Technology is often the best way for seniors to stay in touch with family, and many retirement-aged folks depend on it in their day-to-day lives. But if you have an older parent or grandparent in your life, you know they sometimes need tech support – and they usually turn to you. If you’re trying to help your senior reap the benefits of Smartphones, Tablets and computers, use this checklist of tech tips for seniors to guide you.
Be Smartphone Savvy
If you’re helping a senior get on mobile, choose a senior-friendly Smartphone and plan together. And be sure to customize their Android or iOS phones with the right accessibility options and preferences.
- Adjust text size and brightness to be easily readable.
- Enter important numbers into Favorites or speed dial.
- Teach grandparents to take and share photos.
Solve Wi-Fi Connectivity Problems
If they have Wi-Fi up and running but are struggling to connect, there are a few things they can try.
- Make sure Smartphones or computers have wireless switched on.
- Move the device closer to the router.
- Position the router higher up on a shelf or cabinet.
- Unplug the modem and router and wait at least 30 seconds to reconnect.
- Use an Ethernet cable to connect to the internet instead.
- Call their Internet Service Provider to make sure the problem is not an outage.
- Upgrade the router’s firmware by following the instructions on the manufacturer or service provider’s website.
Secure Personal Data
Help seniors avoid hacks and scams by keeping their personal information safe. Go over this list together to familiarize them with basic personal security protocols.
- Choose passwords they’ll remember, but not ones that are easy to guess.
- Don’t use the same password for every account.
- If they have a list of passwords, keep it secure and out of plain sight.
- Never send passwords or payment info via text or email.
- Ask people who contact them to verify their identity or their relationship to them.
- If someone calls claiming to represent a bank, have them hang up and call the bank directly to confirm.
Sometimes, seniors need additional guidance – and not just from their kids. Most tech companies and providers offer free support (for best results, consult this guide for how to call customer service.) Talk through how to contact tech support and how to follow their suggestions. In general, when a parent needs tech support consider using TeamViewer, a free app for Macs and PCs. TeamViewer allows you to share your screen remotely, so the person on the other end of the line can see exactly what’s going on while you provide help from afar.
Tech is constantly evolving, so tech support for seniors is, too. No matter your age or tech-savviness, stay tuned to U.S. Cellular for more valuable tech tips to keep you in the know.
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