Become more tech-savvy with these helpful internet, smartphone, email, and social media hints.
While technology use is increasing across the generations, it’s especially soaring among older adults. A recent Pew Research study showed a 55% increase in the number of seniors using the internet over the last 20 years, and 50% have broadband at home – for the first time. While technology can be incredibly helpful in our daily lives, its ever-changing nature can make it a bit daunting. Here are a few simple technology tips for seniors to become more tech-savvy when using the internet, smartphones, email, and social media.
1. Choose strong passwords
For every website or account with a login, choose a unique password that only you would know. Use special characters and symbols, and consider using longer words strung together. Don’t send your password information by email or social media and avoid entering your password unless you recognize the website you are visiting.
Find more tips on picking secure passwords here.
2. When in doubt, Google it
Interested in learning more about an event or company online? You don’t need to know their web address – you can use Google to search for it. Google is the most-used search engine that provides safe and trusted answers to any question you may have online. It can help you order groceries, look up the latest news, and troubleshoot any technical issues you may face during your online experience.
3. Keep your antivirus software up to date
If you don’t already have antivirus software installed on your computer, consider downloading it. There are many free options available that can protect your device from hackers or malicious viruses and software. These tools run in the background on your computer, so you don’t have to do anything more than occasionally update them. You will then be able to browse the internet while feeling a little more secure.
4. Change your settings for easy reading
If you feel like the text size on the screen of your smartphone is too small, you can change your settings to increase the text size and adjust the screen brightness. Find out how to change them here.
5. Add contacts for family and friends
Your phone allows you to store saved contact information for your family and friends so you no longer have to type in or remember each individual’s phone number. Read through these instructions on how to add a contact to your phone, whether you use an Android or an iPhone.
6. Use a captioned telephone
If you can’t hear on your smartphone, consider a CapTel captioned telephone to help stay in touch with the people you care about. CapTel phones show captions of everything the caller says, to help you catch every word.
7. Don’t reply to emails from people you don’t know
Although it isn’t pleasant to think about, there are dangerous scammers out there who send alluring emails to try to steal personal information. You can steer clear of these cyber criminals by choosing not to open or reply to any emails from people you don’t know. Remember: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
8. Be careful when you click on a link or attachment
Before you click on a link in an email or download an attachment, make sure you confirm the identity of the sender. If the email came from someone you know, it is likely safe to open the link or attachment. However, it’s always best to use caution when handling anything unknown on the internet.
9. Avoid oversharing
While social media is undoubtedly intended for communicating with others, consider being selective about the information you share. Personal information such as your social security number, phone number, and address should never be shared on a public forum or with strangers online. Aside from your personal information, also be mindful of anything you share about people you know without first asking them for permission.
10. Follow online etiquette
There are a few unspoken rules that social media users follow. For example, writing with the caps lock turned on is generally interpreted as shouting. Emojis and other images can also have their own meanings, so it’s best to research an unknown symbol before using it on social media or any other website.
Find more social media tips for seniors here.
We hope these technology tips for seniors help you feel more comfortable and confident when you head online. For more senior living and wellness tips, browse our blog today.