The image of Millennials glued to their smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices is a stereotype we’re all too willing to accept, but it’s a misconception to think that this kind of infatuation with connected devices isn’t similarly true of the Baby Boomer Generation. In fact, a new study from AARP affirms that Boomers are just as taken with their tech as their kids are, with one in seven adults age 50 and older owning a home assistance device, like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. A particular boon for the Baby Boomer generation is smart home tech, as devices like smart lights and smart thermostats bring not only added comfort and convenience to the home, but also attractive energy and financial savings.
However, while Boomers are indeed willing to welcome virtual assistants, smart home devices, and other tech gadgets into their homes with open arms, there is one thing that’s holding them back: confusion on how to manage all this new tech.
Boomers Enter Unknown Tech Territory
With the iPhone’s big unveil and rise to popularity in 2007, at a time when the Boomer population was already well over 40 years old, it’s no surprise that most of them struggle to manipulate tech with the same confidence and dexterity as the generation who grew up in the age of Wi-Fi and smart tech—but that doesn’t stop them from trying.
According to a recent report from AARP, one key reason Americans are looking to connected devices is to help them stay connected with their families: 69% own a smartphone, and 62% own a laptop. But more and more Boomers are also eager to explore other kinds of tech, e.g., the 12% who already own wearables.
Unfortunately, a Deloitte survey shares that too many Boomers don’t feel that they get adequate support for navigating their new tech. In fact, Deloitte’s survey reports that many seniors who struggle with their digital devices feel that they’re missing the help they need, and that their own children often have “a ‘can’t be bothered explaining’ attitude”—just 44% were most likely to approach their children for help with tech issues.
So, if Baby Boomers are feeling at a loss with their digital devices and can’t find the help they need from their usual support system, who can they turn to next? Deloitte’s survey shows that 21% of seniors would turn to professional outlets as their next source of help—but this is just where more problems begin.
Boomers: Easy Prey for Foul Play
The internet is full of all kinds of scams, and, unfortunately, baby boomers are often targeted as easy prey—this is particularly true when it comes to online tech support scams. According to the FTC, older adults are five times more likely to lose money on tech support scams.
How do scammers do it? One popular tactic is to post fake customer support phone numbers online under the name of well-known companies. When unsuspecting seniors call in for help with their computer, virtual assistant, or other tech gadget, these scammers “offer” to remotely access users’ computers to “troubleshoot” tech issues—and then demand expensive payments for “fixing” the problem.
The FTC reports that, over the past four years, seniors have filed more reports of losing money on tech support scams than they did for any other Sentinel fraud category, at a medium loss of $500—25% more than that of younger adults.
And it’s not just money that Boomers risk losing to tech support scams—their personal data is also at stake, too. For example, by secretly installing malware on users’ computers, scammers can steal bank account numbers, social security numbers, and other personal data.
Who to Turn to for Tech Support?
With children who don’t have the time or the desire to offer them help, and online scammers who are only out to do them harm, it’s no wonder Baby Boomers are feeling at a loss when it comes to finding support for their tech devices. But with their increasing desire to outfit their homes with more and more connected devices, Baby Boomers need a reliable, trustworthy source to turn to when they need help managing their connected home.
Support.com can be that support system.
Support.com has been delivering tech support for both businesses and consumers for over 20 years—a heritage that has resulted in deep expertise across all devices in the connected home and the interoperability challenges that often come as a result. Support.com TechSolutions helps consumers resolve a wide range of tech issues throughout the lifecycle of the device—including problems with setup/configuration, troubleshooting, learning new features, ensuring devices work well together, and even pre-sales questions such as product compatibility.
With TechSolutions, consumers can choose how they want to receive tech support, whether that’s online, DIY step-by-step guides for thousands of common tech problems (known as Guided Paths®) or live-agent support via phone and chat, available 24/7. Consumers can start in a Guided Path and seamlessly escalate to live agent support without repeating steps. Consumers can also request a virtual house call where a tech expert remotely connects to their device to solve the issue for them. With Support.com’s proprietary software, agents can see exactly what the consumer sees using their smartphone or tablet camera, helping to solve even the most difficult technical problems.
Particularly important for the Baby Boomer generation is Support.com’s jargon-free culture: Our Tech Pros speak in everyday language, so customers can clearly understand the steps it takes to fix their tech issues and get back on track.
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in our everyday lives—and that goes for Baby Boomers, too. To help our loved ones confidently and independently manage their growing ecosystem of digital devices, they need a reliable, go-to source for tech support—and they can find that with Support.com.