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A woman working on her computer at home. (iStockphoto)
A woman working on her computer at home. (iStockphoto)

Traditional PCs still rule, report says Add to ...

Robust sales of smartphones and tablets notwithstanding, the personal computer will continue to hold a dominant position in 2013, says consulting firm Deloitte Canada.

And don’t expect many Canadians to “cut the cord” on their subscription television services as some observers have predicted, according to Deloitte’s 2013 report on technology, media and telecom trends.

The traditional PC will continue to be the tool of choice for both work and play and we are entering the era of the “PC plus,” says the report, released Tuesday.

The proportion of traffic from other devices may be increasing, but the vast majority of all Internet traffic – 80 per cent – continues to come from PCs and that’s not likely to change any time soon, the study indicates.

Over 90 per cent of young people rate their laptop as their most important device, used for the creation of content, gaming and viewing, says the report.

PC improvements, such as larger screens and tactile keyboards, are helping the devices keep pace with competing technologies.

On the television front, more than 99 per cent of North American TV subscribers will continue to subscribe.

Data from Canada and the United States shows that subscription TV services are still growing, though at slower rates.

“There’s a lot written about big changes in the way we will watch television, but the reality is quite different,” said Richard Lee, Deloitte Canada national managing partner.

“Our research suggests that Canadians who want to watch the three key pillars of TV: reality shows, sports and news are unlikely to cut the cord. Though 2013 will see very few ‘cord-cutters’, ‘cord-nevers’ will begin to emerge as young people establish households without ever paying for traditional pay TV subscriptions.”

The report also says that more than 90 per cent of user-generated passwords will be vulnerable to hacking within mere seconds.

“Passwords containing at least eight characters, one number, mixed-case letters and non-alphaneumeric symbols were once believed to be robust. but these can be easily cracked with the emergence of advanced hardware and software,” Duncan Stewart, director of research at Deloitte Canada, said in a news release.

“A machine running readily available virtualization software and high-powered graphics processing units can crack any eight-character password in about five hours.”

There is no easy solution to the problem, says the study.

Among likely solutions are multifactor authentification using tokens, cellphones, credit cards or biometrics.

Other, more basic techniques include never storing unencrypted user names and passwords, using software to blacklist commonly used passwords – “password” and “123456” for instance – and creating less-searchable password resets.

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