Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Alert

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) it may take longer than usual to address all reports or enquiries made with our investigation teams.

Please continue to submit reports and we will review them as soon as possible.

If you are worried about your safety or are at risk of harm right now contact police immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).

If you need someone to talk to and are under 25, contact Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).
For all other ages, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Attitudes and motivations

The majority of older Australians would like to use the internet more. They prefer to learn face to face with family, friends and colleagues.

Older Australians’ attitudes

  • 6/10 limit learning new digital skills to only necessary tasks
  • 4/10 forget how to do things on devices because of irregular use
  • 3/10 don’t like experimenting with new tasks because they end up having to ask for help

Older Australians’ motivations

7/10 with low or no digital literacy skills want face-to-face help.

Top three preferred training methods:

  • 26% - family, friends and colleagues
  • 24% - one-on-one classes in person
  • 23% - group classes or face to face

The desire to increase internet use decreases with age:

  • 76% - 50 to 69 years old
  • 67% - 70+ years old

Older Australians prefer to learn from someone they know however many reported that often loved ones do not understand how hard it is for them to learn new skills and that they can be impatient with them, leading to further anxiety and frustration.

1 in 2 think they will participate in the Be Connected initiative

53% are likely to use the portal:

  • 46% to learn something new
  • 22% to keep up with tech skills
  • 13% a good source of help
  • 10% ease of accessing training online

43% are unlikely to use the portal:

  • 28% believe their current skills are sufficient
  • 25% distrust the internet
  • 22% prefer traditional methods
  • 20% see no need

Source: Research commissioned by eSafety, May to June 2017. Respondents comprised 3,602 adults aged 50 years and over in Australia.

More findings from this research