Our February Leadership Academy advocate

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Top Talent, where do I begin….?  I was relatively new to leadership roles within my workplace and felt I could do with improving my leadership skills.

I had attended internal training courses, which were a good foundation, but I felt that I needed a course which was more in depth.  I had heard of the programme through other colleagues who were graduates of previous Top Talent courses and I’d also taken the opportunity to research the course from the Socitm website and spoke with others further about the course and what it would deliver for me as a leader.  After gathering the more information, I decided to apply for the course.  The course was terrifically set out all the way from receiving the invites for applicants to apply, to the graduation dinner!

The application process allowed me to self-reflect on my own skills and build a picture of where I needed to improve.  During the workshops and the separate coaching that is received, I was able to identify key areas where I felt I needed to improve my skills, self-belief and confidence. This was facilitated by reviewing our personal values and beliefs, through the discussions and the role-playing exercises.

Having attended the programme,  allowed me to step forward to present feedback about our experiences at the Soctim Scotland Conference; something completely outside of my comfort zone!  In doing this, it has allowed me to begin to challenge myself and improve on my leadership skills.  Skills I had, but never utilised fully.  This is no longer the case!

I believe the benefits of attending this course has allowed me to improve my own skill set but also enabled me to grow.  At the time of the course I was the Team Lead for ICT Support, And now, since the course, I have developed my leadership skills to focus on not only managing the ICT Department, but also other areas within the Council.  I firmly believe that without participating in this programme I would not have been able to gain the promotion to my current post within East Dunbartonshire Council as Digital & Shared Services Manager, responsible for ICT, Internal Shared Services and the
Revenues & Benefits Teams.

It was a great experience and one that I would recommend to anyone wishing to
enhance their leadership skills within government and to grab with both hands!

By Gavin Haire
Digital and Shared Services Manager at East Dunbartonshire Council

Our February Leadership Academy advocate

Our Guide to a safer internet experience

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As IT professionals, we have an obligation to provide safe and secure internet to all those who may use it within your organisation. As part of this obligation, internal training goes a long way. Go out into the main office and ask someone if they know what phishing is?  What was the response?

Providing training to staff is the first step towards making your workplace that little bit safer, by making people aware of the risks and the do’s and don’ts of the internet.

Let’s take one example – Phishing

Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

What to look out for?

  • Poor English/grammatical errors
    • One of the biggest tell-tale signs is the structure of the email
  • Who is the email addressed to?
    • Phishing emails tend to have generic titles for example Dear Sir / Madam, Dear Email@email.co.uk
  • Is the offer too good to be true?
    • Click this link to win £10000 pounds. Your long-lost relative has left you £40000, I just need your bank information

Sounds simple doesn’t it? But you will be surprised how many slip though the net.

Let’s take one more example – Online Banking
Something we take for granted, having access to your bank anywhere anytime. This level of freedom comes with risk:

  • Internet connection- when you’re at a coffee shop, do you connect to their public wi-fi?
    • Snoopers can be looking at the traffic coming from your device and steal your personal data
    • Recommendation: Use a VPN on your mobile device or use your mobile data network.
  • Public computers/work computers – when using your online banking websites.
    • Do you click remember my username/password? This means that the next person to use that device maybe able to see your information
    • Recommendation: Use an in-private browser, or incognito mode or click ‘Do not Remember username and password’

The above is just a few examples of how to stay safe online, whether it’s checking your emails or checking your bank balance.

For more information visit https://www.getsafeonline.org/ where you’ll find all the information you need.

 

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Find out more about the Safer internet Day here: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2019

 

By Adam Goldsmith – MBCS

Our Guide to a safer internet experience