Navigating the internet can be a daunting task for anyone, let alone seniors. With so many scams and phishing attempts targeting older adults, it’s important to take some extra steps to ensure online safety. Here are four tips to help the elderly stay safe online.
Use Strong Passwords
One of the most important things you can do to stay safe online is to use strong passwords.
A strong password is at least eight characters long and includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. For instance, you can use the name of your assisted living facility plus the number 1,2,3, and an exclamation point.
Whatever you decide, avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or your birthdate.
Update Security Software
Keeping your computer’s security software up to date is crucial to staying safe online. Security software helps protect your computer from viruses, spyware, and other online threats.
So be sure to set your security software to update automatically so you always have the latest protection. You can usually find this option in the “Settings” or “Preferences” menu.
Set Your Social Media Accounts to Private
Social media can be a great way to stay connected with family and friends. However, it’s important to remember that anything you post on social media is public by default.
This means that anyone can become privy to where you live, what kind of car you drive, and other personal information if you’re not careful. This kind of information can then be used against you by scammers.
So be sure to set your social media accounts to private. This way, only people you approve of can see what you post. Again, this option is usually found in the “Settings” or “Preferences” menu.
For instance, on Facebook, you can choose who can see your posts, photos, and personal information.
Beware of Suspicious Links and Emails
One of the most common ways scammers try to steal personal information is by sending fake emails or texts that look like they’re from a legitimate company.
These phishing attempts often contain links to malicious websites that can infect your computer with viruses or spyware. They may also ask you to provide personal information, like your Social Security number or bank account login credentials.
Never click on links or open attachments in emails or texts from someone you don’t know. If you’re not sure whether an email is legitimate, contact the company directly to inquire.
You can usually find contact information on the company’s website. For instance, if you get an email that looks like it’s from your bank, but you’re not sure, go to the bank’s website and find their customer service number. Then call and inquire about the email.
The internet can be a great resource for seniors, but it’s important to take some extra steps to ensure online safety. By using strong passwords, updating security software, setting social media accounts to private, and being cautious of suspicious links and emails, you can help protect yourself from scammers and other online threats.