IT jobs

Social Media and Cyber Security

Social Media and Cyber Security 150 150 Kerry Butters

Everyone who has any sort of online presence uses social media sites. This can be a useful way to promote content, increase exposure, and network with your peers. However, the increasing usage of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, come with its own set of problems, namely: online security.

Many new employees in the global workforce feel that personal and private lives are increasing the security challenge for businesses. This is most evident in social media and this is often accompanied by a low regard, or even a total disregard for privacy concerns.

Nearly 91% of Generation Y students and workers believe that the age of privacy is gone and a third of that percentage are unconcerned about the data that is captured about them. This is according to the latest Cisco Connected World Technology Report.

“More Generation Y workers globally said they feel more comfortable sharing personal information with retail sites than with their own employers IT departments.”

So how do we utilise social media to our advantage whilst curbing the negative aspects of those services?

Here is a guide to help employees to get the most out of social and stay safe while you’re doing it.

Privacy exists for a reason

Facebook and most other sites like it have its own built-in security and privacy features and it would benefit users to be aware of the control they can exercise over these services. If you’re not sure, then do your research and find out how you can better safeguard your privacy online.

These innate social media controls are there for the user and often they’re not set up ‘out of the box’. Instead, users are expected to do it themselves and so perhaps the best recommendation is to carry out some research and find out for yourself what information you’re sharing and whom you’re sharing it with. This will allow you to better control your data on social media.

Once posted, always posted

This is a good rule of thumb and if you’re posting something that you’ll later regret it’s probably best to remember that once it’s online, it’ll always be online. Think twice before posting something that an employer would be unhappy seeing. Privacy and maintaining it is all well and good, but if you’re posting something to social media sites that could damage your reputation it won’t matter how well you control who sees it.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that job recruiters have, in many cases, rejected candidates based on information found online. In the connected world, it’s necessary to protect your digital identity and this entails being responsible about what you post.

It’s worth doing it well

Your online reputation can be something that you cultivate and use to your advantage. Often recruiters respond best to a strong, positive, and personal online brand. Use the sharing feature on sites like Facebook to post information that you feel is relevant to yourself and your job and build a profile that sells who you are and what you’re capable of.

Effectively, it’s worth using social media as a sort of online CV. Stock it with work that you’ve done and perhaps work you aspire to do, and show future employers that you’re considered, skilful, and a master in your field.

Keep it to yourself

Social media sites rely on the value exchange principle. This means that you don’t pay anything to use the service, at least anything monetary, instead you provide them with information about yourself in exchange for the service. This doesn’t mean you should share everything about your personal life.

Instead be cautious and remember that the more information that you post, the easier it may be for someone else to use that information. This could lead to identity theft, or your data being read and accessed by someone else, and you could lose control of your social media page.

Know and manage your friends

Of course part of the allure of social media sites is the huge amount of friends that you can add from the past right up to the present. However, this is not to say that all friends are placed in the same categories. Remember that you have control on your own social page and you can use different tools to place your friends in different categories.

This means that when you’re posting information online you can pick the audience that it’s best tailored for. You can create more than one page on most social media sites and use those other pages for more professional pursuits and keep your profile page more personal. Use your personal page to keep up to date with your friends, the ones that you know and trust, and keep them abreast of your daily life too.

Speak up

With so much being posted online every single day, you’re bound to come across something that you find offensive. If a friend has posted something that makes you feel uncomfortable, then let them know. This works for you too. If someone tells you that you’ve posted something that they find offensive, take it down. Remember that people have different tolerances, and some people want the world to know less about them than others. Be respectful when posting online and you’ll find it a much kinder environment.

The online world is a place like any other and there are rules and etiquette to follow. Blindly posting on Facebook, or any other social site, can lead to trouble. So keep it clean and respectful and above all professional. You never know who is looking at your profile.

