Free ways to boost your digital IQ

The online world is full of great opportunities to get a little smarter and safer. From great apps that expand your thinking to powerful tools and services that make life a little easier, here’s a few ways to elevate your digital IQ.

Searching images makes Google more useful

Many people don’t realise you can search more than just text in Google. On the Google homepage, click the little image icon in the search box and it opens an option to upload an image. Whether you’re looking for more information about an artwork or trying to identify that interesting plant on your daily walk, this is a great option to turn to when you don’t know how to search for what you want to know.

Look for classes at your local library

The local library has become a powerful hub for keeping up with digital trends. Alongside a long history of offering access to computers and the internet for people who don’t have them at home, they also regularly offer educational workshops to help people get started with new digital skills. Plus, with apps like Libby and Overdrive, you can borrow ebooks to read on your smart device. Every library takes a different approach, but if you head to your local library and ask about how they assist your community with digital skills there’s a good chance they can help.

Use a digital to-do list tracker

We can all use a reliable external brain space to jot down things we want to do or thoughts we want to remember. Todoist is one example and is completely free for general use. It has apps for every phone and computer, plus integrates with web browsers and email apps to have it always at your fingertips when you want to note something down.

Make all your accounts safer with added protection

You’ve probably already had to switch on additional protection to prove it's really you when accessing things like your bank accounts. Known as two-factor authentication, this puts an added layer behind your password that can only be accessed in real-time. Often this comes in the form of a text message or email containing a code that you need to enter to complete your login. The great news is that you can switch on this same banking-style protection for almost all your online accounts. Just look for the ‘two-factor’ option near your password settings and it’ll walk you through it from there.

Be Connected: one stop for all your digital basics

Australia has an eSafety Commissioner charged with keeping our nation safe online. But their office has also created an incredible online resource called ‘Be Connected’ that offers training in a wide range of digital skills. Topics range from how to access government services online and how to manage cybersecurity, through to getting started with smart home technology and saving your photos safely in the cloud. It’s one of the best free resources out there for upping your digital skills.

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