Technology and the Older Generation

Having stepped into the guru role in O2, I’ve learned that although I’m mostly up to date with new trends in technology, there are many people of different ages and backgrounds who may find it difficult to adapt to the latest trends. As a guru, within the first 10 minutes of a session, we are able to grasp the level of confidence around the understanding of this technology.

Kids are the backbone of our future generation so it’s vital that we turn our attention to our children and monitor their day to day activities when it comes to the use of technology. There are lots of different websites and apps available to help gather an understanding of how harmful technology can be, but the best method of educating your child is to have a sit down with them and have a conversation about the dangers out there.

Being in partnership with the NSPCC, Shareaware is a very useful website aimed at educating parents on how to teach their children about online safety. Shareaware can educate people of all ages and can be used to strengthen a family’s understanding of harmful apps and websites.

At the same time, we can’t forget about our older generation. Technology may be new to them and online safety is equally as important. Newer technology can prove difficult to use and comes with both its pros and cons, for anyone new to this tech….more cons. For example, an older person may acquire their first smartphone and rely on the guru service to educate them.

We understand that we may need to speak at a different level so that they can understand. Another thing to note is that, not every older person can be offered help with new technology, mainly because they live on their own and the journey to town can be a long one. Although the O2 guru service and the NSPCC website talk a lot about the safety of children, the information can also be used to educate older people and those more vulnerable on the dangers of the internet.

Scams

There are many scams out there and many older people are at risk. Scams can range from emails that may at first seem to present themselves as urgent or genuine, when in fact they are not. There were 3.4 million incidents of fraud in the year to March 2017. Over half of these (57%) were cyber-related.

This compares to 3.3 million incidents of theft. It also means nearly a third (31%) of all crime is fraud. Customers are led to believe that websites need their bank details or personal information and due to the uncertainty of the subject, it can lead to a loss of money. As a pensioner, money can be hard to come by.

Emails. When it comes to emails, pensioners often need new email accounts to set up and apps and services. However, with emails, comes spam mail and phishing emails. These emails can be very misleading, an example would be an email from apple, that actually hasn’t come from Apple and asks for card details as they need ‘updated’.

Therefore, the Guru service can educate customers on how to recognise spam and how to deal with it. As a Guru, I am happy for a customer to book in, maybe just even for a chat so that I am able to educate them on how to keep safe in the modern world.

O2’s partnership with the NSPCC is brilliant. Customers can avail of a free service that not only educates customers on the tech that they’ve purchased but also on the online dangers and how to keep your family safe. In this instance keeping older people safe.

O2 and NSPCC want to help your family enjoy the best of the digital world safely and confidently. To help, we’ve put lots of useful information on our website. Or if you would prefer to speak to someone, call our online safety advice helpline, visit o2.co.uk/nspcc or call 0808 800 5002. Lines are open from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 6pm on weekends and will be free of charge.

The NSPCC helpline is open 24 hours a day, ready to give support and advice to any adult who’s worried about a child. Call 0800 800 5000, visit nspcc.org.uk/help, email help@nspcc.org.uk