How to cut the risk of making a mistake online

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Oh dear, I spoke too soon about the build up to the EU referendum, but at least it’s not trending this weekend.

What has started trending today is the Labour Party’s email boo-boo. An email campaign about the referendum has gone out that starts “Dear Firstname”. Now anyone that’s responsible for mail-outs using an automated system knows this is the dreaded mistake we have all made at least once, but in true Twitter fashion the poor person responsible has been made a star for the day as the funny and creative side of the Twitter population emerges again.

Jane Binnion

Jane Binnion

If only I could trend when I do it! It did, however, make me wonder why so many people are checking their emails on a sunny Sunday.

Learning to touch type is on my to do list this year and I was discussing with my teen that with the world being digital nowadays it’s odd typing isn’t taught in school again. Then we realised that (scarily) most digital communications are typed by thumbs only, including, increasingly, business communications - I’ve delivered one to one training with many people who do all their marketing via their phone.

Call me old fashioned but I still encourage people to sit at a lap top or desk top to type business communication. I can only access my professional emails via my desktop computer so I’m clear that I’m in business mode and I don’t reply to an important email after a beer or two. Plus, I’m less likely to send one of those excruciating typos which happen on my phone. Furthermore, when we work on a desktop we are not using a mobile app’, so it is much easier to see what we are doing and therefore make less of the mistakes which lead to #DearFirstname trending.

I’m increasingly being asked to run absolute beginners social media workshops again, which are just so much fun as lots of 50+ volunteers face their fears and decide it is time to find out what this Facebook stuff is all about. Privacy and being bombarded with nonsense is still the main fear - rightly so, but I love getting questions like “how do I stop getting notifications from my annoying cousin without upsetting her?”

So my big Well Done of the week goes to all the voluntary organisations which are investing in training their volunteers, equipping them with digi-skills so they don’t feel left behind. More of that please. Have a good week and stay safe online.