Using the internet is a great way for seniors to manage their affairs and stay in touch with loved ones. But there are also risks that they need to be aware of.
Using the internet is a great way for seniors to manage their affairs and stay in touch with loved ones. But there are also risks that they need to be aware of. Jupiterimages

Inquiry urges Gillard Govt to help seniors be cyber safe

THE Federal Government needs to investigate ways to provide low-cost internet for seniors living in isolated areas or who are suffering from financial disadvantage, a parliamentary inquiry has recommended.

A House of Representatives inquiry into senior Australians and cyber-safety has recommended the investigation as part of wider initiatives to help older people get online safely.

In its final report released last week, the inquiry committee made 13 recommendations to help inform older Australians of the dangers of the online world.

But it also proposed a raft of new initiatives including expanded promotional campaigns, community courses and an online portal about cyber-safety for older internet users.

The report said many older Australians were afraid to ask for help in learning about the web, and of those who were willing to try, many did not know about the potential dangers.

It also found seniors were more at risk of financial scams online, partly as many had more assets than younger generations, as well as those looking to build on their superannuation.

The committee wrote it had heard from many seniors groups who were helping to teach older Australians about the internet, but more resources and training centres were needed.

It also recommended the government create a working group including the IT industry and seniors to examine current industry codes of practice to improve cyber-safety for older generations.

The Federal Government is due to respond to the findings later this year.


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