Perceived Operational Risk
Perceived Operational risks are the most common type of risks and relate to the fear of failing to use technology. The senior population is growing, and lack of engagement with new technology is an issue impacting social connection. Older people are concerned and fearful as to whether they will be able to use their computer, tablet, or mobile phone due to their own personal ICT abilities. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed and get frustrated when they cannot get their devices to work. They don’t trust themselves to overcome an ICT challenge presented to them. This fear is focused on whether the digital device will really do what they want it to do and includes being in control of the functional aspects of different products.
For Margarete, these perceptions of risk manifest in the following ways:
“I fear wasting my time using my ICT device(s).”
This risk may be manifested as a feeling that learning a task might be too time consuming to be worth the users’ time, leading the user to not engage with it. For example, Margarete uses Zoom for her book club, but does not want to use other video conferencing tools because it would take too much time to download and learn multiple applications.
“I fear I won’t be able to find things I need on my device”
Operational risks may manifest as a fear of complexity, which may be daunting especially with devices/tech. For instance, Margarete worries about closing browser tabs and applications because things tend to disappear on her computer even if she tries to save files and bookmark pages she visits often.
“I fear my I’ll lock myself out of my device or accounts.”
This risk perception may manifest as a fear of being locked out of accounts and/or devices. For example, Margarete is afraid of logging into MyGov because she cannot remember her password and thinks she will get locked out if she makes another attempt.