Social distancing without the isolation: helping older Australians connect online

With so many people practising social distancing in the face of COVID-19, friends and family of older Australians can help them avoid social isolation by assisting them to get established online. 

eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, said there are great resources on eSafety’s Be Connected website for older Australians to develop online skills and navigate the digital world with confidence.

"According to our research, 57% of Australians aged 70 and older have low to no digital literacy," she said. "Among those over 50, 62% have never made a video call and 58% have never chatted on social media.

"At a time when video calls and online purchasing are encouraged, we need to ensure older Australians receive the right advice and support to help them interact online safely."

Many older Australians are nervous about even establishing an online presence due to safety concerns. However, the Be Connected site has great information about staying safe online and avoiding scams.

To help family and friends inspire seniors about the benefits of being online, eSafety’s Get Started app has fun ideas and suggestions. 

"It could mean teaching them how to make a video call or shop online safely. It will all help interacting with the world in this rapidly changing environment," said Julie Inman Grant.

The Be Connected website established by eSafety is a dedicated learning site with over 45 free online courses plus interactive training tools and resources. These include courses on:

There is also detailed information in a blogpost for older Australians, Coronavirus: how to get advice, stay connected and shop online

 

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Gavin Hanbridge: 

0438 453 894 or media@esafety.gov.au 

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