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These days more and more of our seniors are using the Internet to check the news, weather, shopping and some are starting to use social sites to find people of similar ages and interests. Many of our seniors live alone and although they sometimes have trips organised by church groups and Age UK, there is still a large amount of time when they are alone and this is where the Internet can provide enormous help. Going online and seeing what is happening in the world not only passes time but gives them uplift mentally. Nowadays the internet has made available a tremendous amount of chances that allows our senior citizens to talk to people all over the world, make friend and share both their experience and knowledge together, give advice to each other on a huge range of subjects from DIY to cooking and more. You are never too old to learn and by sharing experiences and knowledge this enables you to become more adept in life.
When a senior gets on the internet a whole new world opens up for them, they can find special offers from companies, discounts on shopping, new hobbies, discounted holidays especially tailored for seniors, charity work and so much more. Previously they may have had no chance to enjoy the life of socialising as they got older but with the internet they now do.
Teaching Senior Citizens Computer Skills. Here we offer advice on basic computer skills for seniors: The Internet has completely changed how people keep in touch, keep up to date with the news, shop online and even play games. However there are still problems that may hinder some Senior Citizens from going online and using new technology with all its benefits. However more and more seniors have a positive outlook about the online benefits that are available. However once online, many of our seniors regularly use the internet.
Teaching Seniors how to use the internet: Some Senior Citizens have problems that can range from physical to finding it difficult to grasp the internet technology. This is because many are simply not confident in their own ability to learn and use electronic devices and that is where we can often help .
- Virtually all adults aged 16 to 34 years were recent internet users (99%), in contrast with 41% of adults aged 75 years and over.
- Women aged 75 and over, had seen the largest rise in recent internet use, up 169.0% from 2011; however, still less than a third (32.6%) were recent users in 2016.
- Recent internet use among women aged 75 and over had almost trebled from 2011.
Teaching senior citizens computer skills: Nowadays more and more Senior Citizens are using tablets to help them keep in touch with friends and family. Normally, these are easy to use, lightweight, and have touch screens. They are far easier to use and less complicated than a laptop, but some seniors may still feel hesitant about them. Some think of getting a smart phone, but these screens are normally 5 inch, which is a bit too small for seniors and the buttons are very small for those with arthritis. People are inclined to worry over dropping and breaking an expensive tablet or are concerned that if they have hands that can shake, it will make it it hard to use the touchscreen. However, using a stylus can normally solve this problem.
One should never think that being a senior you will automatically understand how to use all the features of a tablet / smartphone etc. Someone needs to be either there to help and advise from the beginning. You are going to be the one using it from now on, so getting a feel for it now is a good step forward. You are going to feel worried and unsure about how to get the applications you may require, enjoy or like to use in the future. Some seniors may be worried about putting their personal information online. A lot of of you will have family to help but some don’t have nearby family that can pop in and sort things This is where we come in. We are here to help and explain what you need to do. Just use our contact form and put your questions in and we will give you advice by email or phone. We will advise on tablet safety, password management, the best apps to get, setting up email, security, best search engines, explain the technical terms and so much more. We can also help with smartphones.We are here to offer advice and to start with we would suggest installing an “Easy Mode” Launcher which could make thing simpler for you. The 2 main easy Modes are either the Necta Launcher or the Wiser. We find Necta scores over Wiser with its apps, which are easier to use and have smart features like SOS. But Wiser scores over Necta with the simplified notifications. I personally prefer the Necta, as I feel it is easier to understand and has the features set out below: A two-tone design of blue and white which gives big icons and a large font, making it more legible than default Android, especially for older users. It comes with custom apps for dialling your numbers, SMS, camera and gallery. It has a flashlight app to use your camera’s LED flash as a torch, all of which are streamlined for easy use. It has the ability for you to contact up to 3 people in an emergency, they will be notified by the SOS app that is installed this can be activated by tapping the icon or waving your hand over the screen three times. A quick wave didn’t do anything in our test, but a slow and deliberate wave worked as advertised. Both the wiser and the Necta are available for free from the Google Play Store.
If you are a Senior Citizen just starting on the internet this is for you. The internet is an enormous hub of computer networks that connects all the computing devices in the world. These include Desktop machines, Laptops, Smartphones, Game consoles and GPS coordinates for your Sat Nav to name but a few.
- The World Wide Web stores digital content that is accessed by people using the internet.
- A Browser is basically a search engine that projects web pages onto your computer screen. The main Browsers are Google, Google Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
- Web pages are what are shown in your browser when you are on the internet. They are like looking at pages in a catalogue; you see writing, photos, designs links to other pages, advertisements and so much more.
- When you click on a photo it can expand and enlarge the photo, or piece of text that is either underlines or in a different colour. This will take you to a different webpage that will describe in more detail the content you had been reading.
- An IP Address. Every device that can connect to the internet has an Internet Protocol address. This is needed to identify the device. An IP address is given automatically so you don’t have to worry about this. The address is a series of numbers for example 184.108.40.206. When you go on the net either to browse or send mail your IP address is seen, this is so it is known who you are. It is possible to use a VPN Virtual Private Network that will change your address when you are on the net. It works by changing the country you are in and encrypts your mail and personal details from others.
