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Singaporeans are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, especially senior citizens

Zafirah Salim | Nov. 27, 2015
In 2014, 74% of Singapore residents used the computer in the last three months, with the highest increase reported for senior citizens aged 50 years and above.

More seniors in Singapore are increasingly using smartphones and computers and actively accessing the Internet, according to IDA's annual survey on Infocomm Usage in Households 2014.

Last year, more than half (74%) of Singapore residents used the computer in the last three months, with the highest increase reported for senior citizens aged 50 years and above.

Between 2012 and 2014, there was a significant increase of 14 and 11 percentage points in computer usage by senior citizens aged 50 to 59, and above 60 respectively. This brought the total percentage of computer usage among senior citizens to 63% for those aged 50 to 59 years, and 27% for those aged 60 years and above respectively in 2014.

In addition, the survey revealed that the internet usage rate by senior citizens aged 50 to 59; and 60 and above rose significantly to 75% and 31% respectively in 2014. In the same year, more than three-quarter and one-third of senior citizens aged 50 and 59 years; and 60 years and above respectively used a smartphone to access the Internet in the past three months. 

According to a media statement, this survey has been conducted annual for more than 20 years. Its objective is to assess the extent of infocomm adoption in Singapore resident households and residents. The latest survey's data was collected from about 3,500 households and about 3,500 residents via face-to-face interviews. 

The household internet and broadband access also continued to increase in 2014 and households are increasingly using internet-enabled mobile phones for internet access.  Home internet and broadband access rates rose to 88% and 87.5% respectively in 2014.  For households with school-going children, internet and broadband access rates were 98% and 97% respectively in 2014. 

Another trend that was highlighted in this survey is the rise of online shopping among Singaporeans. Online shoppers were mainly aged between 15 and 49 years, with credit card payment being the most common among those aged 25 and above. It is also noted that majority of online shoppers spent at least S$100 on their online purchases, with the three most popular items purchased online being apparels, travel products and tickets for entertainment events.

On the cyber security front, the survey found that more than eight in 10 installed anti-virus software and security updates on computer used to access the internet at home; while adoption rates of anti-virus software installation on smartphones were comparatively lower at about three in 10. The top three primary internet activities among Singapore residents were related to communication, leisure activities and getting information, while the top online activity on mobile equipment being the use of social networks. 

"We are encouraged to see residents becoming more tech-savvy and connected, particularly the silver generation.  This is useful to help the industry explore new opportunities to serve our citizens better and help build Singapore into a Smart Nation," said Steve Leonard, IDA's Executive Deputy Chairman.


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