How to be a savvy senior online: A guide to all things internet

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Over the past few decades, the internet has become more more ingrained in daily life — everything from shopping to banking to communicating with family can be handled online. For those who were born into this period, the internet the many ways you can use it are second nature. For others, these things might feel confusing or difficult to keep up with.

That’s where we come in. We’re here to make life on the internet easier to understand, to help you stay safe. We’ve created a guide explaining how to set up an internet connection, personalize your internet experience, more importantly, feel safe while doing so.

Finding Your Internet Provider

First foremost, you’ll need to set up an internet connection. It’s no secret that internet plans can get expensive. And the process of figuring out which providers are both available affordable can be a frustrating experience, especially if you’ve had your heart set on a certain provider. Unlike cell phone carriers where you’re free to choose the company, most homes are only served by one or two set internet providers. As a result, you may not have access to the provider you want. Check out our review of the best internet providers to see what providers are available in your zip code.

Fortunately, most major cable DSL providers offer senior discounts programs that accommodate low-income households.

  1. Price: $5-10/mo.
  2. Speed: 0.768-10 Mbps
  3. Requirements
    • Must be SNAP
    • Must go through the mail to apply

View Now at AT&T

  1. Price: $9.25/mo.
  2. Speed: Varies
  3. Requirements
    • Participate in a federally-recognized aid program: Federal Public Housing Assistance, SNAP, Income below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, Medicaid, SSI, etc.

View Now at Frontier

CenturyLink Lifeline

  1. Price: $9.25/mo.
  2. Speed: A minimum of 15 Mbps
  3. Requirements
    • Participate in a federally-recognized aid program: Federal Public Housing Assistance, SNAP, Income below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, Medicaid, SSI, etc.
  1. Price: $9.25/mo.
  2. Speed: 18 Mbps
  3. Requirements
    • Participate in a federally-recognized aid program: Federal Public Housing Assistance, SNAP, Income below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, Medicaid, SSI, etc.

View Now at Verizon

    1. Price: $9.95/mo.
    2. Speed: Up to 15 Mbps
    3. Requirements
      • Must be 62
      • Must receive federal or state assistance

    View Now at Comcast

Personalize Your Browsing Experience

Once your internet is set up, you can start customizing the features that create an experience that’s right for you your family. Among some of the most useful features are parental controls font size. Parental controls act as a preventative tool, protecting you your family from the darker ends of the internet.

Parental controls

Most providers now have parental controls built-in to their routers making the installation process, while the technician is present, which is the best time to activate this feature. If you happen to miss this window, most providers give you the ability to activate this feature online in your internet account settings. If all else fails, we recommend reaching out to your provider for assistance.

Adjusting font size

Font size serves as an aiding tool, giving you the ability to increase painstakingly small text. This is especially useful if you’re planning on doing a lot of online reading researching.

Shortcut functions: To increase font size, hold down Ctrl (for Windows) or Comm(for Mac) tap the Plus (+) key. If you’re looking to decrease, hold down Ctrl or Commtap the Minus (-) key. Otherwise, here’s how to adjust font size in different browsers:

  • Chrome: In the upper corner of your screen, click on Chrome you should see an option called Preferences. This will take you to Settings where you’ll find Appearance. Under Appearance, you should see Font Size Page Zoom.
  • Safari: In the upper corner of your screen, click on Safari you should see an option called Preferences. After you open Preferences, look for a tab called Advanced. Once you click on this, you should see an Accessibility option that allows you to adjust the default font size.
  • Internet Explorer: In the upper corner of your screen, click Tools select Internet Options. In this window, located at the bottom of the General tab, you should see Fonts. In this menu, you’ll be able to adjust the default font size.

Other features we like include the ability to convert text to speech, increase color contrast, reduce transparency.

Speech tools

Text-to-speech tools are primarily intended for disabled users, but they’re also a great feature if you have difficulty reading text, or if your eyes tire quickly from computer screens.

  • Mac users:Go to System Preferences click on Accessibility. In this menu, you should see Speech. There should be an unchecked box next to “Speak selected text when the key is pressed.” After you check this box, highlight any text hold down Option + Esc.
  • Windows users: Go to Settings click on Ease of Access. In this menu, click Use Narrator.

