It seems like every day there is a story in the news about a company being attacked by a hacker, or someone’s personal details being stolen.
Each year there are millions of computer misuse offences in the UK. It’s important to not only be aware of cyber crime, but to know the steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.
For the past two years I’ve been helping develop the cyber security skills of workers in Scotland. I'm working with Scottish Union Learning to deliver Personal Cyber Security workshops to unions, union reps, union members and workers.
Often, if workers want to develop new skills, they rely on training provided by their employer. They don’t have the time or the opportunity to learn it in their own time, or to go to college. And at the moment, there are not many organisations offering digital skills training to their staff. So, the aim of this project is to build the capacity of organisations and enable trade unions to embed cyber security skills into their learning offer for workers.
In this workshop, workers learn about the most common cyber security attacks, but more importantly how to take steps to protect themselves. The workshop content itself covers some of the foundations of cyber resilience including password security, social engineering, and phishing. They'll see live demonstrations of attacks and learn how to spot them. These tips help workers feel more confident about using a computer safely. The idea is if they practice good cyber security habits in their personal life, that’ll transfer over to the workplace too - benefiting their employer.
The workshops are delivered in a social and informal style - it's not about terrifying people about what cyber criminals could do, it's about giving them useful advice. It's about learning these digital skills in a friendly, social environment.
In order to reduce barriers to participation, I've designed the workshop so no technical knowledge is required, and we provide all the equipment, we even bring our mobile internet - so we’ll always be connected.
The workshops are normally organised in partnerships with the Union Learning Rep at each company. They’re 90 minutes long, so it’s not a huge amount of time to release people from their jobs. This seems to be a good length for this type of activity.
We’ve already had a great response from employers and reps across the country: I’ve ran sessions in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Dumfries, Ayrshire, Fife - so this project covers the whole of Scotland. And the types of companies interested are also diverse: we’ve got workshops with the Prison Service, Financial companies, and Retail workers. We’re now able to offer sessions across the UK, so reps in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland who want to book workshops or training can contact me directly.
What excites me about this project is the fact we’re able to reach such a wide range of people across the country, and it’s going to have an impact benefiting both workers and employers.
For more information or to book a workshop check out: https://cra.igsteele.com/unionlearn/