Ah, the golden years—time to kick back, enjoy leisurely strolls in the park, and become a cybersecurity ninja? That’s right! In an age where digital scams are as common as pigeons in the square, our wise elders are sharpening their digital swords to fight off pesky tech bandits. The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security is taking an ‘age is just a number’ approach and schooling seniors on the art of navigating the digital realm.
Let’s talk numbers for a second. Thailand is a land enriched by its vibrant elderly population – a cool 13 million strong—which accounts for about 20% of its people. Now, hold onto your hats, because in a mere two decades, that number’s going to burst like a piñata, raining down silver-haired wisdom on 30% of the population.
Now, even though our valued senior citizens may have a treasure trove of experience, the digital playground is still a bit of a wild west for many. Enter the recent eye-opener from the Intelligence Centre for Elderly Media Literacy (ICEML) at Mahidol University, brought to light with a helping hand from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. The findings? A staggering 70.53% of the elderly had taken the bait and dished out their personal info to scammers, and 22.40% went on a shopping spree for what turned out to be duds.
In a swift response, the Ministry joined forces with ThaiHealth, Mahidol University, and a sprinkle of Tammapun Company magic to whip up a media literacy curriculum fit for a king—or in this case, fit for the millions of curious grandmas and grandpas out there.
The game plan is simple: invade 2,456 elderly schools with knowledge bombs and tech savvy skills. The honorable Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, helmsman of this initiative, has set the sails for this educational expedition.
We’ve got Benjamaporn Limpisathian, ThaiHealth’s esteemed senior assistant manager, pledging to transform our elderly into digital gurus. Picture them laughing in the face of those phishing emails, scrolling past those too-good-to-be-true ads with nary a second glance.
Pointing the bow of the ship is ICEML’s very own president, Assoc Prof Nuntiya Dounghummes. Digital literacy isn’t just about keeping the savings under lock and key—it’s about empowering our elders with the know-how to ride the digital wave safely, without wiping out.
It’s a tapestry of tales in the land of smiles, where the elderly aren’t just telling stories of the good old days—they’re writing new ones with each click and swipe in the connected cosmos we all share.