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Posts Tagged ‘iCarol security’

Security Level and Advanced Security Settings

Security and Reliability

In iCarol, there are five security levels available for users in your system; Trainee, Standard, Enhanced, Supervisor and Admin. Each of these levels enables users to see and use a particular set of tools and functions in iCarol. Further to this, using Advanced Security settings, you can fine-tune exactly which tools and functions each user can see and use. This article will provide an overview of the Security Levels, and definitions of the settings found in Advanced Security Settings.

Security Level

Security Level is found on the Admin tab of user profiles, as below:

Admin tab profile

As shown in the above screenshot, there is a link that will take you to an explanation of each security level. This link will show a chart that explains what each security level can see and do in iCarol. Here is a screenshot of the chart:

Security levels explanation

In general, Admins are the highest security level and can see and use all tools and functions in iCarol by default, with some exceptions that will be pointed out later in this article. Supervisors can see and use everything Admins can, except sending welcome emails to new users and accessing the Admin Tools menu. Again, as with Admin, there are a few exceptions that will be pointed out. Enhanced and Standard users have access to fewer tools and functions, and Trainees have access to very few tools and functions.

Advanced Security Settings

Many of the Advanced Security settings are self-explanatory. Those that are not or where additional information may be helpful to understand what the setting enables will be noted here.

Advanced security settings - Call Reports

Allowed to access Call Reports and Repeat Callers – This is the setting that enables the user to see “Calls” in the left hand menu, and therefore view and submit call reports.

Can give feedback on call reports – This setting enables the user to see and use the “Feedback” text box in call reports to provide feedback to the user who submitted the call report.

Can review call reports – If you have enabled the function that staff can mark call reports as “reviewed for accuracy”, this setting allows the user to see and use the “Report has been reviewed for accuracy” check box at the bottom of call reports when viewing them.

Can only see call reports submitted by themselves – When the user views the “All Calls” page, only call reports they have submitted will appear in the list of submitted call reports. Further, this means they can only view the details of call reports they have submitted themselves.

Can access Specialized Call Export Tool – This is an add-on feature that enables the creation of resource lists in Word or Excel format. This setting enables users who are not Admins to use this tool.

Can certify computers – If you are using Restriction and Certification, this setting enables non-Admins to user the Certification tool to certify a computer.

Exempt from Restriction – If you are using Restriction and Certification, and the user belongs to a Security Level that is restricted; this setting exempts them from restriction. Depending on settings made on the Tools tab of Admin Tools, Restriction may also apply to Admins and Supervisors. If this is true, to exempt a particular Admin or Supervisor from Restriction, this setting must be manually checked.

Can only see call reports for programs to which they belong – This setting only appears if you are using the add-on feature Programs. This is the setting that restricts users to only seeing call reports that belong to the same programs they do.

Can only see caller profiles for programs to which they belong – This setting only appears if you are using the add-on feature Programs. This setting restricts which repeat callers the user can see and choose for use in a call report. Please note: This setting is not given to any Security Level by default. Therefore, if a user needs this setting, it must be manually checked.

Can use Call Reports residing in other iCarol system – This setting only appears if a caller report from another iCarol system is being shared with your system. This setting enables the user to see and create call reports using the shared call report. Please note: This setting is not given to any Security Level by default. Therefore, if a user needs this setting, it must be manually checked.

Can access Outbound Calls – This setting enables the user to see the Outbound Calls button on the main Calls page, if this tool is turned on in the system.

Can only access Outbound Calls, but not see Call Reports – If a user should only have access to the Outbound calls tool, and should not be able to see and use Call Reports, check this setting.

Advanced security settings - Shifts and Resources

Allowed to access Shifts - this is the setting that enables the user to see “Shifts” in the left hand menu, and therefore view the shift calendar and sign up for shifts.

Hide the list of people currently in On Call shifts, on the main Calls page – If this setting is unchecked, at the top of the Calls page will be a list showing who is currently signed up for On Call shifts. If this setting is checked, this will not show.

Can only see shifts for programs to which they belong - This setting only appears if you are using the add-on feature Programs. This setting restricts which shifts the user sees on the shift calendar to just those that are for the programs he or she belongs to.

Allowed to access Resources - this is the setting that enables the user to see “Resources” in the left hand menu, and therefore view and search Resources through that link and through the call report form.

