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Thursday Thoughts - 31st July

A short Thursday Thoughts this week but accompanied with a Track and Trace infographic to assist businesses who want to help stop the spread of the pandemic. I also share where I have found measured commentary on the statistics surrounding COVID-19. Amidst all the hype and angst it is good to hear sensible commentary.


I find it troubling that many “marketeers” seem to be unaware of PECR and what it means to them. PECR are the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (also known as 'the e-privacy Directive').


I also share some advice on what to do with old boarding passes (thanks to Tim Clements) and how to secure your mobile device before you go on holiday.


My “Blogs of the week”

Susan Leigh - Do You Have FOGO, the Fear of Going Out?

Sally Penni - What do you Choose?


Amazon and Microsoft calls to your landline

I seem to be receiving a number of calls to the landline at the moment and not from the aged parents (usually the only ones to phone that number). Several have claimed to be from Amazon reporting that there was something wrong with my shipment. Now I know that Amazon don’t do this but the elderly and vulnerable do not. So it is worth reminding them (again) that the likes of Amazon, Apple and Microsoft do not call us. If there is a problem with their products they leave it to us to get in contact with them.


PECR and Marketing

I find it troubling that many “marketeers” are not aware of PECR. The regulation that gives people specific rights in relation to electronic communications such as; marketing calls, emails, texts and faxes; cookies; keeping communications services secure; and customer privacy (traffic and location data, itemised billing, line identification, and directory listings).


It is troubling how many websites still drop Cookies without permission. Spoler alert this is NOT allowed. If you are not sure if your website drops cookies then you can use a free service like “cookieserve”.


But I also find that many are unaware that marketing is not just about selling a product or service if you want to promoting your goals, aims or ideals this is still classed as marketing. It does not matter what pressure your company is under if you contact someone who has asked you not to or ring a TPS-registered number this is a breach.


You should train staff who make these calls or send the emails that if a caller tells you that your call is unlawful, flat denials and a determination to stick to the script isn't going to work. You are likely to find adverse comments on social media or worse still that you are reported to the authorities.


What to do with old boarding passes

How do you dispose of your old boarding pass? Many just throw it in the bin either in the hotel, office or even at the airport. Did you know that many crooks want your boarding pass because the barcode on it contains lots of information about you and your journey. If you want to see what it contains you can download a free scanner app and check it out. You wouldn’t leave your password and log in in plain view, so treat your boarding pass with the same care. Keep it covered up when using it during your travel and when you no longer need it shred or burn it.


Securing your devices

Many of us take our devices like smartphones, tablets and PCs on holiday with us at this time. We need to be aware that hackers are getting better at attacking them. It is a good idea before you go on holiday to check your security settings, make sure your apps are up to date and that you are protected against the latest threats. If you don’t know how to do this the NCSC has a useful blog. https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/securing-your-devices


Where to go for sensible commentary on Coronavirus

As areas in the NW face more restrictions and further opening up of beauty Salons, ice rinks, horse racing etc are put on hold for a couple of weeks its worth remembering that the figures are still going down. I have found that Professor Karol Sikora (@ProfKarolSikora) provides measured commentary on the statistics. For example today he shares that some key indicators (hospital admissions and NHS online data) do not currently show worrying signs. As there is lots of information flying around at the moment you may find this document useful. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/905864/Weekly_COVID19_Surveillance_Report_week_31_FINAL.pdf


Keep supporting local venues

The Greater Manchester night time economy adviser has warned that venues face weeks of cancelled bookings because of confusion over new restrictions which has caused panic among customers. There is a worrying rise in cancelled bookings which could result in many pubs, restaurants and bars who were just getting back to work having to shut again.


ICO Guidance on BREXIT

The ICO has issued guidance and resources for organisations after the transition period ends. This includes information rights at the end of the transition period and a series of Frequently Asked Questions and answers. You can find it here https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-at-the-end-of-the-transition-period/?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=information%20commissioner%27s%20office&utm_term=ce8aefb9-220d-4179-a9fc-7f01edd12cbd&utm_content=&utm_campaign=


Leak of over 386 million records on a crime forum

The digital banking app Dave.com disclosed that it had suffered a security breach after the group ShinyHunters leaked 7,516,625 user records on a crime forum. This is just one company that the group have targeted the others include (Tokopedia, Homechef, Bhinneka, Minted, Styleshare, Ggumim, Mindful, StarTribune, ChatBooks, The Chronicle Of Higher Education and Zoosk). If you have an account with any of these organisations it is recommended that you change your passwords and check if your details are on the “haveibeenpwned.com” list.


Blogs of the week

Susan Leigh - Do You Have FOGO, the Fear of Going Out?

In an article for Iceni Magazine Susan discusses how some have developed FOGO, the fear of going out. This has no doubt been exacerbated by pictures of large groups of people deliberately flouting the rules. Several reports have been made where neighbours have ignored the guidelines and many find going out quite a stressful activity. You can read the article here: https://www.icenimagazine.co.uk/do-you-have-fogo-the-fear-of-going-out/


Sally Penni - What do you Choose?

Sally tries to have a positive mind set wherever she goes and whenever she can. I have listened to her speak in webinars and on her podcast and she is one of the most inspiring and upbeat people to listen to in these times. In this blog sally says we can all choose how we feel (even if we don’t feel like it and even when it’s hard). This week I choose to be happy – what are you going to choose to be? Check out Sally’s suggestions in the blog: https://www.sallypenni.co.uk/what-do-you-choose/



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