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Thumbgate, a lesson in volunteerism (and cyber security)

February 12, 2018

Thumbgate, a lesson in volunteerism (and cyber security)

It was a generous offer. A £1 donation for every “thumbs up” received within the hour. All to help Chloe Allan and Amira Mansour reach their TIE fundraising goals. Colleagues at Labs were impressed and inspired by Sam Handfield-Jones’s largesse. The “thumbs up”s rained down upon Sam’s Slack post. Within an hour, some 336 gleaming thumbs were accompanying Sam’s offer.

Among those surprised by Sam’s substantial generosity was Sam himself. Having left his laptop unsecured, it was easy prey for Stuart Sheppard, Head of Customer, Content and Creative at Labs, and Trustee at Octopus Giving. It only took only a moment for Stuart to type in the generous message on Sam’s unattended laptop.

“Sam’s a sucker for leaving his laptop unlocked. The opportunity to make him the butt of a company-wide joke, and raise money for a good cause at the same time, was just too good to miss”, Stuart commented.

The spurious post gained quick notice, revealing not only the effectiveness of Slack communication around the office, but the eagerness of Octopus employees to enthusiastically support any act of volunteerism and generosity.

Equally, it was an opportunity for Tcha Willson, Head of IT Operations, to remind everyone about laptop security. “We’re always eager to reinforce the need for people to secure their laptop, so we’re grateful to Sam for advertising the cause. Rule of thumb: always lock your computer!”

Sam traced the Slack hack back to Stuart, making a persuasive case for Stuart to contribute matching funds toward Chloe and Amira’s charity work. In the end it was both a lesson in cyber security and an additional opportunity for colleagues to help contribute to two very worthwhile causes, Joy Street in Brazil and Chance for Change in Malawi.

You can find out more about their volunteer programmes and help support Amira and Joy Street here, and Chloe and Chance for Change here.