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Linlithgow Loch December 2012

Love walking along the loch on my way to work in the morning. Such an amazing scene had to share with the world! A Guid New Year to all.

Misty Morning

Misty Morning

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SSSC 23 Things Digital – Thing 9: The Cloud

This is my 8th Open Badge towards the challenge I set myself to complete 8 badges in 8 weeks.

Thing 9: The Cloud

Started by watching the “Beginner’s Guide to the Cloud” written by Jess Fee, 26 August 2013 on my laptop. Very interesting, explained in plain language that the cloud “is not a physical thing”, that it is a “network of servers, and each server has a different function” started back to the 60’s.

Whilst the above article explained the benefits of working and saving documents in the “cloud”, from my own experience of buying a hard drive to save all photos and important data/information, I felt unsure about moving on to sharing my private files in a so called “iCloud” app or link on my iPhone way back in 2014. I decided to alter all the settings on my phone and laptop to stop saving in the iCloud and google drive mentioned in Jess Fee’s article.

After watching a further video from the Google Cloud Platform, Douglas County, Georgia, on their Data Center’s 360degree Tour and article links noted below*, I am now happy with how secure my data is and may consider paying an additional subscription to save my data/photos into the iCloud. My hard drive is full, and perhaps it’s time to move with the times. I have reset my phone settings and links from google account which may track my activity with google partners while on the internet.

* https://guce.oath.com/collectConsent/partners/vendors?sessionId=3_cc-session_b0dd8fd0-2154-4b37-8223-c75e2df3ab29&lang=en-GB

* https://gsuite.google.com/security/?secure-by-design_activeEl=data-centers

Jess Fee’s article from 2013 is perhaps out of date or requires updating, as her guide on “6 Ways to De-Cloud” are not as relevant today. Suggest everyone looks at the links above* which show security is high priority in today’s technological world and it is each individuals responsibility to check their settings following new data protection laws from May 2018.

The second activity was to upload a file to the Cloud, I logged into both my iPhone using Apple ID and transferred it to my Google Account on laptop. As it was my first time uploading a photo to a file on my new laptop, I had to sign in and authorise sharing files on my Google Account. This took some time, however now comfortable and informed in the use and storage of data. I switched every link to the “off” position which has not slowed down access to searches using my Google Drive or Dropbox. Now all devices set up to share documents when I give permission from laptop to iPhone securely.

If you haven’t a clue about how the cloud works, I would recommend completing this Open Badge. It opened my mind, I am now happy to share the knowledge gained and chat with clients on how to use the “Cloud” safely and securely, highlighting the pros and cons.

I am very aware how important it is to keep bank account details secure and to change passwords if forgotten, and not to write them down! Hacking email accounts has become rife over the years, pleased to read Google stated in the above* link 100% email encryption provided, restoring faith in their service.

In my practice, it may prove difficult when discussing the Cloud with clients with dementia or mental health difficulties, however at least I now feel confident to help with their settings on mobile phones and laptops.

SSSC 23 Things Digital Thing 7 – Finding Resources

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Found this badge quite a challenge, however pleased to advise, I managed to open an “Open Athens Account” which enables access to all material on the Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) specialist on line library for all social service workforce. I never knew this existed and found the website easy to negotiate.  There are videos explaining how to use the website and how to make a specific search for resources.

Initially I tried to set up an account online via the websit, hit a brick wall,  as I work for a private company and not on any of the list of organisations stated on the online application. Thankfully I was able to email SSKS for advice, then telephoned SSKS to discuss my request for an Open Athens Account.  I was asked to submit an email confirming my employment position and why I wanted access to the site.  Pleased to hear, prior to emailing  SSKS, they were aware folk were studying and applying for SSSC23 Things Digital – Open Badges. Thankfully my application was successful and I received confirmation by email I am now a student member and have full access to all their material. Now the door to the SSKS online library was available I decided to watch the video on using their website.

I took some time to look at articles on “Dementia” and “Alzheimers” on the SSKS site and found them informative. Whilst I receive annual training by my employer, as I care for the elderly in their own homes, and a lone worker, I found it helpful  being able to access reputable information from the comfort of my home. This gave me an interest in finding any research on early onset dementia, which brought me uptodate in this field.

As a comparison to the above search on alzheimers,   from material on the SSKS site, I searched again using the “Goggle” web search  engine on my pc at home which brought up an interesting link from “alzheimersresearchuk.org”. Like SSKS, Google has an  advance search, not quite as wide as the SSKS site, and noted a section on “usage rights” and search “not filtered by licence” in the Google advance search boxes.  I decided to read the report on Google by Dr Laura Phipps from Science News on 20 May 2016 on “Rare Genetic Genes”. The report was well written however I did note on the bottom of the page it stated “Info written in July 2017 due for review in 2019”.

I am aware the web has many contributors providing written content, however prefer to ensure any information I use in practice has to be from respected and qualified writers/practitioners etc, which the SSKS online library provides,  before ever using or discussing serious research as it may cause distress to clients or their families.

