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How HR can help with a digital divide in the U.S.

Technology is often a solution to modern HR challenges, but HR executive Robin Schooling was quick to point out that tech can also be a problem for employees without equal access or related skills.

For example, according to a Purdue University report released earlier this year, “Job and establishment growth between 2010 and 2015 was substantially lower in [U.S.] counties with the highest digital divide.”

Schooling, who is vice president of HR at Hollywood Casino in Baton Rouge, La., will speak about the digital divide in the U.S. at the forthcoming HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas. SearchHRSoftware is the media partner for the conference.

In a preview of her remarks, Schooling outlined the challenges and explained why her three-person HR team sometimes takes an old-school, hands-on approach to everything from training to benefits enrollment.

This interview was edited lightly for brevity and clarity.

When you talk about the digital divide in the U.S., what do you mean?

Robin Schooling: The tendency is to think, as we automate more and more things, that people and job seekers are just going to go right along with all of it. We think that all job seekers or employees have the same level of technology at their disposal. We think the knowledge base is there and that they have the sophistication to go along with the online journey, from job searching to applying for jobs to the onboarding programs. And then, once they’re in-house, they’re ready for any online training.

Robin Schooling, vice president of HR, Hollywood CasinoRobin Schooling

We’re sort of assuming everybody in the workforce is at a desk in a high-rise and that technical knowledge is at [their] disposal. There is an entire group of workers and industries that I fear are getting left further and further behind. It’s the technology haves and have-nots.

How does email play into the digital divide in the U.S.?

Schooling: In my particular world, I have less than 20% of my employees who have work email or access to network drives. They are not at a desk; they are on the floor in front of customers, and they don’t use technology day to day in their jobs. So, they don’t have company email addresses.

If you go back further, a lot of my job applicants don’t have personal email addresses. I probably have, on average, two people a week we talk to who apply for a job using somebody else’s email address. We discover when get hold of them they never got our email and that the person whose email address they used ‘didn’t let me know it came.’ Or, people make up email addresses.

As we talk to people, we find out there truly are people who just don’t have email. It’s not an age thing. I see people who are 22, and I see people who are 70. We get a lot of calls.

[When we get a resume emailed to us,] we have auto reply, but sometimes it goes to a spam folder, and they don’t know how to check a spam folder. We have applicants who don’t have desktops or tablets. Their phone is it. And they don’t know how to navigate email addresses even if they have email. Instead, we get a lot of calls. It’s like 1989.

So, we’ve tried things with texting. We’ve tried a cellphone call. But it gets back to the low-wage, entry-level worker with a pay-as-you-go phone. They tried to apply, but we can’t reach them on it. It’s a challenge. I don’t know the answer to the problem. But we have to look at finding multiple ways to connect with people on the applicant side.

There’s a digital divide in the U.S., but change has to start somewhere. What are you doing in the office to help the tech have-nots?

Schooling: As we have automated, we enhanced some of the offerings through the system we have for our employees, because we don’t have folks who sit at a desk. We can put things out in the cloud to our employee self-service portal, but we’re still struggling with employees getting access if they’re doing it through their phone.

We have banks of computers in the break room, but many employees have challenges accessing them. They don’t know how to use a keyboard or a mouse. That still exists. Everybody doesn’t work on the East or West Coasts, and we’re not all on Slack.

And it’s not just the tech providers [that contribute to the digital divide in the U.S.]; it’s the HR service providers. Every year since I’ve been here, as part of our wellness initiatives, we have a third party come in and do biometric screenings. You get a checkup and sit with a nurse practitioner who logs you in to your account. We do this so that we get you into this wellness tracker for follow-up steps. In order to do that, you have to set up your own account, and that requires an email address and two-factor authentication.

Here’s the challenge: I’ve got a good 30 employees that do not have a personal email address. They may have access to their mothers’ or their wives’ or their sisters’ [email addresses]. I told the vendor that people coming in can’t set up an account because they do not have a personal email, or they are using a family member’s [email] who is not there to do two-factor authentication. How do we do that? How do we serve those people? The provider didn’t quite believe me.

We know the people that don’t have email. How do we solve this? As an HR team, what we do for our population is we try to help people as much as we can to set up accounts. We spend quite a bit of time amongst the team going to Gmail to set up an account and set it up on their phone for them. We try to help them create passwords and show them how to remember where it’s stored. It’s a challenge to do this one-on-one to help our folks as much as we can, but I think it’s important.

