Insurance & you

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Internet and You

From keeping in touch with friends to watching television on-demand, there’s no doubt that the internet has revolutionised every aspect of our lives. But in a world full of new technology, how can the internet really work for you?


Woman on laptop

Staying in touch with friends and family

Over the years, it’s easy to fall out of touch with friends. Thankfully, the internet makes it easy to reunite with old friends and distant family, whether that’s by reconnecting on Facebook or simply sending an email. In fact, the over 50s are one of the fastest-growing group of social networkers, with more than half of all internet users aged 65 and over using Facebook.

By using the likes of Facebook, it’s easy to stay in touch with friends and family, especially as your children and grandchildren grow older and fly the nest. From status updates to picture-sharing, the network is an accessible platform for all age groups to enjoy.

If social networks aren’t for you, there are still plenty of ways to communicate with loved ones ‘face to face’ via the internet. Video calling services such as Skype, Facetime and Google Hangouts allow you to chat via your smartphone, laptop or tablet, entirely for free. For families who live across the UK or abroad, these services are invaluable.

If you enjoy sharing photographs, don’t forget to look into Picasa, Flickr, and the fastest-growing social network, Instagram.


Shopping from your sofa

Online shopping is a blessing - allowing you to avoid the crowds and queues by ordering your groceries, gifts and special treats right from your sofa. From the convenience of online retail giant Amazon to independent craft shops on the likes of Etsy and Not on the High Street, online shopping is ever-growing and deservedly popular.

If you buy similar items each week from your local supermarket, you can save time and effort by switching to an online shop. Simply set up an online account with your favourite major supermarket chain, save your shopping list and order your weekly groceries - for delivery to your front door - at the click of a button.


Discover your ancestry

Family history is a fascinating subject, and the internet opens up a whole new world of possibilities when researching your lineage. To access records and build your family tree, try out or Both sites allow you to research archives at a small fee, while Ancestry allows you to upload photos, attach historical records and share your family tree with others.


Entertainment on-demand

Missed your favourite TV programme this week? Want to rent a DVD, but can’t get to the shops? Online streaming services cover it all, from free tools such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Player, to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV which charge a small monthly fee in return for access to a huge library of films, television programmes and original productions.

Radio shows and music can also be enjoyed online, whether that’s directly through your favourite station’s website or through services such as Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.


Time to learn more

If you’re keen to learn more, Digital Unite is a helpful service set up to help older people reap the benefits of the internet. Your local library is also a great source of information - so keep an eye out for helpful books and special courses. 

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