Secret #51 Technology for Retirees

seniors technology

Most new retirees these days have a fairly good grasp on technology however some of the older ones do not so lets start off by assuming you have little knowledge.

Mobiles

In an aim to keep control of our finances let’s have a look at what we need. Most retirees need to make calls, emails, talk to grandkids, mobile banking, maybe some Facebook. With unlimited calls and text on most plans the only other thing to consider is the data. Because you will probably be home a lot of the time you can access the internet on your NBN or internet plan.

So if you do not have Internet at home you may need more data. So the last choice is your phone. I personally like to buy my phone outright and buy a prepaid plan. I bought a Huawei Nova which is a great phone. Just do your research looking for storage, speed and screen size.

You can get a great quality phone for all the above for around $300. If you want an Iphone then there are lots of places who deal in refurbished ones.

A prepaid plan on Amaysim, TPG, Coles or Woolworth you can get 3 to 10 gig data, unlimited calls and text in Australia for 10 to 20 dollars. These are usually 45 days saving you two months a year.

Most of these are on the Optus network however Belong is on the Telstra network. You can find some good deals on Vodaphone as well. Always do some research as they all change.

Two year plans and phones on contract can be quite expensive because they charge every 28 days.

Home Internet – with the govt bringing out NBN nationwide the plan choices are pretty limited. The only way to cut costs here is to share with someone else.

If you’re really hard up there are now plenty of free internet stops like libraries, large retail and food chains. 

Use A Hotspot Database

If you don’t have one of those stores around — or if you can’t stand the smell of coffee — it’s time to turn to a hotspot database like WeFi. They have a huge list of over 100 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world, including rural areas you might not expect. 

The coverage for Australia isn’t spectacular, but it’s an additional resource that may be worthwhile. The site also has apps for iPhone and Android, so you’re never without a search engine to find yourself a connection.

Computers – You may already have a computer however if not then I would suggest a laptop as you can move it around. It will connect to the internet with wifi like your phone so you can connect anywhere there is a wifi connection. You can even use your phone Internet as a hotspot. Just look it up on Google or ask on the forum.

The question always is Apple or PC. The answer is these days they are both pretty good so whichever you can get the best deal on.

Security – Lots of elderly people get hacked and conned for some very basic reason which can be prevented. These apply to mobile, computer and tablets.

    1. Check Before You Click. If you hover over the link in your email you can see the address in the bottom left of your screen. You can also see them for websites and other documents. Check before you click. Never click on links in emails.
  • Stay Updated. Always do any software updates as it is usually to close security breaches. Also make sure you backup anything you want to keep. Photos, documents etc can all be stored on a google account, Apple cloud or Dropbox. Contact us in the forum if you need more info,
  • Create strong passwords. Your first,second and last name and your birthday month and year and cap lock 1234 and then for where. You can use the initial code for all and easy to remember. If not your birthday then address or some other number sequence.

    So Robert John Smith 27/09/1950 !@#$ gmail

Looks Like this Rjs27091950!@#$Gmail for Gmail
Looks Like this Rjs27091950!@#$CBA for Commonwealth Bank

    1. Log Out. When you sign into any account be sure to sign out when you leave. Never leave it open even if you go away from your computer.
  • Banking Apps. Most retirees I talk to are worried about using the mobile bank apps however they are probably the safest ways of checking balances and paying bills etc.

    This worry changes after I show them how to set it up and use them which is very simple and your bank will also help. Pay your bills from home, transfer money etc. all on your phone.
  • Emails. One of the most common places people get infected and scammed is through emails. They see an email that seems to be from a friend and click on a link and boom infection. Not only that but it can download things onto your computer that can track you accounts etc. So CHECK BEFORE YOU CLICK. Another way to secure yourself is to use something like Gmail which is free and will filter out the majority automatically.
  1. Share with care. Be aware of what you share publicly on social media sites like Facebook. Adjust your privacy settings to limit who can see your information.

    We see so many sharing scams and other misleading information. Use a site like scam alert and enter in the heading to see if its valid.

    Go to https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/ for what’s happening and https://www.snopes.com/ to check a heading now.
  2. Use security software. Install security software on your devices from a reliable source and keep it updated. It is best to run the antivirus and anti-spyware software regularly. Be wary of security updates from pop-up ads or emails. They may actually be malware that could infect your computer.

    Two good free options are

Avast: https://www.avast.com/en-au/free-antivirus-download
AVG: https://www.avg.com

  1. Adjust your browser safety settings. You likely search for news, information and products by using an internet browser such as Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari. 

Adjust your settings in each of those browsers to set your options for optimum security. Those menus can often be found in the upper right corner of your browser. Consider clearing your browsing history at the end of your session so you don’t leave a trail of sensitive data.

Alternatively use the incognito window or private browser to secure your browsing activity.

I have been using a new one called Brave which blocks adds etc. and also seems very secure and fast. https://brave.com/
You can use it on all devices.

  1.  The last part of security is keep everything updated. Most attacks happen because people are using old software with vulnerabilities. Whichever device you use make sure it is always up to date. Virus software also needs to be kept up to date with new virus definitions. 

It’s nothing to be scared of as it is just a matter of setting up some procedures. I had a friend who got hacked last week however we had set up the above so it was only a few hours and he had it all back up and running.

His grandson had clicked on a link in an email which initiated a hack so keep an eye on what you allow them to do and train them.

Retirement may be an ending, a closing, but it is also a new beginning.     

Catherine Pulsifer

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