It’s amazing how the internet has become part of everyday life – 9 out of 10 people use it, and 70% of us now have a smartphone or tablet. It’s so popular because it’s quick and easy to find information, keep in touch with the family, do the shopping and be entertained. Yet not everyone is confident – people of all ages struggle because they don’t have the equipment or the connection . . . or find what they do have, difficult to use.
Digital Brighton & Hove is a network of local organisations that help people with technology. It has a listings website digitalbrightonandhove.org.uk to find free or low-cost help.
For instance, did you know that you can get up to 8 1:1 coaching sessions FREE at most Brighton & Hove libraries, and that magazines such as ‘Good Food’, ‘Ideal Home’ and ‘Total Film’ can be downloaded at no cost? The Friends Centre in New England St and City College in Pelham St also provide IT classes, and there is a free drop-in for 50+ on Monday – Thursday mornings at the Age UK centre in Prestonville Road. Full details are on our website, or ask at any library.
None of us were born knowing how to use the internet – there is always scope to learn more, eg about staying safe online. The Cyber Aware campaign recommends using three random words to create a strong password and always downloading the latest software updates. These two simple things make it much harder for cyber criminals.
If you run a community group and would like to organise a one-off IT event, get some coaching for volunteers, or set up your own IT activities, please ring Judith Field, the Digital Brighton & Hove Co-ordinator on 07471 351969. Judith works for the charity Citizens Online, and can arrange free-of-charge assistance.