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Acknowledgements The Technology for Seniors Resource Guide was created by J. Fernandes, Community Information Service Coordinator, with assistance in editing and proofreading provided by A. Jamnik, Executive Director and M.Mostafa, Special Projects Administrator. POINT Inc. would also like to acknowledge the help of our volunteers B. Waicus, K. Cripps and the wonderful senior’s of North Toronto who participated in our focus group.

POINT (People and Organizations in North Toronto), March 2017. All Rights reserved. For permission to reprint any part of the Senior IT Resource Guide, contact POINT at 416- 487-2390 in regards to copyright restrictions. This booklet may not be electronically reproduced. Every effort has been made to provide accurate information in this Resource Guide. Any errors and/or omissions can be brought to the attention of POINT, and will be addressed in any future reprinting. POINT does not accept any responsibility or liability for any loss, damage or injury as a result of relying on information contained in the Senior IT Resource Guide.

*PLEASE NOTE If you have any additional questions concerning the listed electronic devices please feel free to contact the POINT office. As time passes, the information in this booklet will become out of date. If you find that the information is no longer current and/or if you require any further assistance with the Technology of Seniors Guide, please call POINT at 416-487-2390.

Imagery on front cover was adapted from Wallpapers Craft. Retrieved January 2017, from https://



This guide acts as an introduction to aid you on your technological journey. Please see the following resources provide more substantial information on technology for seniors.

Computers for Seniors for Dummies by Nancy Muir. IPhones for Seniors for Dummies by Dwight Spivey.

Additional support is available through POINT’S Computer Program. Please speak to the CIS Coordinator at 416-487-2390 for more information or to book an appointment,


Table of Contents 1

POINT’s Mandate and the Purpose of the Guide




Benefits of Smart Phones


Smart Phones




IPhone & Tablets


Privacy and Security


Social Media


Smartphone and IPhone Figures





Figure 4:

P.O.I.N.T Inc. (People and Organizations in North Toronto) is a long established grass roots organization in North Toronto. Our mission is to provide or facilitate the delivery of services to address unmet community needs of those who live, work and study in North Toronto, through information, education and community engagement. POINT aims to improve availability and increase awareness of social and health services in the community. POINT has been instrumental in initiating programs and organizations such as the Block Parent Program, SPRINT Senior Care, The Anne Johnston Health Station and North Toronto Memorial Community Centre. POINT also acts as a catalyst by putting people and solutions together. Our current areas of focus are: youth, newcomers, seniors, low-income individuals and encouraging civic participation in the community. The Senior IT Resource Guide is another POINT initiative. This guide has been created to provide older adults with a Q&A Guide to support them in the advancement of their technical skills. If you would like further support please contact the CIS Coordinator to book a 1:1 Computer class. Alternative resources are available at the end of the guide for additional support.

P.O.I.N.T Inc. 200 Eglinton Avenue West, 1st Floor Toronto, ON M4R 1A7 Phone: (416) 487-2390 E-mail: Website:


Figure 4 consists of icons and features of the IPhone. Some images may vary by device. Image was retrieved on February 2017 from


Figure 3:

Forward This IT Guide has been made possible by the generous support of grants received from the Province of Ontario and New Horizons for Seniors. In 2016, POINT Inc. conducted a focus group consisting of 25 seniors residing in North Toronto. The purpose of the group was to receive feedback on the type of content that would be addressed in this guide. Please note, this guide is introductory in nature and resources are available at the end if you require more support. Introduction When it comes to technology a lot of people find it challenging to keep up with the latest gadget or trend. According to Statistics Canada, in the last several years, older Canadians have steadily increased their internet usage and are coming close to that of younger Canadians.1 Despite this increase, the average senior may not be inclined to adopt different forms of technology for a number of reasons; a lack of knowledge, does not apply to their lifestyle, visual /cognitive impairment or financial constraints. These factors may be valid for some but technology can also be viewed as a tool to meet the everchanging needs of society and even improve one’s way of life.

“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” -Douglas Adams

Figure 3 consists of some of the physical description of the IPhone and its features.


