It can be mind-boggling trying to understand different internet services, mobile phones, certain applications and how to use it all safely.
What many shire residents don’t know, is that free help is available from a team of experts.
The Tech Exec has teamed up with NBN representatives at the Batemans Bay community hub to help people with their journeys to get online.
Recently, an elderly couple visited the hub at Bridge Plaza with questions about their internet usage. The couple were linking devices through a mobile phone plan to access their online therapy sessions – chewing through data at a significant cost.
“It was an alternative to a solid landline connection at their home, where the amount of data they were getting was not worthwhile in the long run, and the affordability for the pensioners proved some difficulty,” a spokesperson said.
“There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding around the difference between NBN and retail service providers.”
A mobile is like a monster to them – they are scared to use it.
Ashin Mohan, The Tech Exec
The couple sought help from Tech Exec digital mentor Ashin Mohan.
“They came in almost weeping, as they would have to pay quite a lot to cancel their contract,” Mr Mohan said.
“I rang the providers to sort it out and they were happy to waive the cancellation fees – the couple were very happy.”
Whenever in doubt, Mr Mohan said residents can pick up the phone and call the Tech Exec team for free unbiased advice.
“One woman rang us and said she bought $80 of antivirus software when she didn’t need it in the first place,” he said.
Mr Mohan said elderly can easily be misguided: “When COVID hit, young people could keep up, but the oldies were not able to; they are still struggling and it is very easy to fool them.”
Mr Mohan is a geriatric doctor by trade who moved to Moruya last year.
During his time volunteering for the council’s community transport and social support service, he noticed many elderly were feeling “left out”.
“They don’t have their children here and don’t know where to ask for help,” he said.
“All they know is how to use a landline. A mobile is like a monster to them – they are scared to use it.
“A lot of things have been fed to their mind that if they use a mobile, all their things will be leaked – they don’t understand the privacy of it.
“We have to teach them, so they feel safe and know exactly what to do.”