Basic digital skills

These are the basic digital skills that people and organisations need to get things done online.

We have adopted the basic digital skills definition developed by Go ON UK. This highlights five key skills:

  1. Managing information
  2. Communicating
  3. Transacting
  4. Problem solving
  5. Creating

For each of these skills the definition gives examples of what they should enable people and organisations to do, and also covers staying safe online.

1. Managing information

Find, manage and store digital information and content.

Safety

  • Identify and assess accurate sources of information
  • Use security tools when browsing the web
  • Regularly update and run virus checking software
  • Manage parental controls

Actions for individuals

  • Use a search engine to find the information you need
  • Search for deals on comparison websites
  • Bookmark useful websites and services you use often
  • Store data on a device or in the cloud

Actions for organisations

  • Store digital information on suppliers and customers
  • Search for new suppliers to find the best deals
  • Use simple analytics to understand who uses your website and when
  • Discover potential growth opportunities for your business

2. Communicating

Communicate, interact, collaborate, share and connect with others.

Safety

  • Understand how to manage identities
  • Protect yourself from scams
  • Use the right security / privacy settings (including parental controls)

Actions for individuals

  • Keep in touch using email, instant messaging, video calls and social media
  • Post on forums to connect with communities
  • Leave feedback on shopping websites and services providers about purchases or experiences

Actions for organisations

  • Maintain customer and client relationships
  • Use social media to promote your business and connect with new customers
  • Improve your customer service by providing accessible product information and answers to FAQs

3. Transacting

Purchase and sell goods and services, organise your finances, and register for and use digital government services.

Safety

  • Use secure websites for financial transactions
  • Protect your personal data
  • Respect the privacy of others / third parties

Actions for individuals

  • Complete a Universal Credit application
  • Order your shopping
  • Book your travel
  • Manage your bank account
  • Understand and use marketplaces to buy and sell

Actions for organisations

  • Maximise your selling potential through a website
  • Apply for government business permits and licences and save time
  • Manage invoices and accounts
  • Receive payments or donations
  • Protect yourself from fraud or scams by recognising secure websites

4. Problem solving

Increase independence and confidence by solving problems using digital tools and finding solutions.

Safety

  • Use accurate sources of support
  • Avoid malicious websites, scams and pop-up windows

Actions for individuals

  • Teach yourself simple tasks using video lessons
  • Use feedback from other internet users to solve common problems
  • Access support services such as live chat

Actions for organisations

  • Save on business travel and be more efficient by using video conferencing
  • Quickly understand which products and services work based on online feedback
  • Use simple analytics to understand who uses your website and when
  • Get quick, effective solutions to problems from safe, accurate sources

5. Creating

Engage with communities and create basic digital content.

Safety

  • Be aware of copyright
  • Protect your personal data
  • Respect the privacy of others / third parties

Actions for individuals

  • Create a social media post
  • Create a text document (e.g. CV)
  • Create and share a photo album
  • Create and share feedback using shopping websites

Actions for organisations

  • Create content (pictures, logos, text) to promote your organisation and reach customers
  • Create communities around your services and products using social media to engage with customers
  • Create help resources and guides for employees for improved employee skill levels

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