Despite all the stereotypes about seniors who simply don’t understand technology, a majority of adults aged 65+ are now using the internet. The online world is a lovely place where seniors can spend their time doing things like watching funny cat videos, playing online Scrabble with a friend, or looking at photos of their grandchild’s first day at school. From time to time, it can be a dangerous place, too. By realising that there are people, likewise in real life, whose principles are not sincere, we can avoid many unpleasant situations. Those people tend to use the internet to commit a crime. Their primary intention is to steal your sensitive information or scam you out of your money. These risks can be managed as long as you follow some basic rules of the road. What should you do?
…not trust someone simply because they know your personal information.
Quick basic research about you and your family and to using that information to gain your trust is the least a scammer can do.
…keep your computer’s software up-to-date.
Set up your computer to automatically install security updates.
…use antivirus programmes.
Incorporating antivirus programmes can help to protect your computer from any type of malicious software, that can steal information or make it unusable.
…be careful before you click.
Carefully review all transactions before confirming them. If a mistake occurs, try to contact the company immediately. In many cases, there’s a possibility to undo it.
…not share private information on social media.
While you might want to share your upcoming vacation plans with your friends and family on Facebook – strangers and scammers see that post as well. Configure your privacy settings on your social media account so that strangers (friends of friends) aren’t able to see messages that you intend to only be shared with your friends and family.
…only shop at reputable online merchants.
An online merchant that you have never heard of? Many might be legitimate, but some might be out to steal your financial information, or simply fail to deliver what you’ve paid for. Look up for reviews.
…avoid self-diagnosis and armchair healthcare advice.
It’s super easy to look up your symptoms on a search engine and find a list of possible diseases, or a forum discussing a diagnosis. Only a licensed healthcare professional who understands your health background should make diagnoses and prescribe treatments!
…apply – if something seems too good to be true – it likely is.
While a page on the internet might say that you’ve won tons of money or prizes, that message isn’t unique to you. Don’t install the software that they recommend. A scammer has likely created it.
…be sure your passwords are unique and secure.
Use strong passwords that don’t include any personal information, and try to avoid dictionary words and common phrases. Many websites recommend a mix of lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. In addition, never use the same password for more than one account.
…ask a friend or family member, when in doubt.
The internet is a large and ever expanding place, and technology continues to change. Consider asking for a friend or family member to look over a potentially dubious email messages or websites.