Seniors Avoid Internet Due To Lack Of Support | Avast

We have already told you about online scams targeting seniors and how protect yourself and your loved ones tech support scams. How is it then that seniors themselves feel their relationship with the Internet?

We recently conducted a global survey of almost 3,000 people around the world and, through our findings, a digital generation gap was revealed: the proportion of non-internet users is the highest among older generations. Nevertheless, it is also the elders who can greatly benefit from digital services – especially in the era of Covid. Let’s explore how seniors’ digital freedom can be enhanced and sustained.

While some seniors reject the internet, others would take the plunge if they could get help from friends or family members.

Of the 2,700 people aged 55 and over* surveyed worldwide, 42% use the Internet regularly, 31% use it occasionally and 27% never use it. Half of our respondents are retired, and we found that the proportion of people who do not use the Internet increases with age: while only 17% of people aged 55 to 60 do not use the Internet, the proportion rises to 39%. % among people aged 75 and over.

The reasons why respondents don’t use the internet at all vary: 59% said they thought they simply didn’t need it, while 42% thought it was too complicated and 37% counted on their family and friends if they needed to do something online. Additionally, 36% are reluctant to use the internet because of digital threats. 36% feel too old for it and 28% say it’s too expensive, while 15% simply reject the internet.

“The over 60 age group in particular is struggling the most and, according to our survey, this is true for both men and women. The challenges start with choosing the right devices and software. Properly configuring privacy settings, configuring devices and a Wi-Fi network are also insurmountable hurdles for many, as well as ongoing maintenance,” said Jaya Baloo, CISO at Avast.

With the right support, many seniors would venture into the digital world

While 24% of non-internet users we surveyed can imagine using the internet, for 76% it is currently out of the question to ever go online. 43% of those who are unsure about doing things online say it bothers them, and 41% would appreciate help from friends or family with online activities.

When it comes to safety, about one in three seniors is not concerned at all. 27% are slightly worried and 44% are afraid of cybercrime, with identity theft, data breachesstolen passwords, malware (including Ransomware) being the primary concern of seniors.

“We were able to determine through our survey that there is a likely correlation between the time people spend on the internet and their confidence in using it,” continued Jaya Baloo. “Generally it bothers people that they feel unsafe and uncomfortable using the internet and many also feel they are a burden on others if they have to ask them for help. .”

In order to participate in the digital world, seniors can seek outside help in addition to turning to family and friends. For example, adult education centers often offer introductory courses for seniors. There are also many free internet hangouts in different cities as well as non-profit organizations, such as the national council on aging (NCOA) in the United States, which advises and supports seniors on Internet matters.


Further reading: Protecting Elders Online: Q&A with NCOA’s Ramsey Alwin


*At 46%, the largest group of the 2,700 people aged 55 and over surveyed worldwide live with a partner, 33% live with relatives under the same roof and 27% live alone. The research institute YouGov conducted a telephone survey on behalf of Avast in September 2021 in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, in Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and Japan.


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