Free resources and guides on all things digital
There are lots of websites, guides and resources available for free that can help you improve your confidence and increase your knowledge about all things digital.
Below are some useful resources to get your started, as well as tips on how you could use the internet to connect with other people and stay in touch with friends and family.
Finding affordable internet access for the home
The home broadband market can be daunting for those connecting for the first time and seem expensive to those on low incomes or out of work and on benefits such as Universal Credit. We've put together a practical guide which will help guide you to finding the most affordable internet access for your home.
Resources to get you started
Digital Unite offers a wide range of easy-to-use, learning guides about using modern technology for free.
AbilityNet provides free IT support to help older people and people with disabilities to use technology to achieve their goals. They have a network of friendly volunteers who can help with most major computer systems, laptops, tablet devices and smartphones.
Freephone: 0800 048 7642
Age UK provide step by step guides for people who have access to internet already but need some support around; staying safe online, making devices easier to use, how to download apps, video calling, WhatsApp groups, online banking and shopping to name a few.
Tel: 0800 678 1602
Getting to grips with your tablet device
There are lots of different models of tablet device available, the guide below can help you familiarise yourself with the basics of devices using the Android operating system.
Already have a device, but not sure what to use the internet for?
If you already have a device with access to the internet, such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop, but you’re not quite sure where to start, we have a few ideas you might want to try that involve connecting with others during these unprecedented times, in a COVID-19 safe way.
Remember that you can also ask for help from family or friends who may regularly use this technology, but below are some tips and extra information about some ways in which to start your digital journey.
Staying in touch with people can be easy on the internet. You can contact people from anywhere in the world via written emails, or with a microphone and camera (that is inbuilt in most devices), you can make phone or video calls online. It’s also a great way to share pictures or information if you are part of a specialist club or interest group.
WhatsApp is a free to use App on your computer, smartphone or tablet. You can use it to send messages, images, photos and videos, as well as make voice and video calls via an internet connection. It allows you to set up group chats with more than one person, which is great for talking to lots of family or friends at once.
Why not consider setting up a group chat for your scheme/family/friends/specialist interest groups
This is a free to use App on your laptop, smartphone or tablet when you sign up to Facebook. You can use it to send messages to your Facebook contacts and make voice and video calls via an internet connection. It also lets you set up group chats with more than one person, which is great for talking to lots of family or friends at once.
Why not consider setting up a group chat for your scheme. Or holding a virtual coffee morning from the comfort of your home, via a video call.
This is a free to use software which can be accessed online through the Skype website or as an app on your computer, smartphone or tablet. You can use it to send instant messages, make high definition video or voice calls via and internet connection. It is great for overseas conversations and video calls.
All you need to ensure is that the person you want to talk to also has a Skype account, and then you can add them as a contact and get in touch.
Free to use online meeting platform from a computer, tablet or phone. Users can screen share, chat and use interactive features. You can use it to make 1:1 or group video calls and share your screen with those people.
Email is free to use. Never has it been so easy or instant to send a message across the world. You can get your own email account that you can access on any device by logging in. You can email photos and birthday cards to friends and family – wherever they might be.
These work using voice commands rather than typing. There are lots of different ‘virtual assistant’ devices like the Amazon Echo and Alexa, or Siri on Apple devices. Using your voice can make using technology much more accessible to everyone.
They are mainly used to answer your voice queries, for example “what is the weather forecast today” or “what are today’s top news stories”. They even offer jokes when asked.
If you connect your family and friends’ contact numbers to your accounts, you can then simply ask these devices to call them or send them messages.
Internet security and staying safe online
With more and more of us using smart phones and tablets, it is important to be alert to the risk of scammers attempting to access your personal information.
“Phishing” is the fraudulent act of emailing a person in order to obtain their personal/financial information such as passwords and credit card or bank account details. These emails often include a link to a bogus website encouraging you to enter your personal details. Past scams have included emails that appear to come from HMRC telling people they are owed a tax rebate.
The organisations and websites below have some useful tips and advice on staying safe online.
Get Safe Online
Offers advice and information for both personal and business users.
Take Five to Stop Fraud
Offers advice to stop fraud, giving tips and advice in short, easy to understand, written material and videos. The advice covers phone scams, text message scams, email and online scams.
Creating a strong password?
Our BeWise services
Whether you rent or own your home, we could help increase your income by carrying out a short eligibility check.
EnergyWise offers free advice to help you decide if you would be better off with another supplier or tariff, and information about additional financial support which may be available.
InsuranceWise promotes a bespoke contents insurance policy that Anchor has arranged with Aviva Insurance Limited for residents living with us.