived late to Aussie shores but it was a great time for it to kick off in 2018. It launched in Australia just when Amazon started to increase the duration of the major sale event from a mere 24 hours to much, much longer. And that meant, in 2019, we got a shopping spree that lasted a whopping 65 hours – starting on schedule at midnight on July 15 and ending only when it did on the US West Coast.

However, there are some doubts about Prime Day 2020. With the current global pandemic causing people to stay at home and indulge more in online shopping, Amazon’s shipping infrastructure is struggling to cope. Moreover, a recent Reuters report suggests that instead of taking place as usual mid-year (in July), Prime Day this year could be delayed to August at the earliest.

That said, we’re not expecting it to be cancelled outright, so when it does take place, we’re expecting big discounts on Amazon, if not bigger than last year.

Leading the raft of deals during Prime Day 2020 will be Amazon’s own products, including all the Echo and Kindle products, not to mention Ring security devices. Amazon is also one of the most convenient places to score a discount on the Oculus VR headsets and, now, lay your hands on official stock of Samsung devices, Xiaomi phones and Instant Pots.

Across the almost-three days of Prime Day last year, over 340,000 Aussies visited Amazon per day, with 40,000 of them making purchases. If that’s the kind of traffic Amazon can handle, we won’t be surprised if the e-commerce giant ups the ante in 2020.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day began in the US in 2015 as a celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary, with more deals on offer than Black Friday back then. Today, Prime Day is Amazon’s mid-year sales event where members of Amazon Prime get exclusive discounts on a wide range of items. While it began as a one-day sale, 2018 saw the offers last for 36 hours, while 2019 saw a recording-breaking 65-hour event for shoppers in Australia.

Why does Amazon have Prime Day? It’s presented as a neat ‘thank you’ to its paying members, but one that involves giving Amazon more money and shifting a lot of stock at the same time.

Prime Day isn’t just about selling Amazon-branded products – many other brands and third-party sellers also save their best deals for Prime Day, completely aware that thousands of extra shoppers will be hitting the online store.

To make the most of Prime Day you’ll need to get yourself an Amazon Prime membership which, in Australia, will set you back just AU$6.99 a month or AU$59 a year – half the cost of the US subscription. While you’re paying for the privilege of free, swift delivery (although that’s currently being slowed down to make space for the essential items people are ordering), signing up for Prime means you’ll also have free access to Amazon’s streaming services, including Prime Video, Prime Music and Twitch. Members also get free access to Prime Reading and Prime Photos for all their ebook and storage needs.

When is Amazon Prime Day 2020?

Amazon hasn’t confirmed the date for this year’s big sale event, but Prime Day has never been pushed beyond July before. That said, the current coronavirus pandemic has made things a little uncertain. Amazon is already struggling to cope with online shopping demands in most markets, Australia included, so scheduling Prime Day as per tradition in July again may be difficult. 

According to Reuters, though, Amazon is likely going to postpone the shopping event at least to August, if not later in the year. Depending on the continuing impact of the Covid-19 virus, Amazon Prime Day 2020 will now likely be a little later in the year than previously which, in turn, will have an affect on the savings offered, although how that will manifest is currently unclear. It could see shoppers being offered even wilder discounts to clear the stocks, or it could mean that third-party sellers don’t have the same savings in place as we move closer to Black Friday.

How long will Prime Day 2020 last?

Well, it’s hard to say with any degree of certainty, and in light of the recent rumours of Prime Day 2020 moving back in the year it could be even longer than expected. Prime Day a few years ago was only that, a day, but in 2018 it moved to 36 hours, and last year was a whopping 65 hours of deals for Aussies.

We’re fully expecting Amazon to move to a Prime Week any year now, and with a rumoured AU$100 million worth of devices that will need to be shifted thanks to the delay, it could well be this year. That said, we can’t see Amazon reducing the amount of time Prime Day lasts for, so expect Prime Day 2020 to last at least 65 hours this year, if not longer.

Are Prime Day deals competitive?

Amazon has a plethora of offers on its site each day and those are usually some of the best prices you can find on consumer tech. Whether you’re after a Samsung Note 10 or a Philips Hue smart lighting system, chances are you’ll get them cheaper on Amazon than any other Aussie retailer. It’s even more the case with Prime Day deals. 

