TELUS WISE Seniors – Helping Seniors Feel Comfortable with Tech & Navigate the Wired World
I remember back in the late 80s, my parents brought home our family’s very first computer. We used floppy discs and DOS commands, and the monochrome monitor with its amber font seemed like such a novelty. We thought our dot matrix printer was the coolest thing ever.
Back then, it was my parents who taught us everything about tech and computers. It seems that now it’s my parents who need some help feeling comfortable with tech — namely their smartphone! They know a great deal about their personal computers, but when it comes to their shared smartphone, they could use some guidance.
“Oh, we don’t need a smartphone!”
This is an argument I have with my parents regularly. I tell them that they absolutely need a cell phone in case of an emergency. What if you are in an accident or something happened and you will be late to an appointment or meeting or something? To be honest, it just gives me a bit of peace of mind as their daughter to know that I can reach them and they can be reached.
Another thing that perplexes me is their idea that they need to turn off their phone when they are not using it. “Oh! I don’t want to eat up my data! Do you know every time I turn on my phone, it sucks up my data? Oh, and I have to pay for text messages too!”
*sigh* “You can get a very economical data plan.”
“Oh, no. We don’t use our phone. Only for emergencies and when we are traveling on the road. We don’t want to pay for a plan if we aren’t using our phone.”
I’ve since decided that I will not pressure them into embracing the smartphone generation and let them use theirs as much or as little as they are comfortable with.
Then something funny happened.
I’m not exactly sure what the issue was, but Mom had some questions. She didn’t come to me though. She called TELUS customer service.
The customer service representative walked her through the steps of whatever issue she was having and helped her with all her queries. Mom called me to tell me how pleased she was and how amazing TELUS is.
All that aside, Mom and Dad are very proficient when it comes to their desktop computers. They each have their own personal computer on which they play games on, read the news, catch up with family and friends on Facebook, and stream movies and TV shows.
There are many older adults who are tech savvy, but there are also some who aren’t comfortable or want to learn more. Did you know that over 40% of seniors are active on social networks like Facebook? There are many resources available to help seniors stay safe online.
Have you heard about TELUS has TELUS WISE Seniors?
I am a big advocate of TELUS WISE, as internet and smartphone safety are a priority of mine. With a school-aged child who is now doing a lot of work for school online, we need to make sure she is safe on the net.
Internet and smartphone safety is not just important for tweens, teens, and all students, but also for adults…and yes, seniors.
TELUS WISE Seniors is a program offered by TELUS available free of charge to Canadian seniors who are already using the internet and want to learn more about internet and smartphone safety.
General internet and smartphone safety tips
The TELUS WISE Seniors Guide offers details on safety tips:
- Setting strong passwords
- Software upgrades for your smartphone, tablet, and computer
- Creating a Google Alert for your name
- Keeping your browser in check
- Being careful about sharing personal information online
- Thinking before you click
- Shopping online
- Taking and sharing photos
In the past year or so, quite a few seniors I know have been taken advantage of online. Five friends (between the ages of 75 and 91) have been the victims of online scams. Three have even had people impersonating them by opening Facebook accounts with their names and using their photos.
TELUS WISE Seniors has tips that are important for not just seniors, but for everyone using the internet. One very important tip is “Never click links in emails telling you to upgrade your software.” Also, hover over links to identify if an email is legitimate or not.
Protecting yourself from identity theft is a topic covered in the TELUS WISE Seniors Guide. It’s definitely worth the read. If you have a parent or grandparent who uses the internet or smartphone and who wants to learn more about navigating the wired world, tell them about TELUS WISE Seniors.
TELUS Wise Seniors Workshops can be booked for community groups by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure – This post was written in affiliation with TELUS as part of the #TeamTELUS advocate program. All thoughts and opinions on this blog belong to the author. *This post was typed by Tammy on behalf of Christine, who is still in recovery from her head injury.*