How can Standard Life help?

Whether you're new to technology or looking to build your skills, we have a wide range of guides and videos that can help you. We hope these will make doing things online seem a little less overwhelming.

We want to concentrate on the key skills everyone needs to build digital confidence and make the most of the technology that's out there.



Videos to help with essential digital skills


Digital skills and understanding

This guide is about using computer technology and searching on the internet.

Getting started

A quick look at the key things to know before you get started including devices, browsers and tabs.

Staying safe and up to date

This guide is about introducing how you can stay safe and secure when you're online.


We know digital technology can seem complex.

We can help with that.

What do we mean by digital?

It’s a common phrase, but do we understand it?

It’s usually about using different electronic tools and devices to help carry out day-to-day tasks.

And digital is everywhere. We’re regularly being asked by companies to go online or download their app.

It can feel like a separate digital world with its own language and rules.

Understanding this digital world is about so much more than just understanding how a single piece of technology works, like a laptop or a smartphone.

For example, you might be comfortable using a computer for your job, but using one at home might feel completely different.

You might have had to upgrade your existing technology and the replacement feels much more complicated.

You may have very little digital experience at all.

The point is it’s natural to find this overwhelming or even a bit scary, because it can be, whether you were born into the Digital Age or are just trying to get to grips with it later in life.

It also holds a lot of potential for you to unlock.

Part of what makes the digital world, particularly the internet, so overwhelming is its sheer size.

Where do you even start when there are almost two billion, and counting, websites to choose from?

Maybe a good way to think about the internet is to imagine it as a country, full of its own unique cities, towns, villages, as well as its own regional dialects.

You wouldn’t expect to visit every part of a country.

Instead you’d find the places you liked and begin exploring from there.

Just like any country, there are bad and good parts, and dangerous and safe places on the internet.

The key is equipping ourselves with the tools and knowledge to ensure that we can travel through this country safely, do the things we enjoy, and explore the things that interest us.

Such as doing your weekly online grocery shopping, learning new languages, staying in touch with people or booking a trip.

Our goal is to help you understand the digital world a little bit better, offering you some support to make things seem a little less complex and, with any luck, a little less overwhelming.

We’re building a series of information guides which we hope will help you to become more confident using digital technologies and make the most of the online information that’s available to you.

We’ll be looking at how to use certain digital and online features, how to keep yourself safe and the things you can check if it’s not quite working as expected.

If you find this useful, or know someone who might, feel free to share this with family and friends.

Are you ready to grow your digital knowledge?


Not all devices work in the same way.

Think about the difference between a bicycle and a motorbike. Both have two wheels, require balance, and are classed as bikes.

However, just because you can ride one, doesn’t mean you can necessarily ride the other.

Likewise, laptops, desktop computers, smartphones and tablets are all different types of devices.

But just like the bicycle and the motorbike, they also require different ways to get them to work.

The main difference between devices is how you move around them.

For laptops and desktop computers, you tend to use a mouse or a touchpad to move the cursor around the screen, which you can use to click on things.

For smartphones and tablets, you use your finger as the cursor, tapping the screen instead of clicking a mouse.

Moving back and forth between devices takes time to get used to.

Imagine you’ve been cycling on a push bike for years and someone suddenly puts you on a motorbike and tells you to drive down the motorway – you probably won’t feel comfortable doing that safely.

We all need time to practise new techniques.

Devices can use different browsers.

Think about browsers as your gateway to the internet.

They let you view website pages on your devices.

All devices which access the internet have a browser built in by default.

For example, if you’re using a Windows device you’ll likely see Microsoft Edge on your screen, or on an Apple device you’ll see Safari.

Usually you’ll find them at the bottom of the screen, and you just need to click or tap the icon to open a browser page.

You can use the default browser that’s already set up on your device, or choose a different one if you want to.

All browsers have an address bar, usually at the top of the page.

If you already know the website address you want to go to - usually starting with www. and ending in something like, .ie or .com - you can type this in here and press Search.

The address bar also lets you search the internet using key words.

So, if you’re not sure of the exact website address, you can simply type in whatever you want to look for, and you’ll see a list of matching results from different websites.

You can explore the list of results using tabs to open new pages without losing your original page, which is really handy if you’ve got a lot of search results you’re interested in.

Tabs in your browser work just like the dividers in a filing cabinet, allowing you to easily move between website pages.

Tabs make comparing different websites easy, which is really handy when you’re shopping around for a bargain.

In any open internet browser, you can select the plus sign to open a new tab.

This will always be somewhere at the top of the screen.

Each open tab can be closed individually by selecting the X on the right side of the tab.

If the tab doesn’t show an X and you’re on a laptop or desktop computer, you can hover your cursor over the tab.

Now you know how to use your browser, we’ll look next at how you can stay safe and up to date.


We know that staying safe online is really important.

It’s often the number one concern for people when they’re on the internet.

You’re not wrong to feel this way.

To feel safe, you have to feel like you know what you’re doing.

Imagine your digital device is your house.

Naturally, we all want our homes to be safe and secure, and if a stranger knocks on the front door, we wouldn’t let them straight in.

By updating your device regularly, you’re effectively making sure you’re not letting anyone into your house without checking who they are first.

The same goes for your browser.

As it’s the gateway into the internet, it is also the internet’s gateway into you, so it’s important to stay on top of updates.