High contrast colors transparency

Another way to improve your reading experience is through contrast transparency settings. Some websites use low-contrast colors various shades in text in an effort to make their page more appealing. The by-product is a minimalist design that ultimately makes for a more difficult read, sometimes even leading to eye strain. Adjusting these settings gives you the ability to experience a website in a way that’s most readable for you.

Shortcut functions: For Mac users, hold down Control + Option + Comm+ Period (.) to increase contrast. For Windows users, hold down left Alt + left Shift + Print Screen to turn high contrast on or off.

  • Mac users: Go to System Preferences click on Accessibility. In this menu, you should see Display. There should be unchecked boxes next to “Increase contrast” “Reduce transparency,” as well as a slider to manually adjust “Display contrast.”
  • Windows users: Go to Settings click on Ease of Access. In this menu, click High contrast. To reduce transparency, go to Settings click on Personalization. Select Colors from the sidebar. Scroll down you should see “Transparency effects” under More options.

Ways to Keep Yourself Safe Online

Whether you’re banking online, shopping, or scrolling through social media feeds, everything you do online comes with some level of risk. While it may be impossible to fully eliminate online threats, there are plenty of ways to reduce them. The first thing we recommend is downloading antivirus software. This software will act as your first line of defense by detecting removing viruses, other unsolicited malware. This type of protection can be costly as most premium programs range between $20-$100, but it’s absolutely worth it for the safety of your computer. Beyond antivirus software, all you can do is practice safe internet habits:

  1. Create unique passwords
  2. Use social media privacy settings
    • Many seniors use social media as a means to connect with family members friends. While social media is great for these reasons, there are plenty of privacy concerns. Fortunately, most sites, like Facebook, have extensive settings that allow you to restrict who can see your posts, photos, personal information.
  3. Only shop on secure websites
    • If you’re unsure, look at your address bar at the top. Most secure sites have a lock symbol by the website name.
  4. Avoid giving out sensitive information
    • Never give out your SSN online unless you’re absolutely certain it’s a secure website requiring it for legitimate reasons, such as online banking or signing up for a new TV service that requires your social for a credit check.

Lastly, we want to place an emphasis on identifying malicious emails social media scams as seniors are notoriously targeted. One of the trickiest scams to spot are emails that imitate legitimate companies. If you receive a suspicious email that appears to be from a real company, make sure you look at the sender’s email address. More often than not, you’ll find the address is either unrelated to the company it’s posing as, or features an unusual array of numbers, characters, or symbols around the company name. These features indicate the email is fake. Of course, this isn’t the only way unsolicited emails attempt to fool you.

Cybersecurity expert Shannon Wilkinson provides further context:

“Seniors have faced targeted scams on social media as well with fraudsters posing as grandchildren asking for financial assistance due to accidents or tragedies. The scammers will say that they were traveling, cannot be contacted on the phone, a slew of other things to give the request an appearance of extreme urgency.”

If you receive an email or message that raises even the slightest alarm, it’s always best practice to delete or simply ignore it. If you’re unsure, a good rule of thumb is if something seems too good — or bad — to be true, it almost always is.

Whar are some common email scams?

  • Emails that imitate legitimate companies
  • Emails that request urgent action
  • Emails stating you owe money
  • Emails stating you won something or have a personalized offer waiting
  • Emails asking you to fill out a survey

What are some common malware pop-ups?

  • Pop-ups that say your computer is infected and/or vulnerable
  • Pop-ups that ask or “require” you to install software
  • Pop-ups that start with “warning” request some form of action

How do you fix the most common internet problems?

Before we break down the various ways to troubleshoot your internet connection, we’ll first explain the device that gives you access to it — the router. Every connected device, such as your phone tablet, requires an IP address in order to access the internet. A router is the device responsible for connecting your devices assigning these IP addresses. Put simply, your router serves as a bridge to the internet for all your connected devices. As such, connectivity problems can often be solved by restarting your router. Of course, this isn’t a universal solution to all connectivity problems. Here are some of the most common problems what you can do to fix them:

  1. Your device won’t connect to the internet
    1. Your internet connection may not be the problem at all — it could be your device. This may seem obvious, but make sure your issue is happening across all your devices. If you find that it’s only happening on your phone, your problem lies with that one device. If that’s the case, you should try restarting that device.
    2. If you’ve confirmed it’s not your device, rebooting your router should always be your next move. Simply unplug your router, wait about thirty seconds, then plug it back in.
  2. Your router device indicate that you’re connected, but your internet isn’t working
    1. Make sure your device is connected to your personal network. Sometimes devices will automatically connect to a public network, especially if you’ve connected to one before.
    2. Restart or try a different internet browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari). Oftentimes, there’s a cache or network problem that you can fix just by closing out of all internet windows.
    3. If none of these solutions work, try restarting your device(s).
  3. A local outage
    1. If you think your area may be affected, ask a neighbor. If they’re also experiencing the issue, it’s time to reach out to your service provider. Don’t be afraid to ask for a credit on your next bill if this is the case.

