A peak body for older Australians, COTA ,has confirmed through its survey what the media have been broadly stating for some time now, and that is, over 20% older Australians are now using new technology for the first time and around 30% have increased their social media to stay connected.

What this offers is a huge opportunity for those who are more comfortable using the internet because it opens the door to the mammoth value being offered through the low cost of goods and services of online suppliers. It also frees up peoples time through being able to conduct mundane tasks quickly from the home computer, tablet or smart phone.

In the case of services, many internet businesses offer very low or free introductory services and only demand fees for value added premium services. One of the most obvious examples of this is Spotify. We use the free service to access over 30 million songs and are happy to put up with the occasional advertisement and restricted skip function. Happy days.

The Primetime online planning system is another example, (although not yet as widely known as Spotify) of a safe and secure online service offered with a service available at no cost.  This takes the form of the comprehensive Evaluation, reporting and some of the planning tools on offer.  Paid upgrades are available with additional services but this  is still very cost effective if self managed online.

The double edged sword of technology use is the increase of threat by scammers who prey on internet users who are too trusting in sharing information with others. These faceless, insidious people have to be given a wide berth.

Once people are comfortable with technology and managing the risk, those who embrace their newly learned technology skills will enjoy a new lease of life in the vast offerings out there in cyberspace.