- About 23% of people over 65 have difficulty turning on or logging into a computing device.
- One in four also keep their passwords and login details written down on a piece of paper.
Almost half of people aged 65 and over across the UK struggle to use the internet, alarming research has revealed.
A new study of AgeUnited Kingdom claims that almost six million Brits are unable to carry out a number of basic but crucial tasks to stay safe online.
One in five over-65s have difficulty using web browsers such as Google and Safari, while another 23 per cent cannot turn on their devices at all.
Adjusting font size, volume and even screen brightness are also issues for more than a quarter, contributing to further exclusion in the digital age.
“The figures we are publishing today should be a wake-up call to policymakers, because they show the extent to which the race to ‘digital by default’ is excluding our older population,” said Caroline Abrahams, charities director at Age UK.
About 23 percent of people over 65 have difficulty turning on or logging into a computing device (stock)
“It is well known that millions of older people are not online and that is bad enough, but it is now also clear that even among those who are online in this age group, the majority only have relatively limited digital skills.”
As part of its research, AgeUK collected data from the Office for National Statistics and examined patterns from 2020.
Surprisingly, this showed that 21 percent of people over the age of 65 are unable to use their mouse, trackpads and keyboards while having difficulty with touch screen functions.
About 35 percent also fail to set up Wi-Fi connections, whether at home, work, or visiting family and friends.
One in four also wrote down their passwords and login details on a piece of paper that was often left next to their device.
While this seems like an easy option, Jake Moore, global cybersecurity advisor, warns that it is not the safest route to take.
He told MailOnline: ‘Passwords are often the bane of people’s online lives, but the key to keeping accounts secure is to make sure all passwords are unique and long.
‘For ease and added protection, the best way is to use an online password manager that is fully encrypted and only allows the owner and chosen device to enter this secure password vault.
“It may seem less secure, but it’s actually the most secure way and then you can just copy and paste the password into the site without having to remember or type it.”
One in four also kept their passwords and login details written down on a sheet of paper (stock).
TIPS FOR CREATING A SECURE PASSWORD
- Choose a password that is 18 characters long and contains a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters, and symbols.
- If you have difficulty remembering a long password, use a password manager
- Don’t use the same password for every site you use
- Avoid personal or memorable details like your dog’s name or birthday.
- Avoid number-based passwords – these are the least secure
‘Additionally, it’s important that people use a form of two-factor authentication to bolster additional protection for their accounts in case someone ever gets a hold of their password. This feature is usually easy to follow and is found in the security settings area of most applications.
Amid these revelations, AgeUK has launched a new #OfflineandOverlooked campaign seeking to persuade the government to offer more offline services.
This includes letters, phone calls and face-to-face communication, as the charity maintains people should not be “forced down a digital route”.
“At Age UK we believe the time has come for everyone to have the right to access public services offline,” Ms Abrahams continued.
“This is not being Luddite by any means – as a charity we run some brilliant digital inclusion programs across the country – but rather a recognition that online methods simply do not work for millions of older people now and ever.” “They will, and they should be.” to be able to choose to access public services in more traditional ways: by telephone, letter and face to face, as appropriate.’