Keeping your device and browser up to date means you'll get the latest fixes and security improvements to keep your device running smoothly and securely.

A lot of computers and smartphones update automatically, but not all of them, and not always.

Here’s how you can check your device is up to date.

All devices use a built-in operating system to function.

Windows, Android and macOS are examples of some of the most common operating systems, and which one you have will vary depending on who makes your device.

For example, devices made by Apple use macOS for laptops and computers and iOS or iPadOS for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Operating systems are updated regularly to repair any issues and to release improvements.

Here, we’ll focus on laptops and computers as our example.

You may be on a device that looks like this.

Open the menu in the bottom left corner.

In the search bar at the bottom left type ‘Windows update’ and click the Windows update that appears.

If you’re using a Windows 8 device that looks like this, use the magnifying glass in the top right to search and select ‘Windows update’.

Select ‘Check for updates’ or ‘Check now’ – this will differ depending on how old or new your laptop or computer is and may look like the following.

Install all updates – you may be prompted to restart your laptop or computer as part of this process.

Don’t forget to save anything you’re working on before you do this.

Windows will sometimes prompt you to update when you go to switch off or restart your device.

Selecting ‘Update and shut down’ or ‘Update and restart’ will automatically install the latest update.

If you’re using an Apple device, from the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen, choose ‘System Preferences’.

Click ‘Software Update’.

Click ‘Update Now’ or ‘Upgrade Now’.

You only need to update your browser if it prompts you to do so.

You’ll also need to close your browser after the update and re-open it to install the latest version.

Now you know how to stay safe and up to date, you can continue to grow your digital knowledge with some helpful ideas in case things go wrong.


Guides to support your digital needs




We have partnered with Good Things Foundation who have developed a free online platform to help you gain basic digital skills and make the most of our online world.

Learn My Way is packed with over 100 topics covering the basics of using a device through to using email, social media, video calling, shopping online and managing your money online.

These short bite-sized topics are suitable for people who are looking for digital skills support, allowing everyone to benefit from using digital devices and accessing essential online services.

Learn My Way is a much better experience when you register but it is optional. Registering is quick and easy and means you can access all the learning topics and track your progress.

You can access these topics below without registering:

Standard Life accepts no responsibility for information on external websites. These are provided for general information. The thoughts and opinions expressed in the page are those of the authors, intended to be informative, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Standard Life.

See what you can do online with us

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See what features are available to you when you download the Standard Life mobile app.

Access your personalised dashboard

Watch our short video to see how you can easily manage your plan online.


Our mobile app makes it easier for you to engage with your pension wherever you are.

It empowers you to take control of your future, providing quick access through fingerprint and facial recognition.

With just a few clicks, you'll be able to:

  • View the value of your plan
  • Track investment performance
  • See your payment history, and
  • View your charges

Handy functions also make managing your pension plan straightforward. Depending on the type of plan you have, these include being able to:

  • Change your investment choices
  • Update your personal details, including your beneficiaries and selected retirement date
  • Make top up payments
  • Transfer in other pensions
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There are also interactive tools to help you plan for retirement. These can give you an idea of the type of lifestyle your projected retirement income could provide, and help you to understand the potential impact of actions you can take now.

And if you need a helping hand with anything, you can get in touch with us through secure messaging, where you can easily and safely send us important documents.

You can also choose to go paperless and access your documents through a secure digital mailbox, empowering you to manage things in a more environmentally-friendly way.

Our app is a great way to get closer to your pension. But don't just take our word for it - others like you are benefiting today.

Please remember, a pension is an investment, the value can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than was paid in. Transferring other pensions won't be right for everyone. You need to consider all the facts and decide if it's right for you.


These days, we can manage almost every aspect of our lives online - why should your pension be any different? With online servicing, you can quickly and securely engage with your pension in a way that suits you.

Registering takes minutes, and once logged in, you'll enter your own personalised homepage where you can see how much is in your pension pot, and other important information. There's even a personalised video, updated in real-time, which shows how much this could be worth in the future, as well as tips on how you could potentially boost this.

You can customise your experience by pinning or dismissing content, letting you see messages which are most relevant to you.

Diving deeper into the 'Your Pension' page, you can view the charges you're paying and take action through a number of handy functions. Depending on the type of plan you have, these include:

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Next, pop over to the 'Your details' section, where you can:

  • Make sure your personal details are correct.
  • Update your beneficiaries so we know the loved ones, charities or causes who your savings should go to after you're gone.
  • Review your selected retirement date - it's easy to do and means you can plan better and receive communications at a time that's more relevant.

There's also a wide range of educational material to help you learn more about different pension topics:

  • To increase your understanding of investments, head over to the investment hub, where you'll find a wide range of useful guides on how investing works and what it means for you.
  • Our dedicated Plan your Future hub also offers a host of helpful information and interactive planning tools. These give an idea of the type of lifestyle your projected retirement income could provide, and allow you to understand the impact of actions you can take now.

And finally, if you're unsure about anything, drop us a question through secure messaging - we're on hand to help.

Thousands like you are already benefiting from online servicing - join them to take control of your future today.

Please remember, a pension is an investment. The value can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than was paid in. Transferring other pensions won't be right for everyone. You need to consider all the facts and decide if it's right for you.