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Email etiquette for seniors

It’s a well-known fact that technology is present in many aspects of our everyday lives. For those of us who have been raised alongside the advancements in the tech industry, simple things like email have become second nature. Seniors, however, may not be as adept when it comes to using computers, let along communicating via email. Here are simple steps and tips you can do to help your elderly loved one get more comfortable with their inbox.

• If they don’t already have an email account, help them set one up on a free, easy-to-use platform such as Gmail or Yahoo!. Be sure to write down usernames and passwords in a secure place.
• Make sure to check their spam settings and explain the prevalence of email scammers that try to take advantage of elderly users.
• Explain the importance and danger of attachments. Often times, attachments contain the bulk of the information associated with the email. However, attachments can also be a source of detrimental computer viruses when sent from an unknown source or if they are downloaded improperly.
• Review the difference between an informal and a formal email. Informal emails are meant for family and friends, often containing pictures and stories. These emails are intended to be causal, reflecting the author’s personality and sense of humor! On the other hand, formal emails are reserved for more neutral audiences, such as community organizations. Formal emails should contain proper language and be void of any emoticons.

Learning email etiquette, or even email in general, can be tricky for anyone! The most important thing is to remain positive. Email can be a great resource for seniors, keeping them in touch with friends and family.

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