You can easily score about 35% off on Amazon’s own devices during Prime Day which, for the rest of the year probably don’t drop more than 28% or thereabouts. If you’ve managed to score a $500 discount on Samsung or Huawei devices during one of Amazon’s regular deals, then it’s highly likely that the discount will be much deeper come Prime Day. It’s the perfect time to snag a Nintendo Switch or find the lowest prices on the best premium headphones – cheaper than any other retailer who will likely be scrambling to price-match.

What were people searching for on Amazon Prime Day 2019?

According to analytics experts Hitwise, Amazon saw an increase in traffic across all major categories on the Australian site, with the Electronics & Computing showing a 359% growth in reach between 2018 and 2019, with Amazon-branded items being the most popular products on the site, followed closely by the Nintendo Switch. There were nearly 100,000 page views for all NIntendo-branded items, including consoles and games. 

With Samsung now having partnered with Amazon to sell its products on the e-commerce platform in Australia, it was no surprise that the South Korean brand clocked up over 95,000 pageviews during Prime Day 2019.

The other big winners in Australia included Sony, Sandisk, Corsair and Philips.

What to expect from Prime Day 2020

We’re not expecting shopping trends during Amazon Prime Day 2020 to change very much. The Nintendo Switch is still going to disappear within minutes of being discounted, and this could happen to the Switch Lite too if you aren’t quick enough.

Of course, Amazon’s Echo devices will likely be flying off the shelves like before, and we’ll still see the Paperwhite beating out the other Kindles in terms of sales. You can even expect to pocket some decent savings on Ring’s range of security devices, including the Doorbells and the cameras.

Premium headphones have been very popular on Amazon over the last couple of years and 2020 will likely see that continue, particularly for Sony and Bose headphones. With the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 one of the more expensive ANC cans on the market, Prime Day will be a great time to get a set for less.

With more TVs available on Amazon Australia now, we think Prime Day 2020 would be an ideal time to upgrade your home entertainment system, especially if you’re in the market for a good 4K smart telly.

It will also be a good time to get yourself a new fitness wearable, be it from Garmin’s very premium GPS sports watch range or more affordable options from Fitbit. Likewise, cameras and drones will see a price drop, too, so keep that credit card handy.

Prime Day: why does it matter more to Amazon?

There are some crucial differences between Prime Day and Black Friday. The first is that Prime Day is Amazon’s own day. It’s right there in the name which, of course, refers to Amazon’s Prime membership program and associated services. Amazon doesn’t own Black Friday, and that means ultimately it’s just another retailer shouting for attention – a massive retailer with a really loud voice. Black Friday is a sales event for the entire retail sector. With Prime Day as its own take on November sale period, it makes it much harder for rivals to muscle in on something that Amazon has effectively created from thin air.

The second and more important difference is that Black Friday doesn’t create new spending. It just moves it slightly. As we’ve discovered in recent years, the money people spend over the Black Friday period is money they were probably going to spend anyway: all Black Friday really does is concentrates pre-Christmas shopping in the last week of November. 

Prime Day spending is different in two ways. First of all, people aren’t spending the money they’d already planned to spend on Christmas presents. And secondly, they’re buying mainly for themselves, not for others.

There’s another key benefit for Amazon. Its global bestsellers on Prime Day weren’t just Amazon devices; they were Amazon devices that connect to Amazon services. Fire TVs, Kindle Fires, Echo devices, Alexa remotes. Each one of them connecting to Amazon Prime, and each one of them requiring a Prime membership to buy in the first place. So when Black Friday rolls around, Amazon will have a whole bunch of Prime members for whom shopping on Prime is the default, and who might want to enhance their Amazon-powered smart homes with Amazon-branded Black Friday deals.

Prime Day means that, for Amazon, Christmas now comes twice a year.

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Latest iPhone 12 specs leak seemingly confirms four different models

Contradicting a recent report which predicted that the iPhone 12 range might be delayed until next year, a new specs leak from tech analyst Jon Prosser claims that prototyping for the upcoming handsets has been finalized, making a release in 2020 entirely possible.

Lining up with a report made by trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo late last year, the new leak seemingly confirms that the Cupertino company is working on four different iPhone 12 models for possible release in 2020.

Expected specs

Prosser’s tweet says we can expect 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch standard iPhone 12 models, along with a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and a much larger 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max to round out the new range.