Allen, M. K. (2013, January). Consumption of culture by older Canadians on the Internet. Retrieved January, 2017, from



Benefits of Smart phones

Figure 2:

 Touch screen technology  Prevent isolation  Promote independence and better quality of life

A majority of Smartphones on the market provide Touch Screen technology. This refers to screen manipulation from direct contact with the screen and one’s fingertips. The movement of directly manipulating content on a screen can feel more comfortable and natural for many seniors, therefore increasing the likelihood of them using such a device.2 Smartphones can prevent isolation by offering users a variety of forms in which to contact their friends and loved ones remotely. It is portable, allowing the user to carry it on their travels while being accessible during the day, whether they are at an appointment or out for lunch. Whether using it to make phone calls, send an email, chat on Skype or send a text, it can increase the frequency of communication without encountering the barrier of physically visiting a person. Smartphones can be a great way for individuals to stay connected to people without even having to leave your home! Autonomy and independence are core values that many seniors pride themselves on. Smartphones can be utilized to maintain that independence by supporting one’s daily routine. Users can download applications (apps) on their phones to improve their quality of life and save time. For instance, suppose one wants to find out what is happening with current events in their city but the news broadcast does not start for several hours. The user can download an app from the local news station and access the latest reports anytime of the day. 2

Nunes, F., & Silva, P. A. (2011). The Smartphone – a Mobile Companion for Older Adults. Retrieved January, 2017, from


Figure 2 consists of some of the common symbols and features on most Smartphones. Please note, some icons may vary by device. Image was retrieved on February 2017, from TRjKSMx4JcI/AAAAAAAAAOY/by78uKY8_cQ/s1600/ginger-ui.jpg.


Figure 1:

SMARTPHONES What is a Smartphone? The term ‘smartphone’ refers to a multi-functional mobile (or cellular) phone that includes features like a camera and web browser as well as a high-density display for viewing pictures and videos. Please see Figure 1 & 2 on pages 19 and 20. Is a Smartphone a “cell” phone? Yes. In the most basic form, a cell phone is essentially a two-way radio, consisting of a radio transmitter and a radio receiver. When you chat with your friend on your cell phone, your phone converts your voice into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted via radio waves to the nearest cell tower. The network of cell towers then relays the radio wave to your friend’s cell phone, which converts it to an electrical signal and then back to sound again. Should I purchase an Apple phone or a phone from one of its Android competitors?

Figure 1 consists of a variety of Smartphone options including IPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Nokia and Sony.

The answer depends on the needs of the user and the primary purpose of its usage. The physical phone itself (the hardware) is where the differences between the iPhone and Android first become clear. Apple is the only company that makes iPhones, so they design the software solely for these devices. On the other hand, Google offers its Android software to many phone makers (Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola, among others). As a result, Android phones vary quite a bit in size, weight, features, user experience, and quality. What do the buttons on the outside of a Smartphone do? There are the three buttons common to both Android and iPhone devices - turning the device on and off, raise or lower the volume and getting back to home screen. What is an OS? In general, a smartphone will be based on an (OS) Operating System that allows it to run applications. Apple's iPhone runs the iOS and Google's Android its own OS.



What are software updates?

LinkedIn- Glossary of Terms:

Periodically, smartphone makers issue software updates for their phones' operating systems. These can be sent out automatically through the network, or will require the smartphone owner to download them manually.

Home: This is your newsfeed that updates you on new posts being made by the companies/professionals that you are connected with.

What does it mean to “sync” your device?

My Network: This is where all your professional contacts will

The term “sync” refers to synchronize. When you sync a device, such as a cellphone or tablet, it will synchronize that with the information on your computer. This can be completed a number of different ways including through software or plugging your device directly into a USB slot. What does Bluetooth refer to? Bluetooth refers to wireless technology that is utilized to exchange data (information) in close range from mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, headphones and cameras.

be displayed. Jobs: This is the page that will provide suggested job posts and employment information that relates to your profile. Connections: This is the term used to describe the companies and/or professionals that you are following. Connections are the best way to build networks on this website.

What is messaging? All cell phones can send and receive text messages (called “texting”), but what sets a smartphone apart is its handling of email. A smartphone can sync with your personal e-mail account. Some smartphones can support multiple e-mail accounts. Others include access to the popular instant messaging services, like AOL's AIM and Yahoo! Messenger. What is SMS? Refers to Short Message Service. These are text messages are sent from message applications to other cellphones or mobile devices. What is a QWERTY keyboard? Every smartphone includes a QWERTY keyboard. This means that the keys are laid out in the same manner they would be on your computer keyboard--not in alphabetical order on top of a 5


How do I make connections? Here are a few ways that you can make connections: 

Go to the top of the page and click on “My Network” then use your email to connect with people you have on your email account that also have a LinkedIn profile. Go to your “Home” page at the top of the screen and connect with people quickly by reviewing the “People you may know” suggestions. Go to the browse search engine at the top of the page and search for people by name.

How do I Find the Privacy Settings? 

Go to the top of page and click on “Me”.

Look under Account and click “Privacy Settings”.

Click on “Privacy” in the top middle of page.

Adjust settings to match your preference.

How do I make a company page? If you have your own business creating a “Company Page” is a great way to promote it by allowing other professionals and businesses to become informed of your business through LinkedIn. Many beneficial connections begin this way. Follow these steps to create a “Company Page”:


Go to the top right of page and click on “Work” icon.

