Patrick Baker on Technology

AI, Our Aging Population, and the Future

By Patrick Baker ~ Last time, I described the current state of artificial intelligence (AI) in 2024, how older adults might benefit from its use in daily life, and some AI systems you can currently use. This follow-up article discusses some negative, more nefarious aspects of AI, like privacy risks, disinformation, and AI weaponized by […]

Artificial Intelligence and Our Aging Population

By Patrick Baker ~ Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been in the news with growing frequency since the 2023 debut of ChatGPT. What exactly, is artificial intelligence, and how can its current and near-term uses affect older adults? This two-part series examines the current state of AI, how older adults might benefit from its use in […]

Beware of Tech Support Scams

By Patrick Baker ~ Here is the scenario: you’re confronted with intense feelings of anxiety and fear when the person on the phone or the pop-up window on your browser says your computer has a virus or malware. The caller urgently requests immediate access to your system to clear things up. The pop-up insists you […]

Meet Bitwarden, Your New Password Manager

By Patrick Baker ~ Now that it’s 2024, it’s time to use a password manager. I tell my students: if you have more than three passwords, you probably need a password manager. iPhone or Android users can use Apple or Google’s free password manager accessible on any device where you use your Apple or Google […]

New Year’s Tech Cleanup

By Patrick Baker ~ New Year’s resolutions come and go, are sometimes started and quickly forgotten, or for persistent individuals, they become new behaviors and choices that evolve into habits. There are facets of your digital life you can resolve to clear up in the new year, too. How are you managing your passwords? Are […]

Using Passkeys for Google Accounts

By Patrick Baker ~ Maybe you were recently prompted to change how you log in to your Google account, suggesting you start using passkeys. If your devices meet the minimum requirements, Google now supports using passkeys for signing in to your Google account instead of your password. After creating your passkey, you only need your […]

Hearing Aid Support on Smartphones and Tablets

By Patrick Baker ~ Persons with Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids and cochlear implants can pair these and other assistive listening devices (ALDs) with smartphones and tablets. This enables hearing-impaired persons to control hearing aids with smartphone apps, answer calls, and enjoy streaming media.

Assistive Access Simplifies Apple Devices for Older Adults

By Patrick Baker ~ Apple launched its new mobile operating systems for iPhone and iPad this month – iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. A highly anticipated feature called Assistive Access greatly simplifies the iPhone and iPad home screens, and core apps like Phone, Camera, Photos, and others. Assistive Access could be a game-changer for older […]

Emergency Contact Features on Android

By Patrick Baker ~ A smartphone enables you to call or text anyone from almost anywhere – especially during an emergency. Your Android smartphone can call emergency services, and share your location with first responders and persons you designate as emergency contacts.

Emergency Contact Features on iPhone

By Patrick Baker ~ One of the many advantages of having a smartphone is the ability to call or text anyone from almost anywhere – especially during an emergency. Your iPhone can call emergency services and share your location with first responders and persons you designate as emergency contacts.

Mental Health Apps

By Patrick Baker ~ During the pandemic, when people could not meet with therapists in person, mental health apps experienced a surge in usage, according to the National Institutes of Health. However, with numerous mental health apps to choose from, it’s important to know what to look for and which apps therapists recommend for their […]

Mindfulness and Meditation Apps

By Patrick Baker ~ People 55 and older face many stress-inducing challenges, such as chronic health conditions, financial worries, caregiving, relationship challenges, loneliness and isolation, and significant lifestyle changes like retirement, relocating, or losing a loved one. Learning to manage stress is one of many benefits of meditating.

Health and Nutrition Apps

By Patrick Baker ~ Developing sound health and nutrition habits requires some degree of self-discipline for almost anyone. Using apps on smartphones, watches, and tablets, we can collect and interpret data about what we eat and how often we exercise. The data helps us gain additional insights about what and how we’re doing and reinforces […]

Passkeys: the Solution to Our Password Problem?

By Patrick Baker ~ Imagine a time when you can easily and securely access your online accounts the same way you unlock your smartphone or computer, using a PIN or biometric data like your face or a fingerprint instead of a username and password. You can access your accounts on any device, and your credentials […]

Secure Your Facebook Account

By Patrick Baker ~ Facebook has an estimated 260 million users in the US, 22% of whom are over 55. However, people of any age are susceptible to someone impersonating or “spoofing” their account, exposing themselves and their Facebook friends to potential online scams and identity theft. Worst case, a bad actor could seize your […]