Can activate/inactive resources – this refers to the “Status” field in resource records. This setting enables users to change to status to and from Active, Inactive, and Active but do not refer.

Can approve resource changes – This setting only applies to those systems using Workflow rules for the resource database.

Can QA resources - This setting only applies to those systems using Workflow rules for the resource database.

Can access verification – This setting enables the user to use the Automated Verification add-on feature.

Advanced security settings - Export and Vols Staff

Data export options – As noted at the top of this section, if any of these are selected, the person can access the Data Export tool from the bottom of the home page inside of iCarol.

Can always see the full names of staff and volunteers – This setting applies when Admins have made changes to the way user names are displayed in iCarol via the Vols and Staff tab in Admin tools.

Advanced security settings - Other

Allowed to access Vols and Staff - this is the setting that enables the user to see “Vols-Staff” in the left hand menu, and therefore view the list of users in the system.

Allowed to access Chatboard - this is the setting that enables the user to see “Chatboard” in the left hand menu, and therefore view and post messages to the Chatboard.

Allowed to access Internal Chat - this is the setting that enables the user to see “Internal Chat” in the lower right hand corner of the screen when logged into iCarol, and therefore use this tool to chat with other users that are logged in. Please note: This setting is not given to any Security Level by default. Therefore, if a user needs this setting, it must be manually checked. Alternatively, this option can be checked for everyone by using the “Enable Internal Chat for Everyone” link on the Vols and Staff tab of Admin Tools.

Allowed to access Events - this is the setting that enables the user to see “Events” in the left hand menu, and therefore view the Events calendar.

Allowed to access News & Fun - this is the setting that enables the user to see “News” in the left hand menu, and therefore view the News page.

Statistics – With this drop-down menu, a user can be given access to see “Statistics” in the left hand menu, and therefore run various reports with this tool.

Can receive Instant Messages in iCarol – This setting will only appear if you are using the instant messaging/chat add-on feature. This setting enables the user to assume and respond to chat conversations from the Messaging page. Please note: This setting is not given to any Security Level by default. Therefore, if a user needs this setting, it must be manually checked.

Can receive Texting/SMS Messages in iCarol - This setting will only appear if you are using the texting/SMS add-on feature. This setting enables the user to assume and respond to SMS conversations from the Messaging page. Please note: This setting is not given to any Security Level by default. Therefore, if a user needs this setting, it must be manually checked.

If you have any questions at any time about Security Level or Advanced Security Settings, please do not hesitate to submit a case to the iCarol Support Team via the Online Case Management tool.

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Evaluating Live Chat vs. Texting for your helpline

chat vs text

By now you probably realize that your helpline absolutely must offer some form of Online Emotional Support to stay relevant in a world where people are going online for everything, including helpline services like crisis intervention, suicide prevention, or information and referral.

iCarol enables you to provide both live chat and texting (aka “Messaging”) to your community. Messaging fits in seamlessly with the rest of your iCarol system, and you can make use of the same tools you’re used to engaging when taking a call, like call report forms and resource searches. Helpline managers will be able to run statistical analysis on Messaging interactions, with or separate from reports about Calls. The platform is intuitive, just like the rest of iCarol, so your volunteers and staff will catch on very quickly. And best of all, because the counselor’s screen and the process flow is virtually identical whether you’re engaged in a live chat or text, once your volunteers are trained on one it’s a total breeze to add on the other.

But say you’re just getting started, and you know you can only choose one platform for now. Which one do you go with? Which is better for your community, for your target population, for your service requirements? Take a look at this comparison between Live Chat and Texting with iCarol…

Laptop in use vs. Smart Phone  with two thumbs

How the client reaches you

Live Chat Texting
We’ll give you a bit of code to place on your website which will make a “Chat now” button appear. This button checks iCarol to see if 1) You have a chat shift set up at that moment and 2) If someone is assigned to that shift. If both are true, then the button will show you are Online and clicking it takes the visitor through to registration and on to the chat. Our team will work with you to text enable your existing helpline number, or obtain either a short code or a new 10 digit phone number for your service. You’ll then advertise this number, along with your hours of availability, on your website, fliers, social media ads, etc. People will send a direct text to that number to initiate a conversation with your counselors.

Service Availability

For both Live Chat and Texting, you’ll set up shifts in iCarol to note whether your service is available.

