AT&T Announces Free Technology Classes to Start During Older Americans Month
Briefings on Mobile Phones, Cybersafety for Senior Consumers
San Antonio, Texas.- In recognition of Older Americans Month, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) announced today that the company is launching free briefings to seniors on how to operate their mobile phones and on Internet cybersafety in various cities throughout the country. The briefings will continue through the rest of the year.
“As the No. 1 provider of broadband and wireless service in the country, we consider it our responsibility to help create a safe environment for all consumers, including seniors,” said Brent Olson, AT&T assistant vice president, Public Policy. “These briefings are a way for consumers to learn more about how to wisely use technology, including the benefits as well as the challenges.”
Pilot briefings on mobile phones were hosted by OASIS, a national nonprofit educational organization for mature adults, with programming in at least 26 cities in the U.S. Using the OASIS model as a guide, AT&T teams in various states will reach out throughout the year to other organizations and facilities that serve mature adults.
In the OASIS pilots, participants received one-on-one coaching from AT&T volunteers, who answered participants’ questions and helped them learn to use their current phones, regardless of which carrier they were using. More than 300 seniors have learned several functions of their mobile phones, from basic inbound and outbound call techniques to text messaging functions.
“We are pleased to have launched this important and popular program for our members, who increasingly look to their mobile phones as a mode of communication with the outside world,” said Marcia Kerz, president of OASIS. “It’s unusual for any company to offer free programs like this, which is a hit because seniors can learn in a comfortable setting. The participants have responded very positively to the information they have learned.”
The pilot briefings with OASIS were held in a handful of cities, including Houston, Phoenix, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. Upcoming briefings will include St. Louis, Chicago, San Antonio and Rochester, N.Y.
In addition, AT&T will hold its first cybersafety briefing for seniors at an event hosted by the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged (NCBA) in Chicago on May 29. Cybersafety briefings will become available at various cities throughout the country.
The briefings will help provide tips to seniors on the challenges of staying safe on the Internet and on their wireless phone and will cover the following topics:
* Spam and scams
* Fraud and phishing
* Identity theft
* Social networking sites, including card games such as bridge and other activities
“Increasingly, the senior population is using the Internet for a wide variety of applications, including accessing personal health records, shopping, online learning and managing finances — far more than just e-mailing photos of children and grandchildren,” said Kristin Fabos, executive director for SeniorNet, an organization of computer-using adults 50 and older, with 150 SeniorNet Computer Learning Centers throughout the country. “With such increased usage comes increased security concerns, so we need to do what we can to educate our members on cybersafety.”
SeniorNet and OASIS are members of AT&T’s Advisory Panel on Access Aging, which meets quarterly with AT&T’s key decision-makers and advises on issues that affect customers and employees who are aging and/or have disabilities.
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