Scroll to the bottom of options and click “Create a Company Page”.

Add your company’s information.

numeric keypad, where you have to tap the number 1 to enter an A, B, or C. (physical keys that you type on) or software (on a touch screen, like you'll find on the iPhone). APPLICATIONS What is an “app”? Applications, commonly referred to as “apps,” are specific pieces of software that can be downloaded to enhance a smartphone’s functionality. They could be calendar and organizer apps, games, or app reading tools - the possibilities are limitless. Where do I find apps? In order to download apps users visit the online software store available for their specific operating system. Apple’s “App Store”, or the “Play Store” for Android smartphones, have thousands of titles for free, free with advertising, or a small fee. What does “Wi-Fi” stand for? Wi-Fi refers to a type of technology that provides wireless internet connection to a variety of mobile devices including laptops, smartphones, cameras and tablets. Can I get to the Internet on my Smartphone? Yes. All Smartphones have some sort of access. Typically it is through data networks from your cell phone provider or Wi-Fi.



IPHONES IPhones are a type of smartphone developed by the company Apple. It features an operating system entitled iOS which is specifically for all Apple products. Please see Figure 3 & 4 on pages 21 & 22.

What is LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a social media networking site that is focused on employment and geared towards establishing yourself professionally.7

Who is “Siri?” “Siri” is the name used to refer to Apple’s digital assistant. It is a voice controlled feature that will respond to the user audio requests. This can refer to anything from restaurant suggestions, to directions to almost anything you can imagine. What is Facetime? Facetime is a feature of Apple devices providing the ability to make video calls. In order to use this feature, the user requires Wi-Fi or data. What Is ITunes? It is a software used to manage movies, music, TV shows and books for Apple devices. It also provides updates which allow the user to sync all their devices. TABLETS What is a tablet? A tablet is a wireless, portable personal computer with a touchscreen interface. The tablet form factor is typically smaller than a notebook computer, but larger than a smartphone.

Why should I use LinkedIn? You should use LinkedIn if you are looking for employment or to hire. This is a platform for all people that want to advertise their employability or business and to find and apply to job openings. This allows you to connect with future employers and have a professional profile to display your resume.8 How do I sign up to LinkedIn? 1. Type in your computer’s search engine (Ex. Google, Explorer, Bing, Yahoo). 2. Below where it says “get started” input your personal information then press “join now”. 3. Provide your phone number to receive a verification code. 4. Input verification code that you have received as a text or over the phone. 5. Fill in information as directed. 6. Input verification code sent to your email.

What is difference between iPads and Tablets? Whether an iPad (manufacture by Apple) or a tablet (manufactured by companies other than Apple) both are wireless, portable personal computers with a touchscreen interface. The tablet form factor is typically smaller than a notebook computer, but larger than a smartphone. 7


Getting Started with LinkedIn. LinkedIn Help Center. Retrieved February, 2017, from https:// 8 Nations, D. (2016, August 2). What Is LinkedIn and Why Should You Be on It? Retrieved February, 2017, from what-is-linkedin-3486382


Twitter –Glossary of Terms: Tweet: Is a term coined by Twitter to refer to a message or post. Retweet: This is an option at the bottom of a post that allows you to share a message or article that another user has posted, with your friends.

PRIVACY AND SECURITY The internet can be an amazing tool for gathering information quickly, communicating with family and friends worldwide and more. Seeing as it is a public space, users can also be exposed to risks like spam, malware and phishing scams. It is crucial that one learns to protect yourself from these threats. Creating Safe Passwords

Mention/tag: This is a method of notifying a friend to look at a “tweet” you want them to see. You can “mention” multiple people at once in a “tweet”. # (hashtag): #’s are used before words to make them more expressive. These are also used to narrow searches to key words to develop trends. A # creates a way for users to search for all of the discussions that exist on a particular topic without having to follow the writer or belong to the group. Trend/trending: Trends are on the left of the page and refer to the most popular topics and most frequently used hashtags of the day. Follow: This is an option that if chosen will make you a “follower” and update you on all new posts the person or page makes. “Following” a person or group is a good way to keep in touch and stay in the loop of all the new activities or events that will be happening in relation to that person/group.

Creating a user account and password has become a standard practice for doing most tasks online from accessing your email to shopping and paying bills. It may be easier to use the same password for various accounts but this can pose risks to your online security. In order to protect yourself, you should select password that are strong and have a combination of capital and lowercase letters as well as numbers and or symbols.3 Never use personal information like your address, birthday or email address. This information is often used when signing up for accounts and can be easy for someone to guess. Use a longer password for added security. Avoid using common words that are used in the dictionary. Random words are often the strongest.4

Direct Message: This refers to the method of sending private messages/posts. 3 4


Muir, Nancy. (2011). Computer for Seniors, for Dummies 2nd Edition. Thorndike Press. Spivey, Dwight. (2017). iPhone for Seniors, for Dummies. 6th Edition. For Dummies.