Summary

Whether you’re looking to reconnect with friends, take advantage of online shopping deals, or finally see those adorable pictures of your family, the internet has something for everyone. And knowing that most internet providers can accommodate lower-income households, or at the very least, offer senior discounts, the fear of the cost of the service can be put aside. The real challenge is sitting down devoting time, since the only way you can really learn how to use the internet is to experience it yourself. When you decide it’s time to make that move, you should be well ahead of the curve.

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Flexi-cap funds suited for core of long-term investment portfolios

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Six flexi-cap funds, including those of ICICI Prudential Nippon India, have been launched since November 2020 when this category of funds came into being. Some fund houses are in the process of launching flexi-cap funds. Fund houses such as HDFC DSP are highlighting the past performance of their funds that have completed 25 years.

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Keeping pace

Flexi-cap funds are already a dominant category among equity schemes, with around 2.53 trillion under management. With valuations getting rich in certain market segments, fund houses want to have the flexibility to pick choose stocks across market capitalizations, where valuations are still reasonable.

“Today, all the three market cap segments are broadly offering similar risk-reward, making a case for flexible approach across market caps to capitalize on the opportunities,” said Manish Gunwani, chief investment officer, equity investments, Nippon India Mutual Fund. As an investor, you might be wondering if you should invest in a flexi-cap fund. Let’s understwhen it makes sense to invest in a flexi- cap fund.

Go anywhere funds

This category came into being after the Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi) received a lot of flak for making it mandatory for multi-cap funds to invest a minimum of 25% each in large-, mid- small-cap stocks in September 2020. Sebi took the decision after it observed that most multi-cap funds were heavy on large-cap stocks. But forced allocation to mid- small-cap stocks would have resulted in unnecessary churning of the portfolio, would also have exposed investors to unwanted risk. Therefore, after receiving feedback from stakeholders, Sebi introduced the category of flexi-cap funds.

In flexi-cap funds, the fund manager gets a free hto go underweight or overweight on stocks across market capitalizations. Some funds have left it to the discretion of the fund manager to decide the allocation to stocks of various capitalizations, while some follow their in-house models to decide on the allocation to stocks to different capitalizations.

“ICICI Prudential Flexi-cap Fund has the flexibility to invest across large-, mid- small-cap space without any restriction. However, we have an in-house market cap model to provide direction help ascertain the right allocation to various market caps. Further, based on macroeconomic factors business cycle, the fund manager will fine-tune the allocation suggested by the model. This combination of flexibility with control, we believe, will help investors to comfortably navigate in any market condition, aid investors in reaching their financial goals effectively,” said Nimesh Shah, managing director chief executive officer, ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company.

Invest with care

According to experts, flexi-cap funds can be core of any portfolio for a long-term investor, as these are broad-based equity diversified funds with assets spread across market caps.

“Flexi-cap fund managers can deliver superior returns by prudently rotating allocations to different market cap segments based on their outlook. Flexi-cap funds are ideal for every type of investor should commthe lion’s share in any portfolio,” said Dhiraj Mittal, certified financial planner CEO, Prime Capital Services Pvt. Ltd, a New Delhi-based financial advisory firm.

“The scope to invest in any market cap also allows generating an additional return for investors,” said Harshad Chetanwala, a Sebi-registered investment adviser (Sebi-RIA).

If you are looking to take exposure to mid- small-cap stocks, you can take them through flexi-cap funds as well.

“The advantage of taking exposure to mid- small-cap companies through flexi-cap funds is that you will not have to remain invested in mid- small-cap stock when they are underperforming. The fund manager will take the call to alter the allocation to stocks of different market capitalizations,” said Suresh Sadagopan, a Sebi-RIA founder, Ladder7 Financial Advisories.

