Nine out of ten UK residents over the age of 60 who use the internet access it every day, with 68 per cent going online several times daily compared to 77 per cent of 26-35 year olds. This highlights the boom in so-called ‘Silver Surfers’ across the country, showing how the older generations are becoming increasing tech savvy.
A recent study by TalkTalk, the home phone, broadband and mobile provider, and security experts F-Secure revealed that a third of silver surfers now access TV and Radio over the internet and one in five game online. Although this is less than the overall average of 41 per cent and 27 percent respectively, it shows that older people are increasingly at ease with the rich content available on the Internet. Similarly, three quarters of those 60+ who are online use the internet for banking and 83 per cent now do at least some of their shopping online.
Despite the uptake of these online activities, just a third of people over 60 who are online use social networks, compared with 93 per cent of 16 to 25s. A quarter of those surveyed admitted to either not knowing what Facebook is or not using it. Furthermore, of those 60+ who do use Facebook, 84 per cent have less than 50 friends, in comparison to 52 per cent of 16 to 25s who have more than 150 friends.
While the older generations may shun social networks, they are not averse to communicating over the internet and are happy to use more direct applications such as Skype and email just as much as people in other age groups who use the internet (35 per cent and 98 per cent respectively).
Along with this increased use of the internet comes a familiarity with its common parlance. When asked was a tablet is, nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of respondents over 60 said it was a small computer, and only a third (34 per cent) said it was a pill. The same age group pretty much matched the average when it came to knowledge of common internet security terms such as Spam, Malware, Cookie, Phishing and Trojan.
The majority of Silver Surfers (96 per cent) also like to take care of internet security themselves, but will quickly look for expert help in the case of a detectedinfection, unlike younger generations who generally prefer to ask a friend or family member for help, before turning to an expert.