Over the years, the use of technology has seen people move from using a simple single function devices to relying on increasingly complex ones with multiple uses and designs. As a result, many more people now have unparalleled access to the internet, smartphones, desktop computers, and an astounding array of gadgets. Although technology has made some -to-day activities easier, it is imperative to note that its dynamic nature can make it a bit daunting, especially for many seniors.
Here is a combination of safety tips, shortcuts, and “hacks” to help senior citizens utilize technology more safely with less stress:
Use a good and strong password
While creating a password, avoid using common keyboard patterns, your date of birth, your child’s name, your anniversary date, or any other common event. This is because such information can be easily found on your social media handles and profiles and used in a nefarious fashion. Instead, add a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters in both uppercase and lowercase. Moreover, keep track of all your passwords in a secure fashion and avoid auto-saving them in your computer.
Set up two step verification
This extra security step periodically asks for your password in order to access your account. Most social media sites and email providers will give you this option. For instance, before accessing your email from a different device or location, your email provider will send you a text message prompting you to provide the sign in code on the log in page. To set up two-step verification, check your accounts’ privacy settings.
Use information from secure websites only and guard your personal details
Always check the URL of the website you wish to access to confirm that it begins with ‘https.’ This means that it is safe since the ‘s’ shows that the site is secured using a TLS or SSS security certificate. An icon with the word secure or verified also shows that the website information is marked safe, and all your data is passed from your browser to the websites server in a much more secure way.
Use of smartphones
Customize your device by adjusting the settings
If the text size on your screen is too small, you can change your settings for font type, size, color, and even brightness. Depending on the type of smart phone you are using, here are some customizations you can do:
- Personalize your home screen
- Change your theme and wallpaper
- Use the calendar to set up reminders and alarms
- Change the keyboard type and wallpaper
- Install or delete apps
- Build custom themes and shapes
- Set scheduled text
Label your contacts
You can label your contacts as family, friend, or workmate tp help better orgam=nize them. This way, you do not have to type in or remember each person’s phone number individually. If you are using an android phone, open the contacts app and tap the outline of a person’s profile. Below it, you will see an addition sign, tap it, and choose the location you would like to save the contact. Follow the instructions to add name, title, image, and other details. Do not forget to save the changes!
Emails and messages
Avoid clicking on links, opening, or downloading attachments sent anonymously
Confirm the senders’ identity before opening or clicking on links. Be cautious when dealing with anything unknown on the internet. Unknown links and websites put you at a great risk of downloading software intended to disable or damage your device, or steal your information.
Technology tips to make life easier
- If you are looking for a free program or software, such as a video editor or collage maker, search for “open source” instead of free. This will help you avoid limited trial versions and malware.
- If you accidentally close a word file without saving it or your computer powers off unexpectedly, search for .asd file into the file explorer under “my personal computer(pc)” to find the document
- When you copy a text from the internet, to prevent it from formatting, use ctrl+ shift +v to paste it instead of the normal pasting option.
Tips to help you deal with common technological barriers
- If you have physical limitations such as visual impairment or manual dexterity, consider using a simple device or a voice-anchored device
- To keep up with the dynamic nature of technology, respond with an open mind or enroll in technology for adults’ campaigns and buy devices designed for senior citizens
- To understand how some gadgets work, buy tutorials and simple guides that you can fix on your kitchen wall or bathroom door. This will not only make it interesting but also easy to remember.
- You can avoid the information overload by restricting yourself to few sources that are reliable and credible. These sources must be true, authorized, and tested to provide accurate information
- Get assistance in learning how to use hand held devices, gadgets, and digital services such as mobile banking.