- ISP. This is an Internet Service Provider that connects you to the internet and without which you cannot use the internet. It is possible to access a free ISP at schools, libraries, work place or hot spots. Initially however you will need an ISP at home and these can be obtained from many companies including Sky or BT. These companies offer internet access for a monthly charge.
- A Router or Modem is the hardware box that connects your device to the Internet, it provides some protection against hackers, and however it is always a very good idea to have extra security such as Norton.
- Email is the sending and receiving of messages from one electronic gadget to another. They are usually sent through web mail servers such as Googles Gmail or Outlook.com. When you get your first device be it a computer or a phone, you then create an email address. The easiest way to do this is by joining Google and using their web mail service. When you have your email address you pass it on to friends and family so that you can easily keep in touch with one another. For Shopping and Business dealings it is always a good idea to use a second email address.
- You will quite often find that you receive spam. This is normally advertising or hackers trying to get you to reveal your personal information which can end up being dangerous. However always check your spam folder that is your mailbox menu as occasionally genuine messages can be placed in spam. We find that Outlook.com is very good as it has a facility which enables you to block messages forever from spammers.
- Never give out your password, DOB, address bank account details, and if you find a message that is from someone you do not know never click on any links in that message.
- The big thing on the net now is Social Media. This is an online facility that enables you to connect with thousands of other people with similar interests to you. Facebook and Twitter are the main sites for social media. If you are a professional then Linked In is a good site. Social Media accounts are free. Be careful however when joining you do not reveal too much information about yourself. Check out the section that allows you to decide what information about yourself you want to be on public view.
- E-commerce is online selling and buying. Millions of pounds are exchanged daily through e commerce. When buying on an e commerce site always make sure that it has https:// at the beginning of the address as this will mean that the page you are going onto is encrypted. That is, it has a special layer that helps to keep your information secure.
- Encryption is the basis for how we use the internet as a pipeline to conduct trusted business, like online banking and online credit card purchasing. When reliable encryption is in place, your banking information and credit card numbers are kept private.
- Authentication is directly related to encryption. Authentication is the complex way that computer systems verify that you are who you say you are.
- Downloading is a term for taking something that you are reading and placing it in your computer. Usually you download music and files of things you want to use on your computer.
- A beginner should always make sure that they have a firewall activated. These are software that protect against hacking and viruses and Malware. This is a program that enables hackers to take your private information, seize control of your computer or your credit cards. Computers usually come with firewall installed but if you get extra security then it will usually have a much stronger firewall, for this we suggest Norton or AVG.
Below are the main problems you need to know when starting on the internet and getting your first laptop / tablet / smartphone in action. If it is not a new one, some of the following points will need to be looked at:
- For security reasons ensure your version of windows is at least windows 7 as anything less can allow viruses to get in.
- Usually your new tablet or computer already has windows installed, so after switching on, the first thing you must do is install anti-virus programme, I personally use Norton and have for many many years, but if you don’t want to spend any more money, AVG offer a free anti-virus obviously it does not have as many features to keep you safe, but you get what you pay for.
- Then you need to create a password. It really needs to be a strong one. I suggest you use letters, numbers and punctuation with at least 6 to 8 eg Lum692@!.
- Always try and use a different password for everything.
- Next you need a search engine. This is required to enable you to get onto the internet and seek the answer to the questions you have. I find the best search engine is Google.
- To use the search engine you type the key words of what you are seeking eg if you want a dentist near where you live you would type in “dentist” and the name of your home town into the search box and then press the search button.
- Use key words, not the full sentence. As an example, instead of typing “I need tips for growing tomatoes” simply type “growing tomatoes”. A list of search results will appear, with the most popular websites near the top of the list.
- Experience has told us that the best email provider is Google that is Gmail.
- Never open an email from someone you have never heard of. Delete it immediately.
- You can put a block on unwanted and spam emails via your email account.
- Never tell anyone your password or any personal information. No legitimate company will ever ask you for your password. Including your email address in a web page is a sure way to attract spam. Spammers have programs that crawl the web looking for email addresses. You need to set up a secondary email address for your website. I use outlook.com as it has a function that can block unwanted emails.
- Always buy from retailers that have a good reputation as ‘high street’ shops, or established brands such as Amazon who are trustworthy and quite often cheaper than all the others.
- Always read the security advice carefully on websites as it’s there to ensure you are safe.
- A good way to stay safe on the internet is to go onto “bbc.co.uk/webwise” and click on to the ‘Safety and privacy’ section
- Get into the habit of looking over your bank and credit card statements when they arrive, I usually check mine online weekly and look for charges that you don’t remember incurring. If you find any, contact your bank or Credit Card Company immediately. If you find any fraudulent charges, tell the bank that you require new credit card numbers.
- Never order goods on a public computer or by using your smartphone on public Wi-Fi or hot spot, as your personal information may be hacked. It is possible for hackers to get all your personal information and data. Better not chance it. You can however get VPN, which would allow you to do this safely. Norton is a provider of this and it is quite cheap.
There is so much more I could tell you but I think you would get bored, so please if you have any other queries at all just contact us. And we will come back to you very quickly with an answer.
FIND BELOW USEFUL LINKS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS ON THE INTERNET
Sites to help Senior Citizens with there questions