Mavis Luckarift has been learning how important it is to stay safe online at Barnsley Central Library. It’s already helped her identify a phone call from a scammer, and a spam email, meaning she’s been able to keep her data and details secure.
“I have my own laptop and iPad,” explains 83-year-old Mavis. “When they were new, I was struggling to use them, so I came to the computer classes here at Barnsley Library.”
Mavis previously worked in a lighting factory in Barnsley and is also an ex-florist. She had never needed to use computers or technology for work, so it isn’t something that comes naturally to her. She tried to learn from family members, but they either went through things too fast or just did it for her.
“[People doing it for me] that’s not learning me, but when I’m here, I’m actually learning things that I can do on my own when I get home,” says Mavis.
Before coming to the classes, Mavis was aware of the dangers on the internet - scams, viruses and phishing. “I was very careful online before this class,” she says. “You hear things in the news all the time and it’s frightening to think that people can get scammed and have their money stolen. That’s why I won’t do anything money-related online, like banking or shopping.”
In the classes at Barnsley Library, Mavis and her classmates covered online safety. Because of that, Mavis was able to identify a scam email that she received.
“If I saw a dodgy email or link, I would know what to do now,” says Mavis. “I have had a dodgy email on my iPad before but I didn’t click on it. I knew that it was a scam email.
“I’ve had a call before from a scammer too. A man called me and asked me to load up my computer. He said he’d sent me an email and that I needed to open it. I told him ‘no’ because I knew it was a scam and I didn’t click on the email he’d sent me either.
“I can browse lots of different things online, but it’s important to know how to stay safe when doing so. You’ve got to be prepared and watch what you’re doing.”
Mavis would recommend getting online and learning about online safety. She says: “Because I’m older I can’t take it in as quickly as the younger ones, but for people who are nervous about getting online, especially people who don’t want to do it because they’re worried about staying safe, just go along to a class and you’ll find out that it’s not scary and once you’ve learned the skills, staying safe is easy.”