However, the ability to deliver alpha will depend on the fund manager’s capabilities to identify the right trend move the allocation between stocks across market capitalizations. The risk of investing in flexi-cap funds is the fund manager’s call going wrong, plus you will not have the control on the allocation to stocks of various market segments in your portfolio as it is will be decided by the fund manager.

Therefore, if you are investing in a flexi-cap fund, it is important to check the track record of the fund manager before investing. Also, it is always advisable to avoid an NFO until unless it is offering something unique. Go for a fund that has built a track record over time.

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Best home loan rates

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A home loan is probably the biggest loan that one takes. Not only in terms of the loan amount, but also tenures, which can be 15 years or more. The total final amount that one pays can be double of what was borrowed. But a home loan is among the cheapest loans available, usually it is the only way a person can buy a house. A home loan is called a ‘good’ loan because it helps you acquire a tangible asset that can appreciate over the long term. It makes sense to buy a house if you plan to live in it. This is also the reason, apart from the fact that many housing projects in India continue to be delayed by many years, why financial advisers say that one should buy a ready-to-move-in house. Here’s a look at the lowest home loan interest rates of some leading banks.

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Best home loan rates

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IRCTC surges 7%, hits fresh record high as board to consider stock split

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Shares of Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hit a new high of Rs 2,490 on the BSE as they rallied 7 per cent in the intra-day trade on Monday after the company announced stock split plan. The stock surpassed its previous high of Rs 2,479.45, touched on July 20, 2021.


“The board of directors of the Company is scheduled to meet on August 12, 2021 to recommend the proposal for sub-division of Company’s equity shares of face value of Rs 10 each matters related thereto, subject to the approval of Ministry of Railways, Government of lndia shareholders,” IRCTC said in an exchange filing on Friday, post market hours.





The company further said the board will also consider approve the unaudited financial results of the Company for the quarter ended on June 30, 2021 (Q1FY22).


A stock split is generally done to make the stock more affordable for the small retail investors increase liquidity. It refers to splitting the face value of the shares of companies, where in the number of shares of that company increases but the market cap remains the same. Existing shares split, but the underlying value remains the same. As the number of shares increases, the price per share goes down.


In the past three months, the stock of the travel support services company has outperformed the market has rallied nearly 40 per cent as compared to a 8.5 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex. Besides, it has zoomed 93 per cent from its 52-week low of Rs 1,291, touched on November 4, 2020.


IRCTC is the only entity authorised by the Indian Railways to provide catering services to railways, online railway tickets packaged drinking water at railway stations trains in India. It has a dominant position in online rail bookings packaged drinking water with around 73 per cent 45 per cent market share, respectively.


IRCTC is a play on the normalisation of activity post Covid, analysts expect improvement in outlook driven by accelerated adoption of online ticketing, conversion of unreserved coaches to 2S class, increase in capacity in the PDW (packaged drinking water) segment resumption of private trains.


Analysts at Prabhudas Lilladher, for instance, expect ticketing volumes to breach pre-Covid levels amid incremental delta coming in from conversion of certain unreserved coaches into the reserved category. Additional volume lever is not ruled out from rise in e-booking penetration (reached around 90 per cent plus amid Covid, up from 70-75 per cent levels prevailing pre-Covid) as it can be sticky in nature.


“Earnings optionality arising from railway privatisation (IRCTC has qualified for 11 clusters), non-convenience income (especially pertaining to payment gateway) potential in e-catering business (commission increased from 12 per cent to 15 per cent) gives us additional comfort,” the brokerage said in a March quarter result update report.


That said, the key near-term risks are rising Covid cases a delay in recovery but IRCTC’s low fixed-cost model healthy net-cash position lend comfort, experts say.

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Stocks to watch: HDFC, Adani Entp, IDFC First, Bandhan Bank, auto stocks

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Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange traded 122 points higher at 15,896 around 8.40 am, indicating a gap-up start for the benchmark indices on Monday.


Here are the top stocks to track in today’s session:





Earnings Today: HDFC, Punjab National Bank, Varun Beverages are among the 49 companies slated to report their June quarter results today.


Auto stocks: Auto majors reported high double-digit growth in their domestic passenger vehicle sales in July. Maruti Suzuki’s total sales rose 10 per cent over June, 2021 about 50 per cent year-on-year to 162,462 units. Tata Motors, meanwhile, said its total domestic sales increased by 92 per cent YoY to 51,981 units. However, two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp reported a 13 per cent dip in total sales at 4,54,398 units in July Royal Enfield reported a nine per cent rise in total sales to 44,038 units.


