'Who's Afraid of the Big Techy Wolf' Event Report

On a beautiful sunny day in March a group of intrepid writers and illustrators from SCBWI South East Scotland met together to conquer their fear of the technological unknown.
Here, Network Coordinator and Event Organiser, Sarah Broadley tells us more about the event and offers us some excellent technological advice.

With twenty years plus experience working as the Technical Security Officer for one of Edinburgh's largest financial investment companies, we knew we were in safe hands with Neil Broadley, our digital knight in shining armour.

Neil Broadley kicking off the techy session. Photo Credit: Sarah Broadley

Seats were filled, notebooks opened and introductions made. An eager silence filled the room as we delved into acronyms galore.
Split into three sessions, the event concentrated on Keeping Your Data Safe, Word Processing and Creating Your Own Website.

The agenda is set. Photo Credit: Sarah Broadley

From ‘What is the Internet?’ to ‘Does 'the cloud' actually exist?’, we were introduced to a behind-the-scenes look at what actually happens within our devices when we press SEND on an e-mail or hit SAVE on our precious documents.
From there we progressed onto search engines. Have you ever searched for a holiday, notebook or favourite pen and all of a sudden you get adverts for those exact things appearing on your Facebook timeline or in your inbox? Google has a vested interested in what you search for, so for an impartial search engine that doesn't track your every move - try Duck Duck Go instead.
Internet safety is paramount – beware of the dangers of Phishing and don’t click on a link until you are absolutely sure you know it is genuine. Hackers have many ways of convincing you that what you see on your screen replicates the web page you expect to the finest detail. Try checking the URL at the top of your screen first – e.g. if you’ve opened the login to your online banking system and it looks like your banking system page but the URL says www.hahawegotyou.com… please don’t type in your username and password.

Attendees writing down reminders to BACK UP their files!  Photo Credit: Sarah Broadley

Neil made it very clear (he didn’t shout at us too much about this) that we need to BACKUP our files! A huge percentage of the technical support he gives out is related to users not saving their documents. Dropbox or your preferred alternative, is a document saving tool that every creative should have on ALL their devices – laptops, phones, PC... This is a simple way of ensuring you don’t lose that last draft or even if you delete a file by mistake, you will always have an earlier copy waiting for you in the wings. Phew! Now BACKUP… go, now before he comes after you!
4G, 3G, 2G, 1G what does these actually mean? It is amazing how far technology has come over the last ten years, can you imagine where it will be ten years from now?
Password manager – every time you log onto any app or device you will need a password of sorts to get you in. Where do you keep all these passwords? In your head? On scrap bits of paper? Surely not on post-its attached to your PC monitor??? There are safe ways to save all your passwords onto an encrypted programme, which means you will never forget them ever again and no one can access the information either.
P.s always lock your phone. Use a pin, fingerprint ID – anything, just keep it locked at all times.

After the event, having a drink.  Photo Credit: Sarah Broadley

The SCBWI British Isles Technical Library

We all have a library of sorts at home - piles of books, reference tomes and notebooks clutter our writing caves and beyond. So, how would you like your very own technical library – a place you can go to seek advice on anything technical? Well, Neil has created just that!
Exclusive to SCBWI BI members, Neil has made a section on his website into a library, where we can ask questions, seek advice and peruse articles on everything from password managers to two factor authentication.
He has based it on the most frequently asked questions he receives when it comes to ‘Help! I can’t find/how do I?’ but if there are any particular technical issues you need help with, enter some details in the ‘suggest an article’ box and he will create a note for it.

Here’s the link to the slides from the event itself. The speaker notes are extensive and well worth a look.

We are no longer afraid of the big techy wolf, even when he bites at our documents and eats away at our memory sticks!
And yes, we will backup our files or the wolf will be at our door again!


Sarah Broadley is co-chair for the SCBWI South East Scotland network along with her partner-in-crime, fellow member, Anita Gallo. She writes middle grade and picture books and can't draw for toffee but will always give it a try.
Sarah read one of her stories out during the Story Shop events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2016 and recently chaired the last stop of the YA Lost & Found tour at Waterstones, Glasgow. She still can't believe her luck.
Sarah thoroughly dislikes people who drive whilst on their mobile phones but everyone else is just lovely.
Website: www.greatbigjar.com
Twitter: @sarahpbroadley

A M Dassu is a member of the Words & Pictures editorial team, she manages the Events team and SCBWI BI events coverage.
Contact her at events@britishscbwi.org
Follow her on Twitter @a_reflective

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the write up. Was so sorry to have missed this. And thanks for the fab library resource, Neil. It's a little treasure chest.


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