Guidelines for your online security:

·         Keep your computer clean and up to date – make sure that your browser, OS, and security software are always updated to protect against viruses, malware, and other online threats

·         Be private if need be – set the privacy and security settings to a level that you’re comfortable with. You never need to share more than you want to share

·         Long and strong passwords – use a combination of capital letters, numbers, and symbols to ensure that your password is as secure as possible. You can also utilise a password manager to keep your complex passwords in one place, without forgetting them

·         New account, new password – every one of your online accounts should be guarded by a different, unique password

·         Don’t click if in doubt – links in emails, tweets, posts, and online advertising can be dangerous and can compromise your computer. Know what you’re clicking, and if you’re uncertain of the source its best to delete or mark as junk. This is especially true of social media as there are a huge amount of social engineering tactics that are specifically employed to tempt you into clicking ‘like’ or sharing

·         And the final most important rule is: Don’t post anything about others that you wouldn’t want said about yourself

Social media is a paradox that many of us would like to be without but stay with due to the ease of talking to those we might not otherwise have the chance to. Relatives abroad, people that share the same interests as you – all of this can enrich your online experience. Social can and is vital to some people’s job too, especially for those in marketing, so make sure that you respect others on social but most of all respect yourself and your future.

Do you need help setting up your network to block social usage at work? We can help! Give us a call today to see how we can ensure your network is secure.

Image: Reuters

[Video] Changing Role of the CIO

[Video] Changing Role of the CIO 150 150 Kerry Butters

There’s been much debate recently concerning the changing role of the CIO within business. Much of this is due to how much technology itself has changed in recent years, with mobile, social and business intelligence becoming increasingly important.

This means that the CIO has been living in uncertain times for a while, when it comes to how their job is defined. It’s no longer all about the IT for the CIO, but about innovation and maintaining an agile environment.

IDC predict Redefinition

This, IDC predict, means that the “adoption of 3rd Platform IT technologies will redefine 90% of IT roles.” The technologies referred to by the analysts are those mentioned above, as well as innovation and customer relationships.

It also means that CIOs will have to alter skill sets to incorporate a strategy that encompasses increasing a business’s digital presence. Public social networks can be difficult to manage, but are increasingly important to the online presence of a company, especially one that’s consumer facing.

There’s no doubt that this is a time of evolution for the CIO and the savvy ones will ensure that they alter their approach, or even skill set, in order to evolve alongside 3rd platform technology.

In the video below, NetApp’s senior vice president and CIO, Cynthia Stoddard discusses the changing role and what CIOs can do to help address it.

How to Land the Perfect IT Job

How to Land the Perfect IT Job Simon Randall


IT is a large and multi-faceted industry and it can be hard to find a job within it. IT covers everything from design and development through to the management of computer software, hardware, and networks. Within IT there are several management positions that don’t require technical skills, but instead requires business acumen. IT, like most industries, needs people who can communicate effectively with customers, suppliers, and colleagues.

So if you are considering a job in this sector let’s firstly look at the qualifications needed.

For specific jobs in areas such as programming, network support, technical support, database administration, computer and network security, and website development, you will need certified technical skills. These are worth considering and these skills will certainly not hamper your chances of getting a job in IT, so if you don’t currently have them it’s perhaps time that you looked into getting them.

The best certification programs can be expensive but are recognised throughout the industry and the world; these include:

Microsoft certifications

There are a range of these and they can cover anything from system/network engineering to Office product certification. For a brochure on all of the qualifications covered in the Microsoft Certification program, click here.

CompTIA certification

This is a vendor-neutral certification program which again covers most aspects of IT and has been updated to include modern technologies such as the cloud. The most basic is the A+ certification, which is one that covers the basics of computer hardware, troubleshooting, repairing and so on.

Cisco certification

Cisco offers five levels of certification and all of these concentrate on networks, whilst the other two also offer application and security certifications, for example. Again, Cisco is a world leader when it comes to IT training and so holding a qualification from them, or any of the above, will stand you in good stead when it comes to landing your dream job in tech.