Adani Enterprises: It has incorporated Adani Petrochemicals as a wholly-owned subsidiary to carry on business of setting up refineries, petrochemicals complexes specialty chemicals units.


IDFC First Bank: The lender reported a net loss of Rs 630 crore in the April-June quarter due to provisioning measures for cushioning the impact of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The bank had posted a net profit of Rs 93.55 crore in the year-ago quarter ended in June 2020.


NTPC: The company posted a nearly 17 per cent rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 3,443.72 crore for the April-June quarter on the back of higher revenues. The consolidated net profit of the company in the quarter ended on June 30, 2020, was Rs 2,948.94 crore.


Britannia Industries: Home grown cookie maker reported a 29 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 387 crore for the quarter ended June 30 compared with Rs 543 crore for the April-June period of previous fiscal.


Torrent Power: The company has inked an agreement with Lightsource India Ltd Lightsource Renewable Energy (India) Ltd for acquisition of a 50 MW solar plant. The enterprise value for the deal is around Rs 317 crore.


Hindalco: Aditya Birla group firm Hindalco Industries is planning to invest around Rs 8,000-10,000 crore in Hirakud, Silvassa Mundra plants. The investment will be for expanding flat rolling capacity at Hirakud, Odisha, new extrusion plant at Silvassa in Dadra Nagar Haveli, in a greenfield site at Mundra in Gujarat with a recycling facility.


Dalmia Bharat Sugar Industries: The company board has given in-principle approval to set up two grain-based distilleries with a capacity of 100 KL (kilo litre) each to produce around 6 crore litre of ethanol. The distilleries are expected to be commissioned in next 15-18 months. The company, meanwhile, reported a marginal decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 124.34 crore for the quarter ended June.


Finolex Industries: The manufacturer of PVC pipes fittings has reported nearly three-fold jump in June quarter consolidated net profit at Rs 145.52 crore. Income increased to Rs 981.07 crore from Rs 570.21 crore in the year-ago period.


Macrotech Developers: Realty firm Macrotech Developers on Friday reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 160.91 crore for the quarter ended June. The company had posted a net loss of Rs 134.44 crore in the year-ago period. It has reduced net debt by 23 per cent during the first quarter of this fiscal year to Rs 12,435 crore targets to bring down its borrowings to below Rs 10,000 crore level.


Nazara Technologies: The company posted a net profit of Rs 13.6 crore for the June 2021 quarter as against a loss of Rs 21.7 crore in the April-June 2020 period. Its revenue during April-June 2021 jumped 45 per cent to Rs 131.2 crore, compared with Rs 90.5 crore in the year-ago period.


NIIT: NIIT Ltd has logged 78 per cent year-on-year jump its net profit to Rs 51.4 crore for the June 2021 quarter, that the “war for talent” in the IT industry presents strong growth opportunity for the skills talent development firm. Its revenue in April-June 2021 rose 49 per cent to Rs 301 crore, from Rs 201.8 crore in the year-ago period.


Bandhan Bank: The lender reported 32 per cent YoY decline in June quarter net profit at Rs 373.08 crore as the second wave of the pandemic hit collections in its core microlending segment, impacting asset quality multiplying provisions.


STFC: Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC) reported a 47 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 170 crore for the June quarter due to accelerated provisions against expected credit loss. The company had registered a net profit of Rs 320 crore in the same quarter a year ago. Total income during Q1 FY22 was higher at Rs 4,651.50 crore from Rs 4,144.17 crore in Q1FY21, the company said in a regulatory filing.


UPL: Agro-chemical major UPL reported a 23 per cent YoY jump in net profit to Rs 678 crore for the quarter ended June 30. Its revenue from operations during April-June 2021 rose 9 per cent YoY to Rs 8,515 crore, compared with Rs 7,833 crore in the year-ago period.


BHEL: State-owned BHEL reported narrowing of consolidated net loss to Rs 448.20 crore for June quarter 2021-22 mainly due to higher revenues. The company had reported a net loss of Rs 893.14 crore for the year-ago period.


Coforge: Board approved raising up to Rs 375 crore via share issue. It has also approved issuance of depository receipts in one or more tranches.


ITC: Wimco has become a wholly owned subsidiary of the company with effect from July 29, consequent to reduction of equity share capital of that company becoming effective upon receipt of necessary approvals, the company said.

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