How do I access my profile?

Social Media consists of websites that allow information to be created and shared to networks of people and organizations across the globe. This is an increasingly popular form of communication as it allows users to share ideas about topics of interest, work, popular culture and other topics of importance to them. There are a variety of Social Media options out there for every type of user and need. This guide will provide you an introduction to three popular websites:

1. Click on your name at the top left or click on the egg photo at the top of the screen and then click “view profile”.


2. Go to Settings


3. Look on the far right and click on “security and privacy”.


2. Personalize your profile by clicking “edit profile” on the right. How do I find the Privacy Settings? 1. Click on the photo that looks like an egg at the top right

4. Choose desired setting.

Why is privacy important? Privacy is important in terms of keeping personal information and photos from becoming available to the public. These social media platforms will ask for personal information for your account that you may not want to be accessible to the public. If you have provided information that you do not want other people to see then visit the website’s privacy settings. WHAT IS FACEBOOK? Facebook is a social media platform used to communicate in a variety of ways such as sharing memories through photos, sending messages, and video calling. It can also connect you to your interests by providing articles, group/organization pages and links to information you would like to learn about. Why use Facebook? People use Facebook for a variety of reasons including: 


As a method of staying in touch with friends and family that live outside of the country, are on vacation or live in an area that may require long distance calling


To reconnect with old friends/family that you have not heard from or seen in a long time

To share information with friends and family as a group as opposed to individually

Why should I use Twitter?

For advertisement and marketing or helping promote a business/organization

Twitter is used to relay news in the quickest way possible, allowing the user to instantly be aware of what is happening in the world. These interests may involve politics, news, sports, and/or pop culture.5 Also the messages you post can only be 140 characters long, making the news short, condensed and fast to read. The term “characters” refers to the number of letters, numbers, symbols and spaces used in a “tweet.”6

How do I sign up?

WHAT IS TWITTER? Twitter is a form of social media that focusing on news by updating people about what is going on the world, community, or their personal life through short messages/posts.

How do I sign up to Twitter? 1. Type in your computer’s search engine (Ex. Google, Explorer, Bing, Yahoo). 2. Go to the far right and click “sign up”.

There are several steps to creating a Facebook account: 1. Go to on your computer’s search engine (Ex. Google, Explorer, Bing, Yahoo). 2. Find where it says “Create an account”. 3. Fill in your personal information such as: your name, phone number OR email address and birthday. 4. Go through directed steps and “Find Friends” (if unsure how press “next” at the bottom of page). 5. Make your Facebook Profile.

3. Fill in your personal information. 4. Get the confirmation code that is sent to your mobile phone and/or email account then verify it. 5. Choose or search for interests you wish to know more about. 6. Customize your profile by answering questions.

How do I Make a Facebook profile? After making an account you will be directed to a screen that will guide you towards personalizing your profile page. This page will include the information you want people to find when searching for your name. 1. Upload a photo of yourself. This allows people to identify you when searching. 2. Find friends using their email address or by searching by name in the search engine at the top of the page.

5 ,6

Getting started with Twitter. Twitter Help Center. (n.d.). Retrieved February, 2017, from https://


3. Add “suggested” friends if you choose.


How do I find the Privacy Settings?

Facebook – Glossary of Terms:

1. Go to top right of the page. 2. Find “Privacy Shortcuts”. 3. Control who sees your profile by making it: Public (for all to see), Friends (only people you have as friends), or Only me (private).

How do I post a picture? 1. Go to your profile (click on your photo at top of page). 2. Click on “Photos” beside your name to create an album or post the photo(s).

How do I tag my friend on a post?

Like: Clicking “like” is a friendly way to let people know that you approve or appreciate their post. Newsfeed: This is displayed on the left-hand side of your home page and consists of suggested posts correlated to your interests and your friends posts. Share: This gives you the option to re-post a picture, article or video you viewed on your friend’s page. Chat: This is a way to instant message your friends privately. Found in the bottom right. Post: Is the term used to describe the media that is displayed on a user’s Facebook wall.

1. Go to comments and write your friends name. 2. While typing your friend’s name it should also pop up above. 3. Click on name then press “enter”. 4. Write a message or just hit “send”. Tag: Is a method used to direct a friend to a post. When you “tag” a person, it identifies them in a photo or will alert them to the tag by sending them a notification. Notification: This is the red numbered messages that appear at the top of your screen that signify that there is new information that may interest you or that someone is trying to contact you.



Profile for P.O.I.N.T. Inc.

Seniors IT Guide  

Seniors guide to using technology.

Seniors IT Guide  

Seniors guide to using technology.


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