Embracing User-Friendly Tools and Staying Secure in the Digital Age (A Guide for Retirees)
In many ways, the rapid advancement of technology over the past 25 to 30 years has benefited our lives greatly and added an ease that humanity has never experienced, and it has transformed the way we live our lives forever. However, it has also created new concerns and risks that have never existed before, and it very easily can become overwhelming with all the changes that are still happening. Finding user-friendly tools and finding ways to stay secure in this new digital age can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. There are tools available for you to use that can simplify technology while also helping you increase your security measures. Let’s look at some of these tools!
Online Learning Platforms
Since technology is forever changing, learning about current and new technology is a vital step for retirees. There are several online learning platforms that provide comprehensive courses and tutorials. Some of these popular platforms include:
- TechBoomers (https://techboomers.com/): TechBoomers offers free, step-by-step tutorials on a range of technology topics. Some of these topics include social media, online banking, and popular websites. It is an excellent source for anyone looking to enhance their digital skills.
- YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/): YouTube is a source that has a wide range of available materials. In order to find videos that are about technology related topics, you can search for specific tutorials or “channels” that are dedicated to senior-friendly tech resources, such as “Tech for Seniors” or “Seniors Guide to Technology.”
Senior Friendly Devices
When it comes to technology, having the right devices (or tools) can make a significant difference in your experience. Here are a few devices to consider
- GrandPad (https://www.grandpad.net/): GrandPad is a senior-focused tablet that offers a simplified user experience with large icons. This makes it easier for retirees to connect with loved ones, browse the internet, and access essential apps.
- Jitterbug Smart3 (https://www.lively.com/phones/jitterbug-smart3): Jitterbug doesn’t only create the large flip phone that looks outdated anymore. The Jitterbug Smart3 is a smartphone that is designed with simplicity in mind. It also has a simplified user-friendly experience, larger font sizes, and simplified navigation. This makes it an excellent option for retirees who want a smartphone but don’t want the complexity that comes with it
Security Tools and Measures
When embracing technology, it is essentially to prioritize your security. Here are some crucial security measures to keep in mind and some tools to help you with it.
- Strong Passwords: It is important to use strong passwords for your online logins. A strong password is one that is unique and complex. This brings up an issue that everyone has experienced, remembering and tracking those unique and complex passwords! Everyone has had to reset a password before because they forgot their password to a website. To help with this, consider using a password manager like LastPass (https://www.lastpass.com/) or Dashlane (https://www.dashlane.com/) to safely and securely store and generate passwords.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Another way to increase your online safety is to enable two factor authentication whenever it is available. This adds an extra level of protection by requiring you to have a code sent to your phone, email, or an authentication app. Now, this might be a slight inconvenience each time you log in, but it significantly increases your long term security.
- Antivirus Software: An additional extra level of protection is to install and use a reputable antivirus software on all your technological devices. This software can help protect your devices from malware and other online threats. Companies such as Norton (https://us.norton.com/), McAfee (https://www.mcafee.com/), or Avast (https://www.avast.com/) offer products and services that can add this extra level of protection for you, all while running in the background and behind the scenes.
User-Friendly Financial Tools
Lastly, tracking your finances used to mean balancing a check book and using cash. In today’s technological age, there are an absurd number of businesses that don’t even accept cash or check anymore, which has complicated personal finances. Here are a few tools that can help simplify that.
- Mint (https://www.mint.com/): Mint is a comprehensive budgeting and financial management app and website. It consolidates all your accounts in one place, helps you track expenses, create budgets, and monitor investments easily.
- Acorns (https://www.acorns.com/): Since cash is not widely used anymore, gone are the days of being able to save your change after a purchase. Or so you thought. Acorns is an investment app that allows you to invest your “spare change” from everyday purchases again. It offers the ability to round up every transaction to the next dollar, allowing you digital access to what used to be a physical process.
- PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/): PayPal offers simplified online transactions and money transfers. It is widely accepted across various online businesses and provides a secure and user-friendly way to manage your online payments.
- AARP Money (www.aarp.org/money): AARP offers a range of resources, including user-friendly tools and calculators, that can help retirees manage their finances effectively. These include tools for budgeting, retirement planning, and investment guidance.
Embracing technology and staying secure in the digital age is within reach for everyone, including retirees, thanks to user-friendly tools and security measures. By embracing these user-friendly tools and security measures, rather than running from advancing technology, retirees can confidently navigate the digital world. Remember to explore the resources and websites above to learn more about them and find where to download or purchase them. As retirees venture into the digital world, they can stay empowered if they have the knowledge and resources needed to navigate technology confidently, safeguard their finances, and embrace the conveniences that technology has to offer.