There are many other routes you can take to ensure that the certification you gain is right for your career, so make sure you do your research before embarking on any courses.

IT Management Roles

For more management based roles including IT, applications development, customer relationship, e-commerce, operations, web and portal development management, and even chief executive of an IT company, technical skills may not be necessary. It’s worth noting though that for many of the job titles mentioned, you would need to have communication and business skills, often obtained from a university. In some cases employers will give you the required training for a specific job role but this is not always likely.

If you are considering a job in the IT and electronic services industry you will need a minimum of a GCSE in IT, a foundation or an advanced modern apprenticeship, A-level or equivalent in computer studies and perhaps even a university degree in a related subject. It all depends on the job that you are applying for.

There are higher echelons in the IT world and if you want to get a job in that area you’ll need a higher degree or a professional qualification such as those mentioned above or from the British Computer Society or the Institute for the Management of Information Systems.

Other IT Skills Needed

So you’re well qualified and you have the experience needed to work in the IT sector, but what other skills are needed to help you stand out?

According to Andy Waite, a senior Windows/Application support engineer: “The qualifications you need vary. These days there is a split in the larger enterprises between IT service delivery and more technically focused (sic) streams. Therefore while industry-recognised qualifications like ITIL and Prince2 are sought in the service delivery and project management space, technical qualifications like MCTS/MCITP (Microsoft) and CCIE (Cisco) are desirable in technical roles. Most importantly there is no substitute for experience though, and knowledge of the industry you want work in is an essential part as well.”

Waite further suggests that soft skills matter just as much: “A customer face, business understanding and an ability to communicate technical concepts are all as important as understanding and applying technology. You also need to remember to keep your skill set broad and current, so investing in your ongoing development is essential.”

Even if you’re not currently working in IT but feel that changing to this sector may benefit your career, Waite offers this advice: “From my own experience, an academic course – in my case a BTEC higher national certificate – was an essential way to show my then employer I was serious about changing the course of my career. Additionally, industry-recognised accreditations are useful to help you enter the industry.”

How to Get the Perfect IT Job For You

We’ve now considered the qualifications needed for an IT career and if you fit into this category well, it’s time to start looking for a job. The first things to remember is that you are your most effective marketing tool. Competition in every job sector is fierce these days, so in order to edge out the competition it’s important to brand yourself successfully. Think of yourself as a brand identity and outline your key attributes and how they can be applied to a specific audience.

If you can successfully see yourself as a brand it not only helps to stress your positive traits but it also ensures that you’re the one in control of your image. Here are some quick tips to help you market yourself better and stand a better chance of getting that job.

·         Working brands – Think of some of your favourite brands and figure out what makes those identities so unique. Successful brands have a clear message and a strong USP. Figure out yours

·         Discover your brand – What makes you unique? Answer that question as honestly as you can and really emphasise your strong points, try and describe yourself in five words or less. Then write down how others, friends, family or colleagues, would define you. Compare those different pieces of writing and figure out what agrees and what doesn’t

·         You’re unique – But why? What makes you stand out from everyone else? Make a not of what makes you unique and don’t worry about championing yourself – just be honest

·         Your best – Recall some moments when you were working at your best and write them down. Then really analyse why you were at your best. This can provide huge insight into what you’re good at and what makes you unique

The economic climate is pretty unpleasant at the moment and it can be hard to find a job interview, let alone employment. However if you tailor your CV, define who you are and what makes you different from everyone else you should be well on your way to gainful employment.

As an IT professional it’s worth remembering that it’s a huge industry with a wide variety of job types and roles. Figure out which one you are best suited to and which ones your qualifications and education best applies to. Then give it a go. Remember some always has to get the job, why can’t it be you?

Are you looking for a role in IT? At Quadratek People, we match candidates with employers who trust our expertise in finding the best person for the job. Get in touch today to see how we can help you to land your ideal job in IT. Even if you’re just looking for a short-term contract to fill a void, we can help.

Image: Robert S Donovan