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Internet-Safety Concerns amongst 50+ year olds

Evaluation and Training Development


Understand 50+ year olds internet concerns

Evaluate existing internet-safety knowledge

Consider training approaches to reduce internet-safety as a barrier


Dr Piers Fleming - Project lead

Dr Laura Biggart

Alexis Upcott (intern)

Project Detail

Age UK notes that there are 3.4 million people aged 65+ who have never used the internet and another 500,000 who are lapsed internet users. This report makes the summary recommendation to "Tackle wider barriers that deter people from using technology, in particular reducing the risk of fraud and scams” and finds from a panel who had not used the internet in the last three months that 34% were “concerned about scams” and “Opportunity to learn more” was the second most likely thing (33%) to encourage internet use. Likewise the Office for National Statistics finds “Virtually all adults aged 16 to 44 years in the UK were recent internet users (99%) in 2019, compared with 47% of adults aged 75 years and over.” The picture is similar in 2017 data from Norfolk where 31.5% of 65+ Year olds have not used the internet in the last 3 months/ever

This project aims to reduce barriers to digital inclusion by focussing on internet security concerns and competence. People who prefer to avoid shopping or banking on the internet may have real concerns about “all the bad things that might happen” (Horrigan and US FCC, 2010). Cybercrime is increasing rapidly with one estimate that it will cost the global economy $6 trillion in 2021 (Cybersecurityventures, 2020). We want to understand and provide support for Norfolk residents through partner organisations to encourage safe use of internet services.

This research will run from 2021-22. It will produce a literature review and a series of interviews with 50+ year old Norfolk residents who are concerned about internet use. Those interviews will aim to understand residents concerns and knowledge about internet safety. This information will be used to adapt/devise training materials on cyber-safety.

This project is co-funded by the Norwich Good Economy Commission Digital Inclusion Funding Stream and the University of East Anglia.

We are looking for participants and groups/organisations in the Norwich area who might be interested in this research. If you or someone you know might be interested in taking part, contributing or to find out more about it please email p.fleming@uea.ac.uk