In my particular world, I have less than 20% of my employees who have work email or access to network drives.
Robin Schoolingvice president of HR, Hollywood Casino

It’s like old-school HR. It’s very hands-on and in your face. If you have a small or midsize business and your workforce is all in one place, what you can do there is kind of what we do. It’s handholding and bringing along one person at a time. Sometimes, it’s even just stopping and asking: If we are going to communicate something or expect an employee to go to a website to accomplish something for a job, are they equipped to do that?

When we think about the digital divide in the U.S., what can be done to help narrow it?

Schooling: This is an issue that worries me. We are just getting further and further away from thinking about those people who need to find jobs or are working hard, but are sitting in companies that don’t realize that perhaps there are folks being left behind. These are people who can’t do a really cool learning module on their phone.

I have people that are not hipsters — they have a flip phone, but don’t have a data plan. And if there is Wi-Fi, they need to have someone show them how to hook up. They can’t sit at home and do onboarding videos or learning snippets.

At the end of the day, I’m thinking about it from [different] sides. Are the vendors remembering when creating products to include the whole audience? Are HR practitioners aware that you need to do more than meet them where they are, but actually bring them with you?

And it’s important to remember it’s not a generational thing. Some folks coming out of school, college grads even, find themselves in this boat. They come from low-income families, and they’ve gotten higher ed, but they struggle with the access to the tools and the tech and the knowledge of how to use them.

Malvertising campaign tied to legitimate online ad companies

Check Point Research uncovered an extensive malvertising campaign that has ties to legitimate online advertising companies.

Check Point’s report, titled “A Malvertising Campaign of Secrets and Lies,” detailed how a threat actor group used more than 10,000 compromised WordPress sites and multiple exploit kits to spread a variety of malware, including ransomware and banking Trojans. The group, which Check Point refers to as “Master134,” was responsible for a “well-planned” malvertising campaign that involved several online advertisement publishers, resellers and networks, including a company known as AdsTerra that Check Point claims was “powering the whole process.”

The technical aspects the Master134 campaign aren’t novel, according to Check Point. The threat actors used unpatched WordPress sites that were vulnerable to remote code execution attacks and then redirected traffic from those sites to pages run by ad networks, which in turn redirected users to a malicious domain that downloads malware to users’ systems.

Check Point researchers took a closer look at how traffic was directed to the malicious domains and found “an alarming partnership between a threat actor disguised as a publisher and several legitimate resellers.” According to the report, Master134 sells its traffic or “ad space” to the AdsTerra network, which then sells it to advertising resellers such as ExoClick, AdKernel, EvoLeads and AdventureFeeds.

The reseller then sells the Master134 traffic to their clients, but Check Point said its researchers discovered an odd pattern with the sales. “All the clients who bid on the traffic directed via AdsTerra, from Master134, happen to be threat actors, and among them some of the exploit kit land’s biggest players,” the report claimed.

Check Point Research speculated that threat actors operating these malicious domains and exploit kits pay Master134 for traffic or “victims,” which are supplied to them via a seemingly legitimate channel of ad networks. While the vendor didn’t accuse AdsTerra or the resellers of knowingly participating in the malvertising campaign, the report did say the ad networks would need to “turn a blind eye” for this scheme to be successful.

“[A]lthough we would like to believe that the resellers that purchase Master134’s ad space from AdsTerra are acting in good faith, unaware of Master134’s malicious intentions, an examination of the purchases from AdsTerra showed that somehow, space offered by Master134 always ended up in the hands of cyber criminals, and thus enables the infection chain to be completed,” the report stated.

SearchSecurity contacted AdsTerra, ExoClick, EvoLeads, AdventureFeeds and AdKernel for comment on the Check Point report.

AdKernel denied any involvement with the Master134 group or related threat actors. Judy Shapiro, chief strategy advisor, emailed a statement to SearchSecurity claiming the Check Point report is false and that AdKernel is an ad-serving technology provider, not an ad network or reseller. Shapiro also wrote that AdKernel did not own the malicious domains cited in the Check Point report, and that those domains were “owned by ad network clients of AdKernel.” The company, however, did not say who those clients were.

The other four companies had not responded at press time.

The Check Point Research report had strong words for the online advertising industry and its inability or unwillingness to prevent such malvertising campaigns from taking advantage of their networks.

