Author Archives: Ben

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Leaders Come In All Personality Types

Category:Infosec Communicator,Introverted Leadership,introverts,Leadchange,Leadership,STC Tags : 

Guest post from Hannah Morgan. This post will also appear on careersherpa.net, sherpaandguru.com, and notebook.stc.org.

You don’t need to be the most talkative, outgoing person in the room to be a leader. Instead, all you need to do is tap into the innate strengths of your introverted self.

Quiet Giants

Where would we be today without Wozniak, Einstein, Jobs and Gates? These often quiet leaders invented some of the world’s most concepts, and yes, they are all introverts. How were they able to take their innovative ideas to the next level and build Google, The Theory, Apple and Microsoft? They led with their strengths.

The Innovator

Introverts naturally have the ability and desire to think deeply about topics, issues and problems.This deep thinking spun into innovation and new ideas.

 Really Hearing What’s Being Said

Listening rather than speaking also allows introverts to make great leaders. Introverts prefer to take in information, roll it around in their heads and think about it before responding. While today’s economy moves quickly, the introverted leader is less likely to miss warning signs or overlook key details critical to growth and new opportunities.

Honesty Reigns Supreme

Another key trait introverts share is our desire to do the “right thing.” This isn’t to say other personalities don’t have morals and values, but the core of what drives and motivates an introvert is that decisions be based on facts and that we “do the right thing.” We aren’t in it for fame or fortune, but because it means something to us.

Igniting Followers

Introverts’ enthusiasm can be contagious and we know how to rally teams around an issue, not because we say so, but because we believe so strongly in what we are doing. We observe the strengths of others and tap into those to help move things forward. We analyze, listen, we’ll do the right thing!

You Aren’t Broken

Once you begin to realize all the strengths you possess, it isn’t a matter of fixing what’s broken but capitalizing on your strengths.

Learn More:

If you would like to learn more about the strengths of introverted leaders, register for theupcoming webinar by Ben Woelk and Hannah Morgan on October 1, 2013 from 10:00-11:00am EDT (GMT-4). https://www.stc.org/education/online-education/live-seminars/item/empowering-the-introvert-within?category_id=53

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Scam, scams, everywhere scams!

Category:Information Security,Infosec Communicator,Internet Safety

We received a call at home tonight from a Microsoft-certified repair technician at Technical Department of Windows Support. (Yes, the name she gave us. Think she was reading from a script?) The woman on the phone said that they had been contracted by Microsoft and that our computer had been sending out spam for the last week. In order to fix it, the caller asked us to turn on our computer and she would walk us through the repairs. We asked that they email us the information to tricia@fbi.gov.

I had been told about this Windows support scam by a colleague last week. Most of us are used to seeing scam emails. We’re not used to receiving scam phone calls.

Ironically, in my Cyber Self Defense class this week we’re discussing scams!

We’ve seen quite the run of email scams over the last couple of weeks at my university. Here’s a portion of the advisory I sent to our community this week:

 

We’ve seen a lot of spam over the last few weeks offering everything from cash loans to faculty and staff, various jobs for students, mortgage refinancing, etc. Every year, a few members of the university community fall for various scams. You may recognize some of the scams below.

Why I’m Receiving This

We’re seeing the following scams:

  • Faculty & Staff: Apply online for a Cash Advance Loan—faculty and staff are currently receiving offers of cash advance loans. Some of these may be “legitimate” loans, but they’re often high interest and secured by your car or other property. They may also be examples of Advance Fee Fraud, where you send a fee in advance and provide your bank account information. Does anyone see any danger in that?
  • Mystery Shopper—many of us have received info about Mystery Shopper jobs paying $250 or so per job. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Almost all of these jobs are bogus and involve providing bank account information and payment through counterfeit checks.
  • Home Financing—There are a number of different home financing schemes, ranging from foreclosure relief to sub-prime refinancing rates. The FBI link below provides more information.

