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Do tech companies patronize older adults?

January 13, 2015
by Richard R. Rogoski
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A recent survey of almost 6,000 people over the age of 50 conducted by the online security company AVG Technologies N.V., showed that tech companies could learn a lot from senior citizens.

With 76 percent of respondents saying they were average users of technology and only 16 percent saying they were novices, 43 percent of those surveyed said they felt patronized by tech companies.

Of those who felt patronized, 39 percent felt that they were being talked down to, while almost one-third felt tech companies tend to treat everyone over a certain age the same.

The survey also found that 87 percent of respondents are concerned with online privacy and security, with 44 percent expressing a concern about keeping their personal information private.

"Technology companies should think hard before they risk isolating older customers," said Judith Bitterli, chief marketing officer at AVG Technologies, in a press release. "This is an audience that is expanding, has more spending power and is actively using devices and apps. While it is important to address their privacy and security concerns, this must be done in a manner that is considered, not condescending."