Finally, I plan to make a list of all articles read as evidence for my  ongoing personal development, together with all Open Badges approved, which may be accepted by the SSSC towards my conditional registration as a home care worker.

SSSC 23 Things Digital Thing 7 – Finding Resources

img_5555

Found this badge quite a challenge, however pleased to advise, I managed to open an “Open Athens Account” which enables access to all material on the Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) specialist on line library for all social service workforce. I never knew this existed and found the website easy to negotiate.  There are videos explaining how to use the website and how to make a specific search for resources.

Initially I tried to set up an account online via the websit, hit a brick wall,  as I work for a private company and not on any of the list of organisations stated on the online application. Thankfully I was able to email SSKS for advice, then telephoned SSKS to discuss my request for an Open Athens Account.  I was asked to submit an email confirming my employment position and why I wanted access to the site.  Pleased to hear, prior to emailing  SSKS, they were aware folk were studying and applying for SSSC23 Things Digital – Open Badges. Thankfully my application was successful and I received confirmation by email I am now a student member and have full access to all their material. Now the door to the SSKS online library was available I decided to watch the video on using their website.

I took some time to look at articles on “Dementia” and “Alzheimers” on the SSKS site and found them informative. Whilst I receive annual training by my employer, as I care for the elderly in their own homes, and a lone worker, I found it helpful  being able to access reputable information from the comfort of my home. This gave me an interest in finding any research on early onset dementia, which brought me uptodate in this field.

As a comparison to the above search on alzheimers,   from material on the SSKS site, I searched again using the “Goggle” web search  engine on my pc at home which brought up an interesting link from “alzheimersresearchuk.org”. Like SSKS, Google has an  advance search, not quite as wide as the SSKS site, and noted a section on “usage rights” and search “not filtered by licence” in the Google advance search boxes.  I decided to read the report on Google by Dr Laura Phipps from Science News on 20 May 2016 on “Rare Genetic Genes”. The report was well written however I did note on the bottom of the page it stated “Info written in July 2017 due for review in 2019”.

I am aware the web has many contributors providing written content, however prefer to ensure any information I use in practice has to be from respected and qualified writers/practitioners etc, which the SSKS online library provides,  before ever using or discussing serious research as it may cause distress to clients or their families.

Finally, I plan to make a list of all articles read as evidence for my  ongoing personal development, together with all Open Badges approved, which may be accepted by the SSSC towards my conditional registration as a home care worker.

 

SSSC 23 Things Digital – Thing 14: Email

 #SSSC OpenBadge

23 Things Digital

Thing – 14 Email

Time to apply for another Open Badge, chose EMail as thought I knew all about “emailing” and that this one would be easy!

Discovered I had a lot to learn, even though I have used my email address for over 35 years, use it for private purposes, accessing it on my laptop, iPhone and public libraries etc. However after completing the Badge realised how things have changed since the 8O’s and time to review all my settings, folders and clear out all the junk!

I’m sure most people know the basics in writing an email, so won’t go into detail, however learnt the correct use of the “Bcc” “Blind carbon copy” in the Message header, then used it to send to another person, not the primary recipient, knowing only I the sender, can see who has been Bcc-ed into my email. This is a great feature especially in light of the new data protection laws in May this year regarding holding personal details on files etc.

I looked specifically at the following link https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202315 as I use an apple iPhone. Great advice on setting up a “Five Folder system” to classify folders i.e. Family, Friends, Holidays, Accounts and of course one for my #SSSCOpenBadges.

Reviewed all the other links for email providers, learnt GMail call their folders “labels”, I may set up an account for online shopping emails to reduce the junk mail in my personal email box! On further reading I was made aware of “Phishing scams”, how to avoid them on my iCloud email address by setting rules aticloud.com to automatically filter by moving and deleting junk mail.

Finally, pleased to learn I could choose the level of protection for my Outlook for Office email address for junk mail. However noted to take care in setting the level of protection as may end up blocking actual mail to be received in my inbox, this can be avoided by simply turning off the junk email filter and removing names from the Junk Email Filter List.

If all fails know to report junk mail to the iCloud administrator full details in the link given above at Apple.

All in all enjoyed this OpenBadge, now confident using email securely and able to share information with clients on mobile phones/laptops or other devices.

SSSC23 Things Digital -Thing 5: Social Media

This Badge got me thinking back to my induction and training as a carer/companion over the past 6 years. Prior to my current position I was employed as a support worker with similar policies and procedures on IT, Communications and Monitoring, which I now understand to include “Social Media”. How things have changed!

Amazed how fast technology has affected work practices in relation to managing clients personal details. From using my mobile phone for texting, emailing, and all the other applications such as google, on smart phone, laptops and tablets, I am very aware of risks in breach of confidentiality should I loose my phone or laptop top laptop, as I worked in financial services a long long time ago when the data protection act first came out!