“[W]hen legitimate online advertising companies are found at the heart of a scheme, connecting threat actors and enabling the distribution of malicious content worldwide, we can’t help but wonder — is the online advertising industry responsible for the public’s safety?” the report asked. “Indeed, how can we be certain that the advertisement we encounter while visiting legitimate websites are not meant to harm us?”

For Sale – CLEAROUT: Synology NAS, Hazro 27″ 1440P Monitor, Chuwi Surbook (Surface pro copy).

Evening all, Doing a yearly clearout of IT Tech that i need to get rid of so first point of call would be on here.

Synologys 212j NAS drive – £50
Currently Diskless as the drives are in use but has been running flawlessly since new. Handy little NAS drive to backup key files.

Hazro HZ27WB Graphics Monitor – £90
Brilliant monitor used in my old IT job, advertised as a 10 bit panel with hefty specs, review and more information can be found here
https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/hazro-hz27wc

Chuwi Surbook 128GB SSD – £225
Purchased last year. Intel Apollo Lake CPU, 6GB RAM with 128GB SSD with the surface pro form factor its a very capable little workbook. Bought for the mother in law but now moved on to a Ipad Pro. Backlit keyboard and Stylus pen also included.
Full review here Chuwi SurBook | TechRadar

Welcome to collect or can be posted out once i obtain a quote. Sensible offers welcome

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Price and currency: 1
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For Sale – CLEAROUT: Synology NAS, Hazro 27″ 1440P Monitor, Chuwi Surbook (Surface pro copy).

Evening all, Doing a yearly clearout of IT Tech that i need to get rid of so first point of call would be on here.

Synologys 212j NAS drive – £50
Currently Diskless as the drives are in use but has been running flawlessly since new. Handy little NAS drive to backup key files.

Hazro HZ27WB Graphics Monitor – £90
Brilliant monitor used in my old IT job, advertised as a 10 bit panel with hefty specs, review and more information can be found here
https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/hazro-hz27wc

Chuwi Surbook 128GB SSD – £225
Purchased last year. Intel Apollo Lake CPU, 6GB RAM with 128GB SSD with the surface pro form factor its a very capable little workbook. Bought for the mother in law but now moved on to a Ipad Pro. Backlit keyboard and Stylus pen also included.
Full review here Chuwi SurBook | TechRadar

Welcome to collect or can be posted out once i obtain a quote. Sensible offers welcome

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Price and currency: 1
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – CLEAROUT: Synology NAS, Hazro 27″ 1440P Monitor, Chuwi Surbook (Surface pro copy).

Evening all, Doing a yearly clearout of IT Tech that i need to get rid of so first point of call would be on here.

Synologys 212j NAS drive – £50
Currently Diskless as the drives are in use but has been running flawlessly since new. Handy little NAS drive to backup key files.

Hazro HZ27WB Graphics Monitor – £90
Brilliant monitor used in my old IT job, advertised as a 10 bit panel with hefty specs, review and more information can be found here
https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/hazro-hz27wc

Chuwi Surbook 128GB SSD – £225
Purchased last year. Intel Apollo Lake CPU, 6GB RAM with 128GB SSD with the surface pro form factor its a very capable little workbook. Bought for the mother in law but now moved on to a Ipad Pro. Backlit keyboard and Stylus pen also included.
Full review here Chuwi SurBook | TechRadar

Welcome to collect or can be posted out once i obtain a quote. Sensible offers welcome

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Price and currency: 1
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Cash, PayPal
Location: Hornchurch
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – CLEAROUT: Synology NAS, Hazro 27″ 1440P Monitor, Chuwi Surbook (Surface pro copy).

Evening all, Doing a yearly clearout of IT Tech that i need to get rid of so first point of call would be on here.

Synologys 212j NAS drive – £50
Currently Diskless as the drives are in use but has been running flawlessly since new. Handy little NAS drive to backup key files.

Hazro HZ27WB Graphics Monitor – £90
Brilliant monitor used in my old IT job, advertised as a 10 bit panel with hefty specs, review and more information can be found here
https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/hazro-hz27wc

Chuwi Surbook 128GB SSD – £225
Purchased last year. Intel Apollo Lake CPU, 6GB RAM with 128GB SSD with the surface pro form factor its a very capable little workbook. Bought for the mother in law but now moved on to a Ipad Pro. Backlit keyboard and Stylus pen also included.
Full review here Chuwi SurBook | TechRadar

Welcome to collect or can be posted out once i obtain a quote. Sensible offers welcome

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[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]

Price and currency: 1
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Cash, PayPal
Location: Hornchurch
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – CLEAROUT: Synology NAS, Hazro 27″ 1440P Monitor, Chuwi Surbook (Surface pro copy).

