Information technology

Australians rely on ‘a little help from their friends’

A new report from National Seniors Australia has shown that when it comes to getting good advice in the ‘information age’, older people favour humans over going online.

The report, released this week, shows that while digital technology has revolutionised information delivery, older people making important decisions about retirement first turn to trusted health and financial professionals or family and friends.

A Little Help from My Friends: Getting good advice in the Information Age

When the Beatles wrote “With a Little Help from My Friends” in 1967, they weren’t thinking about health and retirement advice, yet family and friends have always been a trusted source of information. Since the sixties, information delivery has been revolutionised by a new entrant, digital technology, which has changed, not only the way we now seek advice from experts, but also our loved ones and the general public. With the amount of information available expanding rapidly, information literacy has become increasingly important.

The new digital divide is among older Australians

Most older Australians won’t be shopping online or receiving e-Cards this Christmas because they are on the wrong side of a ‘digital divide’, National Seniors Australia says.

The consumer group for over 50s this year surveyed its members and found many are online, tech-savvy, or else keen to learn.

But others said that the digital world was a strange and unfriendly place they didn’t want to visit.

Seniors not slow with smartphones

Seniors are embracing technology and making smartphones a key part of their lives, a new report has found.

Monash University’s Dr Harriet Radermacher said a Deloitte mobile consumer survey showed a 10 per cent increase in older people’s smartphone ownership in the year to July 2017.

It found 78 per cent of seniors aged 65 to 75 owned a smartphone, up from 69 per cent in 2016, as well as 82 per cent of 55 to 64-year-olds.

Gamers warned to beware of cyber thieves

Cyber criminals are stealing and reselling $50 billion worth of digital swords, armour and resources from online gamers each year, a cyber security expert has found.

Deakin University’s Dr Nick Patterson said “synthetic worlds” such as those in the popular gamesWorld of Warcraft and Second Life had become rife with the disturbing new cyber theft trend.

What happens to your cyber life when your real life ends?

Most Australians are unprepared for death and disability when it comes to their digital assets, a new national study has found.

Researchers from Charles Sturt University and the University of Adelaide found 71 per cent of people who had digital assets were unaware of what would happen to them if they died or became disabled.

Digital assets include anything that can be accessed and held online in digital form, including social media, iTunes accounts, banking and other financial and medical records, domain names, online businesses, bitcoins and emails.

Help speed up the NBN

If your NBN connection is slow, frequently drops out or is just plain unusable, you are not alone.

These are the most common complaints people had about services delivered over the NBN (National Broadband Network) in the 2016 financial year.

But consumer advocacy group CHOICE – in partnership with National Seniors Australia – wants to help Australian households get the internet service and speeds they are paying for.

Scammers out in force this tax time

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is warning people to guard their Personal Identification (PIN) numbers in the same way they guard other key personal information.

As tax payers prepare to lodge their 2016/17 returns, ATO Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson urged them to keep their personal information secure and to report any suspicious activity.

Ms Anderson said identifying information such as tax file numbers, bank account numbers or date of birth were the keys to identity, and could be used by scammers.

Carers conference early bird closing

Carers Australia says a world-wide shortage of unpaid family carers is looming.

It expects there will soon be more people to care for than carers willing and able to take on the role.

The 7th International Carers Conference, to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 4 to 6 October this year, will provide the forum to discuss and debate this and other issues.

Australians slow to hang up on landlines

More than half of Australian households are still using landlines, despite the popularity of mobile phones.

The study of 2,005 respondents revealed 55 per cent of Australians still have a landline phone, and just over a quarter (29 per cent) rely solely on their mobiles.

The survey also found one per cent of Australian adults (187,175 people) didn’t know what a landline phone was.

While two out of five Gen Ys use smartphones exclusively, a surprising 16 per cent of Baby Boomers have also cut the cord.

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