ITEC Social Media Apprentice Award 2014 – Sponsored by Lollipop Local

Last week we were really proud to be asked to sponsor and present the first Social Media Apprentice Award at ITEC for 2014.

There were several other categories:

Adult Learner of the Year- sponsored by The Hamelin Trust based in Billericay
Comptia Learner of the Year
Microsoft Learner of the Year
Employer of the Year – sponsored by Be Child Cancer Aware
Line Manager of the Year – sponsored by The Indee Rose Trust
Information Technology Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by RES Info-Techof Southend
Business Administration Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Jardine Motors Group of Leigh on Sea, Basildon and other locations across Kent, Essex and the UK
Advanced Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Corporate Mailing Solutions Ltd of Dunmow
Mentor of the Year – sponsored by Konica Minolta

ITEC Social Media Apprentice Award 2014

Here’s the actual Social Media Apprentice awards as pictured by runner up, Chloe Thornton, and winner, James White, on Twitter.


Jon has been working with the team at ITEC and giving own training for SEO and Social Media for business as part of the course.

After meeting with these amazing young people, we’re hoping to take on our own Social Media apprentice later this year.

Sadly, even though pictures were taken by both the Enquirer and the Echo, we have been unable to find them online. If anyone took pictures on the night, we’d love to hear from you and give you a credit.

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Are You Suffering From Heartbleed?

Heartbleed is the latest virus/hack issue to trend across the webisphere.

It is a security flaw which takes the form of a bug in a piece of software called OpenSSL. This software is used to encrypt communications between your computer and the web server of many of the secure sites that we log into. The BBC describes it as “a sort of secret handshake at the beginning of a secure conversation” – which made me chuckle.

But it’s a very serious business! SSL is the encryption tool used by around two-thirds of all websites on the internet and around half a million sites are believed to have been affected. You can tell by the URL which starts https rather than http or you may see a little padlock symbol in your browser.

The first advice was to change all your passwords immediately.

But then it became apparent that doing that would not solve the problem unless the site involved had actually implemented a patch to protect their system.

The advice now is to wait until you receive a notification from these sites to change your password. However, some sites still do not believe that is necessary but my judgement is that if there is an issue, you should protect yourself and make a change.

Which sites have been affected?

Mashable published a helpful list of sites that have been affected in the US

And The Telegraph gives a list for the UK.

Is my UK bank affected by Heartbleed?

From their article, it does not look as if the Government website or any of the main banks has been affected. Many UK banks have added a notification to the front page of their website to say that they have not been affected. If in doubt about your bank, you can now go check it out yourself.

Should I change my social media passwords?

Social media sites affected are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. Click on the relevant link to find out how to change your password.

LinkedIn say they are unaffected but it is not clear about Twitter.

Flickr, Soundcould and YouTube are affected.

Anyone who uses Dropbox is also affected but Evernote and SpiderOak are not.

Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are not affected but Yahoo and Google are.

You do not need to change your passwords on AOL, Hotmail or Outlook but Gmail and Yahoo Mail are affected.

Whilst the Amazon store is not affected, anyone with Amazon Web Services will need to change their password.

eBay, Groupon and Paypal are not affected but GoDaddy is.

It is not clear whether WordPress has been affected.

Should I change my Google password

Although both Google and gmail have been affected, a source at Google told the BBC that it was not necessary for Google users to change their passwords as the company had patched the vulnerability ahead of the exploit being made public and did not believe that it had been widely used by hackers.

I leave that up to you but, bearing in mind that one password controls so many Google properties, it would be wise to get into the habit of changing this password regularly anyway. And change it to something secure! Read more about creating a secure password here.

How can I remember all these passwords?

One piece of software that was not affected by Heartbleed is KeePass. They do not use OpenSSL, the software involved in the flaw. What they do do is keep all your passwords together, secure under one main password. This means that you can access everything in one place. You can click a button to have the login page open and another to have the details automatically typed in.

