Older brains stay younger with stimulation, and social media and photo-sharing allows you to stay in touch with your family. But which computer is best for grandparents? Here’s some help.
Old Computers. If your children offer you a computer, only consider it if it’s less than three years old. Prices have dropped on computers and you can probably find one for $1,000 or less.
What’s It For? If texting, email, web-surfing, and video-chat are all you need, consider a tablet that has the advantage of portability.
Mac Or PC? An iPad will be easiest for a novice. But if you’re a veteran PC-user, you may prefer a Windows tablet. If you already own an iPhone, stick with an iPad or Mac computer because you already know how to operate it.
Screen Size. New tablets and “ultraportable” computers now come in small sizes. Before buying a screen less than 11-inches in diameter, be sure you can read all the text in emails and on the Internet.
Set Up. If you’re a novice, salespeople at the computer store will help you learn how to set up your new machine. Apple and Microsoft stores often offer classes. Or maybe you can persuade a child or grandchild to help you.
App Store. Whether you’re seven or 75, the app store has something for you. No matter what your age, make sure you know how to use the app store.
FaceTime Or Skype. Be sure to set up a video calling service. Apple FaceTime and Skype are free and easy to use once they’re set up, and they allow video calls across the country or across the world for free.
Sharing Photos. Ask family members whether they use any photo-sharing or social websites already, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr. They can send you an invitation to see all their photos. With Flickr, which allows you to store and share photos for free, you can set up an account that only family members can see.
Passwords. A password-management program would be wise. LastPass.com is free, easy, and secure, but there are many other options.
Financial Data. Accessing your financial accounts online can make life simpler, but security is paramount.
If you’re not a veteran Web surfer, before posting sensitive information or accessing your accounts, please call our office. We’d be happy to help you get the basics set up so you can access your information securely 24/7 from anywhere.
This article was written by a professional financial journalist for McCarthy Asset Management, Inc and is not intended as legal or investment advice.