For sole traders, it can be especially difficult to source cyber support. Despite the government statistics suggesting that over a third of micro businesses are attacked by cyber criminals each year, the cost and the complexity of cyber can make it hard to know where to start. Maria Newman runs “Maria Newman Coaching”. She helps the retired, the redundant and the divorced to regain their confidence, reconnect with who they are and silence their inner critic so they can navigate life with certainty. She works with people from a variety of backgrounds, including those who have recently undergone significant life events, and engages a small number of people at once to offer them practical support, networking, and individual/ group programmes.
Maria had signed up for support from the South West Cyber Resilience Centre. We asked her why, and how she’d found it.
“Who to go to for advice and support is not necessarily obvious. Anything techie can be a bit overwhelming to start with. Especially because it's intangible and you need a safe place where you can ask silly questions. The issue of cyber security has been constantly on my mind, especially because I have a website, which is like my virtual shop. Our websites contain our own personal content and could also have e-commerce. What is most frightening is that someone could masquerade as you. So it feels like the more invested you are, the more vulnerable you can feel.
“Initially, I liked the presentation that the centre gave because it spoke in simple English. It wasn't scary, and there were a number of things that we could all do as a starter. Then when I joined, there was an email sequence that was sent out. It was written in a way that made it easy for me to understand and action. It wasn't overwhelming but shared information in bite sizes. Having done the initial check, I feel that things are ok, and I know that there’s more there if I ever need something more complicated.
“I also get regular updates now on what to look out for. Like everybody, I sometimes struggle with my inbox, but I know that being more aware is a good thing. What’s been the best thing about membership for me? The Cyber Resilience Centre has made it easy to take the first steps to feeling safe online."