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A Fabulous Birthday Lunch In Leigh On Sea

I had a day off today – for my birthday 🙂

And a late lunch at the fantastic Sand Bar and Seafood Restaurant in The Broadway, Leigh-on-Sea.

With Jon – a vegan!

The clue is in the title – it’s the Sand Bar and Seafood Restaurant. And my children and I made the most of the octopus, salt cod and pork on offer.

But the wonderful Louise made Jon a vegan starter and main course that had him almost licking both plates. He wrote about it on his own vegan blog here

That’s what you want from a restaurant. The ability to cater for anyone who comes through the doors, no matter what their food preference or whether they have an allergy to certain ingredients.

And then there was the ice cream.

Chai latte and limoncella, baileys and chocolate chip, Malibu, coconut and white chocolate. I could not decide.

So, naturally, I had a scoop of all three – and polished off the lot. It came with candles and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday from the staff.

Starters for four, main courses for four, one large bowl of ice cream, a bottle of wine, a beer and coffee – the bill came to a very reasonable £86

I have to admit to a vested interest in this restaurant as The Sand Bar has taken some of my social media training. We were recently able to gain control of a Facebook Places page which had been created without their knowledge because customers had checked in so often on their mobile phones.

By claiming it and making it into a proper Facebook page, the owner is able to post images of their gorgeous culinary creations and the customers are now able to both check in and leave reviews. Important factors in the decision when new diners choose whether to take the plunge for an important occasion.

It’s also where we have our monthly Women In Business lunches in Leigh on Sea and Louise always makes sure that she has a varied set menu for us to choose from – complete with an option for my pepper allergy.

If you would like to know more about using Facebook for your business, read our Welcome to Facebook post or come on one of our Facebook courses.

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Is Your Google+ Profile In The Name Of Your Business Or Product?

NO!!!! Please don’t do that!

Just as with Facebook and LinkedIn, Google’s guidelines confirm that the main profile on Google+ has to be a person with a first and last name.

I am starting to get requests to circle all sorts of things like bars, magazines and groups!

Only people can go in a circle. And you follow a business.

Rules for setting up your Google Plus profile

Your account has to be in YOUR first and last name.

You can add a nickname within your real name – *First Name* “Nickname” *Last Name*. So Jo “Lollipop” Shaer.

You can’t preface your name with a title like Dr – even if you are one! However, you can add your Ph.D to your Other names section on your Google+ profile

Break the rules and you run the risk of having your account suspended.

Can I put my Product or Business into my Personal Profile?

See the rules for setting up a Google Plus profile above.

There are dedicated Google+ Business Pages for your business or product. You create your business or product pages from your Google+ profile.

You may not set up your business page or product on a profile. Find out more here

What to do if you have set up your Google Plus profile in the name of your product or business

Done it wrong?

Here’s how to change your name in your profile.

Hover your mouse over the Home button on the top left of your Google+ account

Select Profile from the drop down menu

Find your name in the header section – it should be just underneath your profile picture.

Hover over your name and it will say ‘Click to edit your name’. Click

A pop up box will allow you to make the change.

REMEMBER – you can only do this three times in two years! So serial brides need to be aware :O

REMEMBER – it will change your name across all your Google properties.

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How Can I Add My Ph.D Or Maiden Name To My Google+ Account?

Yes you can add your maiden name to your Google+ account. And your Ph.D or other letters of accreditation.

Here’s how:

  • Go to your Google+ profile.
  • Click Profile in the left hand navigation.
  • Click the About tab at the top of your profile.
  • Find the “Basic Information” section. It’s on the right of the three columns under Work. Click Edit.
  • In the “Other names” field, enter the other names you’d like to display on your profile.

  • Select who you want to be able to see your “Other names”. You have the choice of Public, Extended Circles, Your Circles, Only You or Custom.
  • Click Save.

You will deduce from this image that your maiden name or Ph.D does not actually show as part of your user name at the top of the page. Google+ is not like Facebook.

This may be something of a disappointment for those who have worked hard to gain the qualifications to get those accreditations.

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