A Senior's Guide to Using Computers and Software

— by , Software Development Expert and Author

Sean Spencer, Software Devlopment Expert and Author

Computers, laptops, and software take a while to get used to. Learning all the different functions of a computer along with basic keyboard commands and how to keep your computer safe will take some practice before being completely comfortable with them. Users of any age can use computers and all the functions, but before you get into the in-depth inner workings of this technology it's best to make sure all of the essentials are covered.

Computers are part of nearly everyone's life now. People use them to talk to friends and family, research information, be entertained, and more. They're incredibly convenient and take the hassle out of countless tasks that used to be difficult and time-consuming. Below is a list of common computer topics and resources to help you learn.

Set Up and Equipment

There are some key things you can learn to get you started and going in the right direction. Everything from how you should sit in your computer chair to how you should hold your mouse is important when it comes to computers. Knowing the different components of a computer system will also be helpful in learning how to work on a computer.

Starting Basics: Keyboard, Mouse, Etc.

You will be doing a lot of typing with the keyboard and even more clicking with the computer mouse. Learning how to type properly will keep you from straining your wrists. There's more than just inputting words with the keyboard that will be useful so it's good to become acquainted with what to expect.


As opposed to the computer screen and tower which are called hardware, software is the programs that you use once you're at the computer. Things like writing documents using a word processor or keeping a spreadsheet are tasks you can do once you get the hang of how the computer itself works. Photoshop and Microsoft Word are two examples of software that you may have heard of.


Once you've gotten an understanding of how computers and devices work, you will likely be using the internet for a lot of emailing, surfing, and enjoyment. It's best to start off familiarizing yourself with a search engine (such as Google.com) so you can find information easily and quickly.

Computer Safety

Computers can be susceptible to viruses which can destroy parts of the hardware and software, or can give your personal information to strangers. Avoiding viruses is very easy if you download good antivirus software and learn proper internet browsing techniques.

Additional Pointers

  • Don't forget to take breaks when using the computer for a long time. Stand up and stretch every hour.
  • Never give away personal information or passwords to sites and people you don't know.
  • Run anti-virus software frequently to keep your computer protected and running smooth.
  • Never use a computer during a thunderstorm ? if you lose power during bad weather it can harm your computer.
  • Name all of your files and pictures so you can keep track of everything you put on it. You don't want to lose that good family photo!
  • Shopping online can be fun and convenient! Learn what to do and what not to do to stay safe.

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