B40 - Getting Connected on the Internet
People connect to the internet for many reasons, including using email, skype or social network sites to stay in touch with friends and family who live some distance away.
The internet also allows you to: keep up to date with the news, write a journal (known as a 'blog'), learn new things, shop and bank online, as well as meeting new people.
Once you're on the internet, you can search for any topic and learn interesting things from people who've taken time to set up their own websites about their areas of expertise.
Internet security is critical. The best ways to keep your personal details private is to password-protect the device you use (that is, make sure you have to sign in with a
password before you can use the device). Any passwords you use (for example, for your bank accounts) must be difficult for people to guess (so don't use your birth date, home address
or middle name as your password).
- There's a lot of information available on the internet.
- The internet can help you stay connected with friends and family.
- You can widen your interests and connections.
- You can keep up to date with and have a better understanding of your children's and grandchildren's interests. Many of your grandchildren will be 'digital natives'. That is,
they've been born into and grown up in the digital world and are skilled in using the internet.
- There are lots of computer viruses (that is, computer code that will harm or destroy the system that runs your device and that is passed on through email and downloads) and
people who want to steal from or harm others (eg, online scammers).
- It can be difficult to remember your passwords.
- Many internet programmes are not easy to follow if you don't know the language. It's useful to learn as much as you can about the internet world before you dive in.
What do I need in order to take this option?
- There are two key things you'll need in order to get connected - a device such as a computer or a tablet (eg, iPad) and an affordable internet connection.
- Tutoring in how to use a computer/tablet can help if you haven't used one much before.
Could this option limit my future choices?
No, it may help you to stay living independently in your own home. For example, if you find getting out difficult at times, you can do banking and grocery shopping online.
For more information
- Your local library, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), REAP or seniors group are good places to enquire about free computer / iPad lessons and support
- SeniorNet runs computer courses throughout New Zealand for people aged 50+. See:
- Consumer often reviews devices that provide internet access. See:
- The Department of Internal Affairs, for information and advice on dealing with spam and scams. See:
- The salespeople in your local computer stores