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eSafety courses to keep Senior Australians connected during COVID-19

A joint media release with The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, about free webinars to help improve the online skills of Senior Australians as they increasingly turn to the internet to access online services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Free daytime webinars are now available to help improve the online skills of Senior Australians as they increasingly turn to the internet to access online services and connect with loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These online courses are being delivered by the eSafety Commissioner as part of the Federal Government’s “Be Connected” initiative, aimed at empowering all Australians to develop the skills needed to thrive in a digital world.

Hosted by professional eSafety Commissioner trainers, the courses will offer participants guidance to help build basic online skills and confidence required to carry out video chats, telehealth, shopping and banking.

Minister for Communications,  Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, and Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck said the online training is available to around four million older Australians aged 65 and over, providing the opportunity to improve their digital skills and knowledge of how to avoid common online risks.

The classes commence today and feature key topics specifically 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 Federal Government information updates from and the Coronavirus Australia app

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

Minister 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,” Minister Fletcher said.

“These online courses offer practical advice to empower users to navigate online services that support their daily needs.”

Minister Colbeck said the training was a vital tool as more Senior Australians switched to online services.

“With the Federal 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.”

Those interested in participating can register via the dedicated website.

For help setting up, there’s also the Be Connected support line on 1300 795 897.

These webinars are part of the Morrison Government’s $47 million Digital Literacy for Older Australians initiative that was launched in 2017 to increase the confidence, skills and online safety of older Australians in using digital technology.

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