Privacy and security in relation to personal information is the biggest concern for older people when using technology

Privacy and security in relation to personal information is the biggest concern for older people when using technology

21 February 2022


Research from Vodafone Ireland Foundation as part of its Hi Digital programme finds that 74% of those aged between 65 and 75 are most nervous using technology when signing up or paying for services online

·       Research finds that 79% of older people admitted that technology enhanced their ability to stay in touch with loved ones during the pandemic

·       38% have visitors to their home less frequently than once a month while 2 in 5 (40%) speak to family or friends every day.

·       65% of over 75s said that the pandemic had given them a better understanding of the importance of technology

·       Vodafone Ireland Foundation Hi Digital programme is designed to support older people through a purpose-built education platform that delivers a positive impact on their lives


16 February 2022: According to new research from Vodafone Ireland Foundation, privacy and security in relation to personal information was identified as the biggest concern for older people (60%) when it comes to using the internet. Almost three in four (74%) of those aged between 65 and 75 said they were most nervous about signing up or paying for something by mistake.

When it comes to seeking support in getting online, half of those surveyed have looked to family members/friends for help with technology while over half, (51%) don’t want to bother family members that may be too busy. Interestingly though, over three in five (64%) older people would be comfortable in learning new internet or digital skills if they had someone to help them, while six in ten (61%) think that improved digital skills would have a positive impact on their lives. Over half (58%) believe they would feel less isolated if they could connect to others using the internet.

Vodafone Ireland Foundation’s Hi Digital learning platform has been designed for people over the age of 65 with the support of programme partners, ALONE and Active Retirement Ireland. Available at the platform is made for beginners to grow self-confidence with the online basics and support those who are helping to guide them with their digital learning.

During the pandemic, 79 percent of older people admitted that technology enhanced their ability to stay in touch with loved ones, while 65 percent of over 75s said that the pandemic had given them a better understanding of the importance of technology.

Well over a third (38%) have visitors to their home less frequently than once a month while 2 in 5 (40%) speak to family or friends every day.

Almost three in ten (28%) of those over the age of 75 said the pandemic had actually encouraged them to use technology to connect. The main benefits identified to using the internet were, respondents saying that it allowed them to do things more easily (44%), while 43 percent said that it allowed them to keep in touch with others.


Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland said, “We have been overwhelmed with the response to the Hi Digital programme and the level of demand we have seen since the programme launch in 2021 with 15,000 users signed up and almost 20,000 sessions completed.”

“Our research has found that there is a real desire amongst our older people to get online. Hi Digital aims to make this a reality by supporting older people with the help of our charity partners ALONE and Active Retirement Ireland. Our online programme and classes we hope, will help decrease isolation and loneliness, allowing older people to stay more connected to family and friends and their community

“We know that the pandemic has caused unprecedented suffering and isolation for many, but as we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel, we want to make it even more accessible for older people in our society to gain confidence online. We hope to empower and increase digital literacy amongst older people and through the power of connectivity becoming more confident online.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Older people are eager to improve their digital skills in order to be digitally literate and confident while on the internet. The positive impact that technology is having on older people’s lives was seen during the depths of the pandemic most importantly with families being able to see each other’s faces while social isolating was at a peak. Now more older people see technology as empowering them in all aspects of their lives and we are here to help.”

Maureen Kavanagh, CEO of Active Retirement Ireland, said, “We know that many older people in Ireland face digital exclusion as more and more communication, services and opportunities move online. The Hi Digital programme and partnership between Vodafone Ireland, Active Retirement Ireland and ALONE aims to address this by supporting older people to learn essential online skills and build confidence using the internet, empowering them to stay connected in a changing world.

Active Retirement Ireland will reach out to older people through our digital ambassadors to show that engaging with the internet and digital platforms is not to be feared but has the potential to open up new worlds of choice and information.”




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