In addition to the current scams listed above, students have fallen victim to the following in the last couple of years:

  • Deaf Lottery—a university student was contacted by a Facebook Friend who informed him he had won a deaf lottery. The student was then contacted by an “administrator” through instant messaging. During the course of the scam, the student provided his bank account information and lost hundreds of dollars.
  • Fake apartment listing—a couple of students were moving to the west coast for co-op jobs. They found a listing for an apartment and sent a hefty deposit. When they arrived on the west coast, there was no apartment.
  • Personal ads—a student reported that he responded to a Craigslist Personal Ad that he found “enticing.” He exchanged pictures with the person in the ad who requested that he sign up for an account on saferaffair.com under the pretense that he wasn’t some “crazy stalker.” The website requested personal information and a credit card number “to verify his identity.” When he looked up the person’s email address he found that there were hundreds of complaints that the address belonged to a scammer.
  • Freelance photographer request—a student received a letter from a firm seeking to employ the student to shoot an upcoming out-of-town event. They offered the student $500/hour for his time and mailed the student a check for $2900 with instructions to cash the check, retain a portion of the funds, and forward the remaining share to the “store manager.” This is a common scam where someone sends a counterfeit check and asks for a portion of the check to be wired to someone else.
  • Financial emergency overseas—several university people received an urgent note from a student regarding a robbery he had suffered overseas. The note requested the recipient to wire funds ASAP so that the individual could buy a plane ticket home. The student’s Facebook account was compromised and used to send this message to his Facebook friends
  • Craigslist—There are MANY scams circulating on Craigslist. Several university people listed items for sale and were contacted by “buyers” who sent the sellers cashier’s checks and asked them to refund the difference. Although the checks appeared legitimate, they were counterfeit. There are also reports about scams connected to room reservations, etc.

For More Information

 

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STC President Nicky Bleiel Interview with Marcus Hunt from Owners Manual

Category:Infosec Communicator,Lessons Learned,Review,STC,techcomm Tags : 

Marcus and Ed as BeekeepersGreat interview by STC President Nicky Bleiel of Marcus Hunt from AMC’s Owners Manual. Marcus is quite complimentary of technical communicators and their dedication of producing a well-written manual. Marcus also describes the usefulness of video in conveying a lot of information in a short time. (The picture on the left is from Episode Four. It was incredibly painful to watch them collecting honey.)

Enjoy!

Check out this video (and many other cool techcomm columns) at the STC Notebook Blog.

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Upcoming Owners Manual series on AMC

Category:Infosec Communicator,techcomm,Uncategorized Tags : 

Owners Manual

Ever have trouble trying to figure out how to use something correctly? Ever make a BIG mistake? Ever wonder about the importance of usability in product design?

Most of us can hop into a car and drive it successfully, although we may not always understand all of the bells and whistles. (I just learned that the gas pump icon on the dashboard has an arrow that points to the side of the car where you fill up the tank.)

gas tank is on the left

As technical communicators, we’ve always been fans of (and often produce) owners manuals, at least the good ones! The upcoming Owners Manual series from AMC pits someone who always reads the manual against someone who learns by doing, rather than reading instructions. As a Society for Technical Communication member, I’m really looking forward to the series and hoping, of course, that the guy who doesn’t read the manual manages to really screw things up. I’m also hoping that the series pays attention to the role of usability in product design. That’s a huge factor.

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Brief Thoughts on XKCD: The Pace of Modern Life

Category:Communications Processes,Infosec Communicator,Leadchange,techcomm Tags : 

This XKCD comic is an entertaining look into the perception of the changes in communication brought on by the increased pace of society–more than 100 years ago! It reminds me of reading The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers, an interesting look at the change brought by the completion of the Trans-Atlantic cable. It also reminds me of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, wherein the characters are bemoaning the loss of the Golden Age, no matter in what century they live.

Do you miss the “Good Old Days” when the pace of life was slower? (Of course, the length of life was shorter.)

Yes, I’m aware of the irony in the post title. Had I fewer distractions…

 

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