In terms of specs, each phone in the iPhone 12 range is expected to boast the rumored A14 chipset with 5G capability

Standard iPhone 12 models will reportedly offer dual rear-mounted camera setups, while the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max are each mooted to carry a triple camera array with additional LiDAR scanner for improved augmented reality – just like the iPad Pro 2020.

Design updates anticipated

Design-wise, the standard iPhone 12 models are said to sport aluminum bodies, while the higher-end iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max will allegedly boast stronger stainless steel frames.

Additionally, Prosser’s tweet states that we can expect smaller display notches on the iPhone 12 range – a design choice that feels long overdue in 2020.

Prosser believes we won’t have to wait too long to get an idea of what the new iPhone 12 models will look like, suggesting that CAD renders of the devices will likely surface in the near future.

Of course, none of the above information is set in stone, meaning we won’t know for sure until Apple itself officially unveils its iPhone 12 lineup.

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Amazon vendors up in arms over FBA shipment freeze

Back in mid-March, Amazon notified sellers in the US and EU that it would no longer be receiving non-essential shipments of Fulfilled-by-Amazon (FBA) inventory.

While the freeze for these marketplaces was originally set to end on April 5, in its FAQ, Amazon states:  “Given that the impact of COVID-19 is still developing, we do not have an exact date when operations will be fully restored. Instead, whenever possible we will allow more products to be received, while still ensuring our fulfillment centers are able to process high-priority products.”

A new report from Jungle Scout has revealed that at least 53 percent of Amazon sellers are affected by the freeze. Almost all third-party sellers sell their products through FBA and only select sellers are currently allowed to sell products in allowed categories.

Currently the categories the ecommerce giant is accepting include baby, health & household, beauty & personal care, grocery, industrial & scientific and pet supplies.

FBA shipment freeze

As of now, Amazon FBA sellers in the US and EU markets will not be able to create shipments to be received at Amazon’s fulfillment centers through Seller Central until the freeze is lifted.

In all markets except for Italy, India and France, FBA sellers can still sell non-essential products. However, they cannot send their non-essential inventory into the company’s fulfillment network. This means that sellers must ship any inventory that is not already a part of Amazon’s FBA supply chain themselves or use another third-party fulfillment network.

On a more positive note though, the company is waiving the long-term storage fee for April for sellers in the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Sellers can still sell essential products if they’re able to create listings for them. Although sellers trying to list products in one of the six essential categories may need Amazon’s approval to do so.

Via JungleScout

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Coronavirus: Offline sex workers forced to start again online

Most sex workers meet customers in person. For them, the coronavirus spells economic ruin.

“The virus is a disaster for client-facing businesses – and sex work is no different,” says Goddess Cleo, a dominatrix from London.

“Most of my income is generated from one-on-one sessions and events. I [normally] only make a bit of money through online avenues.”

But like many others, Cleo has switched focus to digital since the lockdown came into effect.

Online dominatrix Eva de Vil says: “There’s lots of new girls joining the scene right now – or offline sex workers moving online to help with finances.”

And she has seen a growing appetite from her clientele for isolation-themed roleplay “clips” – on-demand videos not filmed live.

“It’s not so hard for established cam girls like me to adapt to coronavirus. We’re used to working [online] and from home,” she adds.

Not so easy

But for many client-facing sex workers, moving online is not a simple solution.

“It’s not about flashing ya nipple and earning big bucks”, wrote UK sex worker Gracey on Twitter.

“It takes ages to gain an online following and even longer for [them] to buy your content.”

Using the online platforms means having to give them a cut of earnings.

And there is a need to invest in equipment, including “tripod, decent lighting, sex toys, et cetera”, which can be challenging to acquire during the lockdown.

Spending on Pornhub models grows across globe

February to March sales rise

“The marketing requires so much effort, it is unreal,” Gracey says.

“I’m not brave enough to [be] naked online and [receive audience] criticism.

“The emotional labour that goes into camming is unreal – constantly chatting, trying to be yourself [and] pleasant.”

Privacy is another concern.

It is much harder to hide one’s identity online and video content can be stolen.

In February, for example, London-based OnlyFans saw 1.5TB of content-makers’ pre-recorded videos and images leaked.

UK sex worker Lizzy says camming has become even more competitive since the pandemic began.

And data from the world’s largest “camming” websites supports this.

Max Bennett, from the Stripchat website, where audiences pay to watch livestreamed sex, says: “Adult performers are moving to livecams, as traditional [markets] have largely shut down.”