Live Chat Texting
If a shift is not set up and staffed, the Chat Now button will automatically display as “offline” on your website and the visitor will be unable to initiate the chat. The button will display the next time chat is available, so the visitor knows when to return. You can advertise your service’s hours and availability, but a visitor may still send you a text, even if you have no shift set up at that time. If that’s the case, the visitor receives a polite message (customized by you) letting them know that they’ve reached you outside your available hours.

Security

Live Chat Texting
Your conversation is secure and encryped end-to-end from visitor to counselor, because the entire conversation is traveling over iCarol’s secure servers. The conversation is secure when passing over our servers, but there times that the conversation is flowing over the telephone wireless network. While phone companies do make some promises about data protection, they are not complete. This is true for any text messaging service.

Visitor Mobility

Live Chat Texting
Live chat is typically conducted via a computer, and so the visitor will likely stay in one place while chatting. Visitors might use their smart phone’s web browser to view your website and start a chat, in which case they may be more mobile. Very mobile, since visitors will be using their smart phone to text in to your service. They could text you from the bus, from a library, the park, etc. and may be on the go as they carry on the conversation.

Length of the Conversation

The overwhelming majority of our clients report that any online interaction, whether via chat or text, take much more time than a phone call. Our clients tell us that a typical chat, for example, may be an hour or more long.

Live Chat Texting
The entire conversation takes place during a single session, and there is a clear beginning and end. It’s not uncommon to have these sessions last an hour or more. Also longer than phone calls, but this conversation may span several days, or even weeks. Think about how when you text with a friend, they may suddenly “drop off” because they got busy and had to turn their attention elsewhere. Later, when they’re available again, they may text you back to continue where they left off. The same can happen with visitors texting in to your service.

Usage costs

Live Chat Texting
There are no per-message or per-Chat costs for live chat. We offer bundles of text messages to you at a nominal cost. Depending on the subscription your visitor has purchased with their wireless phone carrier, they might also incur per-text costs from their mobile provider’s network.

Setting a Service Area

Live Chat Texting
When the visitor clicks the Chat Now button, they’ll be taken to a registration screen. You can decide what questions, if any, you’d like to ask before they proceed to the chat. Using registration requirements before the chat begins, you can ensure that only visitors who identify as residing within a certain geographic area can enter the chat. You can optionally choose to have visitors register their phones prior to the very first time they send a text to you. This can help you collect data, ensure it’s not a “robot” text, and restrict service to a selected geographic area. For example, during registration, you can have the system ask visitors things like age range or gender, which funders may require. If you asked for geographic information, iCarol could automatically restrict service to visitors from an area you select. Visitors only have to answer these questions once; thereafter, iCarol will remember the answers they provided that first time they texted in.

So now you know some of the differences and similarities between offering Live Chat or Texting through iCarol at your helpline. If you’d like to learn more, why not join us for a webinar about Messaging with iCarol. Or you can with your questions.

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Digital Security in your Home Office

Security and Reliability

Digital security is an important component not just for your office but for your home network as well. In the past few months there have been some staggering revelations of security breaches and vulnerabilities, probably greater in magnitude than all of computing history combined before it. Heartbleed, Target credit cards, the NSA just to name a few biggies. It’s getting more dangerous out there… Here are some tips I would suggest you follow on an ongoing basis to protect your digital security at home.

  • Only use WPA2 encryption on your home wifi network. It can also be known as WPA2-Personal or WPA2-PSK. For more information you can check out this website

  • If your access point supports having an unencrypted “guest” network in front of the DMZ, that is fine too. The DMZ keeps unauthorized traffic from your internal, encrypted network.

  • Keep your router’s firmware up to date. Annually is probably sufficient. This makes sure any newly found vulnerabilities, coming both from your internet connection and over your wifi, that have been patched will be in place to protect you.

  • Always keep the operating system on your computer, tablet and mobile phone up to date. You may think it is just cosmetic changes but they almost always have important security updates too.
    OS X: Updating OS X
    Windows Update
    Update an Android
    Update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  • The most secure major web browser to use today is Google Chrome, partly because it is based on an open-source rendering engine, but also because it gets more frequent updates than some of its competitors

  • Of course, always run antivirus software. My favorite for years is the free version of Avast. They will try gently but repeatedly to get you to buy the paid version but the free version is sufficient for most home offices.

  • Windows Defender protects against spyware/malware (integrated in later versions of Windows)

By following these tips you can better ensure that the activity on your home network is safe and secure.

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