More senior citizens using Internet and smartphones

More senior citizens using Internet and smartphones
PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - More senior citizens here are using the Internet, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) found in its latest household survey.

Internet usage by senior citizens aged 50-59 rose significantly to 75 per cent, and 31 per cent for those aged 60 and above.

In 2014, more than 3/4 of senior citizens aged 50-59 years and 1/3 of those 60 years and above used a smartphone to access the Internet. This is an increase of 30 and 19 percentage-points for the two age groups from 2012.

Between 2012 and 2014, there was a significant increase of 14 and 11 percentage-points in computer usage by senior citizens aged 50-59 and those above 60. This brought the total percentage of computer usage among senior citizens aged 50-59 years to 63 per cent and 27 per cent among those aged 60 and above.

For the survey, data was collected from about 3,500 households and about 3,500 residents via face-to-face interviews.

IDA Executive Deputy Chairman Steve Leonard said: "We are encouraged to see residents becoming more tech-savvy and connected, particularly the silver generation. This is useful to help the industry explore new opportunities to serve our citizens better and help build Singapore into a Smart Nation."

IDA's survey also found that household Internet and broadband access had continued to increase in 2014, and that households were increasingly using Internet-enabled mobile phones for Internet access.

Home Internet and broadband access rates rose to 88 per cent and 87.5 per cent respectively in 2014.

For households with school-going children, Internet and broadband access rates were 98 per cent and 97 per cent respectively in 2014.

Fibre and wireless broadband continued to replace ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) and cable modem with 62 per cent of resident households using fibre broadband in 2014 (up from 25 per cent in 2012), and 56 per cent using wireless broadband in 2014 (up from 38 per cent in 2012).

Another trend that was observed from the survey was the rise of online shopping among Singapore residents.

Online shoppers were mostly 15-49 years old. Credit card payment was found to be the most common payment choice among those aged 25 and above, and most online shoppers spent at least $100 on online purchases. The three most popular items purchased online were clothes, travel products and tickets for entertainment events.

When it came to security, over eight in 10 users installed anti-virus software and security updates on computers used to access the Internet at home. On the other hand, adoption rates of anti-virus software installation for smartphones were comparatively lower at about three in 10.

The top three primary Internet activities among Singapore residents were related to communication, leisure activities and getting information. Those who accessed the Internet on mobile devices engaged mostly in social networks.

ljessica@sph.com.sg

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