Technology changes at a rapid pace, and it can be hard for people of any age to keep up. More and more seniors are embracing… the digital age as it offers many benefits such as keeping in touch with family, connecting with others, and shopping from the convenience of their homes. Unfortunately, with the increased numbers of senior citizens online comes the increased number of people looking to scam and take advantage of them. The following are some simple ways to improve cybersecurity for senior citizens.
Keep Things Familiar
One way to ensure internet safety is to only visit, share information with, and communicate with people and websites you know or that are reputable. The Department of Homeland Security reminds us that most banks, charities, companies, etc. do not ask for personal information over email, so do not reply to emails requesting personal information. Some other guidelines include:
Don’t enter contests or share information for any reason with an unfamiliar person or website
Don’t reply to, open attachments, or click links in email messages from unknown senders
If you’re unsure if an email is official, call the company or organization to verify
If you don’t recognize a sender and the subject line seems suspicious (deals, ultimatums, etc.), it’s best to delete the email immediately without opening it
If an offer in your email sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Delete it, don’t install it, and move on!
Protect Your Computer & Information
The Center for Internet Security suggests that you keep your security software, web browser, and operating system updated to the latest version on your computer. Here are some other protection tips:
Your wireless router should require a password to connect
Creating long and unique passwords is a significant step in protecting your information online.
Avoid using commonly known personal details for passwords, like pet names, birthdates, or children’s names
Be sure the banking and shopping websites you use are secure. Only enter your payment information if the site begins with “https://” NOT just “http://”
Understand privacy settings on social media, and keep them updated frequently
Many of our locations have a computer center, so you won’t need to worry about maintaining your own computer if you don’t want to!
Be Careful with Online Dating
Online dating is an excellent way to meet new people, but it’s also another way scammers are taking advantage of senior citizens. Here are some ways to safely date online:
Research online dating sites to know which ones are legitimate before signing up
Don’t give any personal information in your profile that could give scammers access to you or your finances
If an email address of a potential suitor looks suspicious, Google it to see if it comes up on romance scam sites
Compare a potential suitor’s profile to their social media accounts to be sure their information matches up
If you communicate by phone, use a cell phone instead of a land line
Once you decide to meet a suitor, do it in a public, well-populated place
Following these tips and using common sense while enjoying your online experience will help keep you and your information safe. One of the most important things to remember is that the internet is forever, so if you don’t want something shared, keep it offline. We’re happy to help with any questions you may have. To speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members, click here today.
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