Why am I doing this?

The Covid pandemic has changed people's behaviour in many ways. We are performing tasks such as working, shopping and even socialising over the internet, more so than ever before.

This change has been even more of a culture shock for older people why may have not previously considered online retail or banking, let alone Zoom calls.

I have noticed, speaking to family and friends, that many people have computers while not feeling entirely comfortable with them. They may have forked out for a nice piece of kit, which they don't feel massively confident about using. So they end up playing Spider Solitaire rather than getting the full range of benefits that their computer offers them.

New technology can be intimidating, and many people in my industry - the IT industry - are not always the best explainers. Techies have a reputation for not being overly approachable and, when you do get to ask them a technical question, they answer it in a way that is not easily understood. So some computer users go further into their shell when they encounter a problem.

In addition to this, there is a whole industry geared to conning people out of their hard-earned savings. Innocent people can lose thousands of pounds as the results of computer hacks, phishing emails, identity theft, ransomware and numerous other computer scams.

A gap in the market?

My google searching has shown competitors who doing of what I intend to do, but not the whole thing. Yes there is general computer tuition, yes business offer courses desinged to make their customers aware of computer threats. But the gap I intend to fill is this: a friendly and approachable IT professional who will work one to one with customers and address their concerns with examples and interactive exercises while (and this is the most important bit) explaining things in plain, comprehensible English. While the Web Safety Guru material follows a basic script, the pace and precise content we cover will depend on the customer. For example if a customer never uses social media or never uses the internet outside their home, we can skip those sections and concentrate on other priorities. Alternatively, if a customer has an extremely lax password regime, or has active viruses on their computer, then we'll spend much more time on the issues of passwords or malware.

Flexibility

The Web Safety Guru training is designed to be flexible and customer driven. I originally designed the main course to be delivered in the customer's house. Covid changed all that. While the Home Visit option remains in existence (subject to government restrictions and the general Covid situation), I rewrote the course so that it would work online and be delivered by Zoom. This changed the course in some ways, more slides and less talking from me. But more examples that I could show by sharing my screen.

The Covid crisis also enabled me to come up with two spin-off courses, both designed specifically for Zoom. The Email masterclass lets me show the student a whole set of emails that I have collected for the purpose of showing the telltale signs of scams. I would never dream of sending these emails to a client, imagine the risk if one was clicked by accident. So Zoom tuition allows me to demonstrate a lot more, and in a way that is entirely risk free to the customer. The second spin-off course concentrates around the risks of Social Media. I demonstrate the things you can do to protect your privacy and online reputation. I'll also explain some of the things you should NEVER do on social media. And I can do all this without needing to see the customer's own Facebook account.
Every problem is an opportunity and the Covid crisis allowed me to improve both the range and the quality of the material I can discuss with my customers. That being said, some customers will prefer Home Visits so I'm keeping that option available.


ABOUT WEB SAFETY GURU

Web Safety Guru offers one to one computer training designed to keep you safe online.

We'll discuss: passwords and security, email scams, viruses and malware, cookies and privacy, safety on social media and safety on public networks.

Visit the homepage to learn more about the options for Zoom courses and home tuition.