When given a copy of the SSSC Codes of Practice during my induction I was made fully aware of the importance of adhering to the “Rules” and after watching the video on “SSSC Social media guidance” it reminded me Code 5.8 is worth looking at again. It highlighted that it “is how you behave and not whether you use social media”. Thankfully I have never had any difficulties in using Facebook, and with the correct security settings feel safe sharing items privately and publicly, being mindful when replying to messages on all platforms.

In light of all the fake news on Facebook and news of emails being hacked, and the scandal reported on the selling of private information from records retained by websites I had considered deleting my Facebook profile. After discussions with family and friends, I reviewed all my settings on social media platforms. Noted other friends in the Social Care Services sent out message advising they would no longer use Facebook, as able to connect through other messenger service providers such as Whats app. I understand their concerns, however feel if used correctly is a super tool and should not be discarded lightly and policies and practice updated in future to avoid possible conflict.

Better get back to the subject! I looked out my firm’s “Policy on IT, Communications & Monitoring”, which I presume could be renamed “Social Media Policy”. As I am a lone worker, a lot of it is not relevant to my position. However from previous employment find it very clear, concise and highlights the firm “is entitled to take disciplinary action against the relevant member of staff should any breach of its rules or use of computer system including internet, gambling, use of social media, participating in chat rooms, shopping, visiting dating sites, downloading or streaming audio, video and other bandwidth, wasting files”, which I would expect in any organisations “Social Media Policy”.

All the above brings us back to basics, if you want to work in Social Services you must be trusted both in and out of the workplace, reflecting the core values and practices expected by our service users and families.

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SSSC23 Things – Thing4: Digital Footprint

For this Badge on “Digital Footprint” viewed the “Orange Digital Dirt Video” on You Tube. Felt I had to share the video with family and friends on Facebook, as I’m sure, if they watch it, it will have an impact on how they use social media in future. I was aware employers have a legal right to access emails in certain circumstances. However, the video reconfirmed the lifetime affect posting photos, likes and comments on social media will have. As my mother used to say, “hold your tounge, as once said it can never be taken back”, good advice long before the development of social media. Her words are a quiet reminder, to think before writing, liking or texting, knowing those words are held in a virtual iCloud forever and may be held against me in the future.Obviously, as a carer/companion, I am fully aware of the importance of confidentiality and would never risk a clients right to privacy by taking their photograph, then posting it on social media. The codes of practice are quite clear on abuse and any hint of abuse would result in disciplinary action.

After watching the video, I checked my settings on all social media to ensure privacy settings set up for family and friends where appropriate. The video reminded me how damaging social media can be if used inappropriately.

Being a lone worker, my smart phone is an essential tool, and after looking at my digital footprint, reset all passwords, ensuring should anyone access my phone they will not be able to use it, as it is locked at all times and password protected.

The second activity for the Badge really opened my eyes re my digital footprint. My google account showed years of activity, I cleared the history and updated settings to ensure no further tracking and restricted advertising. Checked my phone and followed similar procedure clearing all web search history

The most important issue for me in securing my digital footprint was upgrading my virus security app on iPhone, then setting up two fold procedure to change passwords on search engines on my iPhone and laptop. I used the article on the eight tips to manage my footprint, which was long overdue.

Finally, I looked at the location history on my iPhone, decided to keep location setting on in case of emergency. After completing this Badge I now feel confident with my digital footprint and able to discuss and assist clients check their footprint.

SSSC 23 Things Digital – Thing 3: Why Digital?

For this Badge firstly I thought about the undernoted statistics provided by Skills for Care.

Based on my experience in various care roles, over the past 10 years I have never received a mobile phone or received any IT training. Thankfully I upgraded my IT skills through various courses, which opened the door to employment in Social Care. Without the use of my mobile phone and having basic digital skills, in today’s technological world, it would have been very difficult to deliver daily home care as I am a lone worker.

This Badge reminded me to check my settings as I am very aware about the risk and have updated my settings bearing in mind the new Data Protection Laws made in 2018. I have consciously not used my personal email for work related matters as fully aware of the risks in breaching confidentiality policy if emails or smart phone hacked.

Whilst I appreciate the risks in giving smart phones to workers, perhaps this has to be revisited, sufficient training established and security settings put in place by the various organisation in developing the use of technology in the field of home care.

Secondly for this Open Badge I completed the self evaluation form, noted below, which confirmed I am confident and capable in my skills at level 4, however still need to study to achieve level 5. The relevance to my current position is low, as mainly use text messaging.

Whilst high digital skills are not required at my level (carer/companion), from past experience in typing up care plan notes, transitioning from handwritten notes, it is essential all care workers have digital skills.

Finally I’ll keep on studying the SSSC 23 Things Digital and hope to use any new skills through the use of ongoing technological developments which may assist work flow, implement new policies and procedures in the field of home care record keeping for lone workers.