How to stay connected…

As the UK government starts discussing a ‘circuit break’ to halt the spread of COVID-19, should a short-term lockdown arise, there are various ways to use your mobile phone, laptop, smart tech, or even the plain old landline to keep in contact with friends and family.

Here are three most common ways to stay connected and prevent unexpected charges on your bills:

WhatsApp – One of the most popular messaging apps around is making audio and video calls great. If you don’t have WhatsApp already, it’s free to download from the App store for your phone. To message or call people, they need to be saved as a contact on your device and need to have WhatsApp installed.

The home landline – Surprisingly, many still see the landline as a go-to when it comes to keeping in touch. With most modern landline phones coming with features such as hands-free calling and an answerphone, it shouldn’t be forgotten as a useful way to keep in contact, especially if you’re not confident with a mobile phone or laptop, or if you don’t own one. If you are making more calls than usual, landline costs can mount up – you may want to consider adding a calling plan to include evening and weekend calls, or even anytime calls, so you don’t get hit by unexpectedly high bills.

Skype or Apple’s FaceTime – Skype is a free-to-download app that lets you call other Skype accounts. Once you’ve signed up using your email address, you can begin building your Skype address book. This service also lets you send regular texts, pictures and videos. Apple users may prefer FaceTime, which comes pre-installed on most iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch models and can be used over WI-FI or mobile data. To turn on FaceTime, you’ll need to open the FaceTime app and sign in with your Apple ID. On iPhone, FaceTime will automatically register your phone number. On other devices, it works through your email address. Once everything’s set up, you can open the FaceTime app, type in a contact name or number and you’re all set.

Older people are at higher risk of serious health complications if they come into contact with coronavirus. As the virus continues to spread and cases begin to rise, many people will be concerned about visiting older relatives or those who are more vulnerable, if they inadvertently expose them to the virus.

Staying connected is important when supporting those in separate households, especially if they live alone and cannot leave the house.

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