UTM Research: Making the Web Safer for Seniors

utmutmUTM assistant professor at the Institute for Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (ICCIT), Cosmin Munteanu, is examining the barriers older adults face in adopting online technology in his research that aims to make the Internet safer for seniors.

Professor Munteanu’s research, funded through UTM’s Research and Scholarly Activity Fund, is concerned with how ageing adults use technology and what barriers seniors face in using online services requiring and managing critical information. Munteanu states that while many seniors participate in the online platform they don’t take full advantage of the Internet as they fear their online safety will be exposed.

Current research into senior use of technology doesn’t cover perceptions of safety, Munteanu notes. “The statistics tell us that $10-million is lost every year by Canadian seniors in online scams. This is in proportion with the general population. But seniors see themselves as targets, and this makes them marginalized in online activities.”

Personal services are increasingly managed online, including tasks such as filing taxes, accessing investment statements and renewing library books and drug prescriptions. “It becomes even more important to make the online world a safe and navigable space for senior users,” Munteanu says.

Moreover, seniors view themselves as targets to online scams. Thus, Munteanu hopes his research, focusing on medical information, personal information and online transactions will help result in safer ways to get seniors to use the online platform.

Munteanu is also the Co-director of the Technologies for Aging Gracefully lab (TAG lab)  and is part of the Faculty of Information and the Department of Computer Science at the St. George campus.

Check out the full article here for details on Munteanu’s research.

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