Computers for Seniors: A Guide

A Seniors Guide to IT & Computing

My senior customers often complain that they find computers scary, and this updated Computers for Seniors post is designed to quell those fears and boost your confidence.

Fear of computers and technology is common when they did not play a significant part in peoples early or working lives. But with a little time, and some basic training, it can be cured and the transition to computing made a lot easier.

The New Reality

Technology is all-pervasive in modern society & the pace will only quicken.

Online Banking, Social Contact, Shopping and Entertainment require a good basic knowledge of computers. If you don’t know how to get online, or where to begin, it can be very isolating.

Online Safety First

There is no doubt that there is a dark side to the internet. If you believe what you hear in the news then viruses and malware run rampant online, and criminals lurk in the shadows intent on stealing your money and personal data.

As scary as it sounds, that is not so far from the truth. But there are a few simple steps you can take to significantly reduce the risks, and stay safe online. We recommend that you read our other posts on Online Safety for Beginners, and Technical Support Scams also Invest in decent internet security (avoid the free ones), Install an Adblocker, and do not open any attachments, or links, in Emails unless you know they’re safe. 

Lastly, be aware that scams are an increasing threat to individuals and we recommend that you keep an eye on the ACCC Scamwatch to help you stay on top of all the latest threats.

Technology Can Be Your Friend

As scary as it may seem at first, Technology can be your friend. 

Once you get over the initial speed bumps of learning to interact with your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it can open a whole new world to you and help you stay connected with the outside world.  At the end of the day, Technology is a tool – so embrace it, and make it work for you. 

Small Steps

Like anything new, approaching it head on can be confronting. To avoid techno-shock the key thing to remember is that you do not need to know everything. Take small steps and focus on what you want to accomplish.

TIP: Choose 2-3 things you want to be able to accomplish and focus on those (you can always add more later).

Technology Helps Seniors Stay Connected

We live in a time when families are increasingly separated across national and international borders.

Covid-19 has really served as a wedge further isolating families and making those regular family gatherings and visits more difficult.

When you cannot be with those you love, Technology can be an effective bridge to help you stay connected.

For anyone, seniors included, Applications like Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom can help to bridge that gap and keep you connected.

connecting with family

Don’t Struggle

Like anything in life, if you’re having problems it is important to confront it head on. If you stew on it, or set it aside for another time, then that problem will only grow in your mind and act as a barrier to you getting back online.

Talk to family / friends about the issue. If you cannot figure it out between you, then enlist help.

Depending on your budget, and preferred learning style you can buy a book, take a course with the Hornsby Community College or similar, find some on-line training, or reach out to Excalibur IT for some one-to-one assistance.

For many of my senior customers who are considering getting into computers, the list goes a little something like this: How to send an Email, using Facebook and Skype to stay in touch with friends and family, internet banking and a bit of basic internet browsing. Most customers only use about 5% of their computers potential, but that’s all they need and there is not need to complicate matters.

In summary, do what works for you, and don’t be afraid of Technology. Embrace it and make it work for you. You don’t need to know any more than you need to accomplish your goals – and Excalibur IT can show you the way.

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