For many younger people using the internet is a way of life, as natural as reading a book or turning on the TV.
But for some members of the older generation going online can be a daunting experience.
Recent research shows that 5.3 million people in the UK have never been online, while there are 11.9 million people who don’t have the digital skills to do basic life and work tasks online.
But this year Get Online Week is encouraging more older people to try using the internet for the first time - or to brush up on their existing skills with a little help from a friend or family member.
For anybody looking to help get a parent or older relative online why not try these helpful tips and activities:
- Spend an hour with your relative trying this Get Online Week bingo card. It contains 16 challenges to practise online skills ranging from reading a news article to finding a recipe, booking an appointment and installing an app
- Talk about which online activities would make your relative’s life easier. Would online banking mean they don’t have to make an arduous journey into town? If so, show them how they can bank securely online
- Make sure that they are aware of online dangers such as scams and fraudsters. Online scams that target older people are becoming increasingly prevalent, with the total number of reports almost doubling in the last three years. Make sure they know to be cautious when opening emails from people they don’t know and never to give their personal details to strangers. For more information about online scams and how to report them click here
- Show them how to create a strong password containing both uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers
- As more and more people turn to online shopping, make sure your relative knows how to identify legitimate shopping sites. When showing them how to make an online purchase, things to point out include a secure padlock symbol in the URL bar at the top, an address starting with ‘https’ and an up-to-date security certificate
- Is granny missing the grandkids? Does grandad live a long way away? If so, why not show them how to send an email or make a video call with FaceTime or any of the other leading apps such as Skype. That way they can keep in much closer contact with those they care about
- Suggest dropping into one of KCOM’s free monthly “IT and Biscuits” drop-in sessions, which are held in our Learning Zone, in Carr Lane, Hull city centre. Here, our helpful staff and IT experts will be able to give visitors hands-on practical advice on how to get the most out of their laptop or tablet. On Tuesday, 5 November, the Learning Zone will be hosting a special IT and Biscuits session when KCOM staff will be joined by banking experts from Hull’s Nationwide Building Society. At this event advisers will provide more information about staying safe online and also tough new “strong customer authentication” security measures that are now being introduced. For more details click here.
Get Online Week runs from 14 to 20 October. For more useful tips about how to bank, pay bills and make appointments online click here