24 Jun 2019 03:58am IST
Neetant D Sinai Shirodkar
The first lessons we learn since the time we are born come from our parents, right from learning to stand on our own feet by holding their fingers to balancing a bicycle for the first time knowing subconsciously that there would safe hands to catch in case you fall. Everything about life that we learn is accumulated from the teachings of our parents. 16th June is celebrated as Father’s Day the world over and although we acknowledge our love and gratitude by posting messages on social media or otherwise, we all know that this bond can’t merely be expressed in words. But there is a way we can try to reciprocate the learnings we imbibed by teaching them something they are seemingly uncomfortable with and by that, I mean helping your father go digital financially. This Father’s Day, here’s how you can help your dad adapt to new technology and use it to his advantage.
Part of the problem when it comes to adoption of technology is that people from older generations often distrust digital interfaces when it comes to managing money. The main reason is lack of trust in digital methods of investment. There’s limited experience with the online world and lack of understanding about how it works. The elderly are not willing to trust their hard-earned money to a digital platform, especially if there’s no one to guide them. You can handhold your father through the basics and dispel any misconceptions about safety concerns. But make sure he uses trustworthy apps and platforms. Even day-to-day household transactions can be taken care of digitally now. You can teach your father to pay utility bills online so that he doesn’t have to stand in long queues at banks. Likewise, you can also guide him about investing in fixed deposits and mutual funds through banking apps and how to track his investments using websites such as moneycontrol.com or other similar sites having portfolio management menus. Using digital platforms could also do away with the need to chase insurance agents to pay premiums.
Our Father’s fears about managing money online are not entirely unfounded, given that they are often the first to fall victim to various scams due to their unfamiliarity with certain digital platforms. Precautions and safeguards on avoidance of online frauds are paramount. Software and applications come with their own set of vulnerabilities and pitfalls. Make sure you warn your father about the possibility of accidentally downloading phishing apps and exposing his financial data to fraudsters. Phishing for better understanding is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message. Ask your father to check the publisher of the banking or financial app, before downloading. The interface of many unofficial apps is designed to look like the original. If explaining to your father how to spot a fake app seems too challenging, you can also do the downloading on his behalf to ensure that all the apps he uses are authentic ones. Also, ask him to be careful when granting permissions for apps and websites.
Writing a column about teaching your father feels strange and fulfilling at the same time, as all my life I have looked up to him as my role model and will continue to do so. He’s been that superhero who filled my world with happiness, someone who’s identified my talents and harnessed them to my benefit. I am sure the same holds true for you as well. Remember our parents were introduced to technology much later in their life and learning something new takes time, so be patient and empathetic when teaching him how to invest and transact online. Helping him to try to learn and adopt its several uses to communicate or benefit from it in multiple ways will be a fitting way to express your love and gratitude towards your father be it Father’s Day or otherwise.