Evening all, Doing a yearly clearout of IT Tech that i need to get rid of so first point of call would be on here.

Synologys 212j NAS drive – £50
Currently Diskless as the drives are in use but has been running flawlessly since new. Handy little NAS drive to backup key files.

Hazro HZ27WB Graphics Monitor – £90
Brilliant monitor used in my old IT job, advertised as a 10 bit panel with hefty specs, review and more information can be found here
https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/hazro-hz27wc

Chuwi Surbook 128GB SSD – £225
Purchased last year. Intel Apollo Lake CPU, 6GB RAM with 128GB SSD with the surface pro form factor its a very capable little workbook. Bought for the mother in law but now moved on to a Ipad Pro. Backlit keyboard and Stylus pen also included.
Full review here Chuwi SurBook | TechRadar

Welcome to collect or can be posted out once i obtain a quote. Sensible offers welcome

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[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]

Price and currency: 1
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Cash, PayPal
Location: Hornchurch
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – CLEAROUT: Synology NAS, Hazro 27″ 1440P Monitor, Chuwi Surbook (Surface pro copy).

Evening all, Doing a yearly clearout of IT Tech that i need to get rid of so first point of call would be on here.

Synologys 212j NAS drive – £50
Currently Diskless as the drives are in use but has been running flawlessly since new. Handy little NAS drive to backup key files.

Hazro HZ27WB Graphics Monitor – £90
Brilliant monitor used in my old IT job, advertised as a 10 bit panel with hefty specs, review and more information can be found here
https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/hazro-hz27wc

Chuwi Surbook 128GB SSD – £225
Purchased last year. Intel Apollo Lake CPU, 6GB RAM with 128GB SSD with the surface pro form factor its a very capable little workbook. Bought for the mother in law but now moved on to a Ipad Pro. Backlit keyboard and Stylus pen also included.
Full review here Chuwi SurBook | TechRadar

Welcome to collect or can be posted out once i obtain a quote. Sensible offers welcome

[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]

Price and currency: 1
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Cash, PayPal
Location: Hornchurch
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – CLEAROUT: Synology NAS, Hazro 27″ 1440P Monitor, Chuwi Surbook (Surface pro copy).

Evening all, Doing a yearly clearout of IT Tech that i need to get rid of so first point of call would be on here.

Synologys 212j NAS drive – £50
Currently Diskless as the drives are in use but has been running flawlessly since new. Handy little NAS drive to backup key files.

Hazro HZ27WB Graphics Monitor – £90
Brilliant monitor used in my old IT job, advertised as a 10 bit panel with hefty specs, review and more information can be found here
https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/hazro-hz27wc

Chuwi Surbook 128GB SSD – £225
Purchased last year. Intel Apollo Lake CPU, 6GB RAM with 128GB SSD with the surface pro form factor its a very capable little workbook. Bought for the mother in law but now moved on to a Ipad Pro. Backlit keyboard and Stylus pen also included.
Full review here Chuwi SurBook | TechRadar

Welcome to collect or can be posted out once i obtain a quote. Sensible offers welcome

[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]

Price and currency: 1
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Cash, PayPal
Location: Hornchurch
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – CLEAROUT: Synology NAS, Hazro 27″ 1440P Monitor, Chuwi Surbook (Surface pro copy).

Evening all, Doing a yearly clearout of IT Tech that i need to get rid of so first point of call would be on here.

Synologys 212j NAS drive – £50
Currently Diskless as the drives are in use but has been running flawlessly since new. Handy little NAS drive to backup key files.

Hazro HZ27WB Graphics Monitor – £90
Brilliant monitor used in my old IT job, advertised as a 10 bit panel with hefty specs, review and more information can be found here
https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/hazro-hz27wc

Chuwi Surbook 128GB SSD – £225
Purchased last year. Intel Apollo Lake CPU, 6GB RAM with 128GB SSD with the surface pro form factor its a very capable little workbook. Bought for the mother in law but now moved on to a Ipad Pro. Backlit keyboard and Stylus pen also included.
Full review here Chuwi SurBook | TechRadar

Welcome to collect or can be posted out once i obtain a quote. Sensible offers welcome

[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]
[​IMG]

Price and currency: 1
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Cash, PayPal
Location: Hornchurch
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.