US-based livestreaming site Chaturbate has reported a 75% rise in the number of sex workers signing up since the outbreak began – an increase faster than the rate at which audience traffic is rising.

“We’re seeing traffic changes worldwide, especially in lockdown areas,” Max says.

“For those who live alone, we’ll see more traffic.

“But in [homes] with roommates or family situations, it may be more complicated.”

To drive demand, some online sex workers are taking special measures.

“I’ve seen quite a lot of girls running discounts,” Eva says.

“We’re sensitive to [customers’] drop in income – although I don’t yet see any evidence of a dip in spending.”

Camming websites are also taking action.

StripChat’s traffic surges

Rise from February to March

StripChat, for example, is handing out hundreds of free tokens to new viewers worldwide, enough for each recipient to pay a sex worker for a 10-minute private session.

“By acting as a central bank, we can increase the money supply and help the new wave of performers survive the crisis,” Max says.

“We’ve also doubled our payouts to our Italian models.

“As a social network of over 60 million people a month, we have a tremendous platform to [help] keep users off the streets.”

No choice

But for some sex workers, the costs and challenges of moving online are simply too large.

“There are sex workers still meeting clients in person because they don’t have a choice,” Lizzy says.

“That anyone has to choose between having enough money to live on and risking their and others’ health during a pandemic is ridiculous.”

Some support is available to these workers.

For example, Butterfly – an Asian and migrant sex worker support network – has published a Covid-19 guide that recommends sexual positions that minimise face-to-face contact, among other precautions.

But the nature of the industry makes it difficult for workers to tap into government schemes to compensate self-employed workers for lost earnings.

Prostitution itself is not illegal in England, Wales and Scotland – though it is unlawful to pay for sex in Northern Ireland – but the trade is often cash in hand and unrecorded.

In the US, the massive Covid-19 bailout bill explicitly excludes legal sex workers from protection.

According to the English Collective of Prostitutes, many sex workers are single mothers already made poorer by austerity measures – and the coronavirus is now exacerbating their situation.

With these concerns in mind, hundreds of online initiatives have popped up worldwide, such as the Covid-19 hardship fund from Swarm, a UK sex worker-led collective.

It says it has already used donations to support 234 sex workers in need

The long-term solution, however, is for better government support for sex workers, says Goddess Cleo.

“When sex work is treated as actual work and fully decriminalised, sex workers will have access to the same human rights as every other worker,” she says.

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This major Chinese VPN provider has been hacked

As governments around the world continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, a hacking group with potential ties to South Korea has launched an espionage campaign against the Chinese government.

The DarkHotel advanced persistent threat group has compromised over 200 VPN servers in order to infiltrate a number of Chinese institutions and government agencies, according to a new report from Qihoo 360.

In one case, the hacking group exploited a previously unknown vulnerability in the enterprise VPN software Sangfor SSL and then installed malicious software onto victim’s machines in order to collect user data.

The timing of the attack also coincided with new instructions from the Chinese government which urged citizens to work from home in order to help stop the coronavirus’ spread.

DarkHotel hacking group

While Qihoo 360 believes that the DarkHotel hacking group was behind this latest series of attacks, other security researchers aren’t so sure. In a post on Twitter, principal security researcher at Kaspersky, Brian Bartholomew argued that the Beijing-based security firm did not provide the necessary evidence to tie DarkHotel to these attacks, saying:

“I’m going to be a bit blunt here. This write up is full of speculation, no evidence this was actually DatkHotel, and a ton of confirmation bias about targeting because of Covid. Not saying they’re wrong, but in the future, there needs to be more supporting data to support claims.”

VPN services are helping to keep remote workers all over the world secure as they work from home during the coronavirus pandemic which is why we’ve seen an increased number of attacks targeting them. In its report, Qihoo 360 explained that VPNs are vital to Chinese businesses during this trying time, saying:

“Imagine it, with the spreads of the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese enterprises and institutions abroad have all adopted the remote working mode and employees in each unit will establish contact with the headquarters and transfer all sensitive data through the VPN. If the VPN server is compromised at this moment, the consequences will be unimaginable.”

Whether or not DarkHotel is behind this latest series of attacks still remains to be proven but hopefully other security researchers will now begin to look into the matter to see if Qihoo 360’s claims are true.

  • Also check out our complete list of the best VPN services

Via CyberScoop

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