Seniors thrown free digital 'lifeline' with free webinars

Be Connected webinars help seniors get online

Technology
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'Older Australians don't need to leap into the digital world by themselves.'

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AROUND 4 million older Australian who need help accessing online services and connecting with loved ones can log on to free webinars to help build their online skills.

These online courses are being delivered by the eSafety Commissioner as part of the Government's Be Connected initiative in a bid to help seniors as they increasingly turn to the internet to access online services and connect with loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They will cover everything from how to avoid getting scammed, doing banking online, ordering groceries online and connecting with family and friends using video chat.

The eSafety Commissioner has also worked closely with Scamwatch to include information and advice about current scams into the webinar materials.

Minister for Communications and Cyber Safety, Paul Fletcher, said the eSafety webinars would reinforce skills and prepare users for problems they may encounter.

"The online world can often be daunting for senior Australians but it needn't be," he said. "These online courses offer practical advice to empower users to navigate online services that support their daily needs."

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, said the training was a vital tool as more senior Australians switched to online services.

"With the Government urging people aged over 70 to stay at home and limit face-to-face contact, the internet can be a lifeline," Minister Colbeck said.

"But many Australians in this age group are not always confident using digital technology."

"Older Australians don't need to leap into the digital world by themselves. Family members can be their digital mentors, using Be Connected and joining in the webinars."

The classes feature key topics for remaining connected while social distancing measures are in place, including:

  • Video chatting with family, friends and health professionals;
  • Ordering groceries and other shopping essentials online for home delivery;
  • Carrying out everyday tasks online, including accessing essential services; and
  • Accessing Government information updates from australia.gov.au and the Coronavirus Australia app

To take part go to beconnected.esafety.gov.au/bookings

For help setting up phone the Be Connected support line: 1300 795 897.

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