It’s almost impossible to function without a computer or smartphone these days. Even for seniors. In many cases, the Internet is the only way to connect with the outside world. This is especially true for seniors who live far away from their families.
Using the Internet doesn’t come naturally to many seniors. They simply did not grow up having to navigate websites, email, video, etc. So it’s important that seniors learn how to be safe when they go online.
In this article, we will share with you some helpful Internet safety tips for seniors. They’re a good starting point to keeping seniors safe online.
Internet Safety Tips for Seniors
When it comes to passwords, best practices say that you should make yours unique. So stay away from passwords like “password” or “1234”. The best passwords are at least 8 characters long and don’t contain any personal information (ie. names of family members, birthdays, anniversaries) or common phrases. Also, it’s a good idea to not use the same password for more than one account.
Because seniors are more prone to dementia or just plain old senior moments, you should write down your passwords and store them in a secure place. That way you or your loved ones can access them if needed. You may also consider a password manager like 1Password or Dashlane to help securely store and share passwords.
Firewalls and Anti-virus Software
A firewall is basically a virtual wall that prevents others from accessing the data on your computer. It’s highly recommended you have one set up on your computer.
Also, having some sort of anti-virus software installed should be a requirement too. This will help protect you from computer viruses or malware. These can be used to steal personal information from your computer or cause your computer to stop working. Bitdefender is a good free anti-virus software option.
There are no guaranteed ways to prevent people from hacking your computer. But using firewalls and anti-virus software will make it much harder to do.
Avoid Downloading Attachments From Unknown Sources
A good rule of thumb when you’re online is never to download any documents, software, images and/or videos if you don’t know where they came from. Scammers and hackers use “free” software tools or eye-catching and intriguing content to get people to download them to their phones or computers. However, people don’t realize that these things are viruses and put their computer/phones at risk of being hacked.
Spam is what you would call an unwanted and unsolicited email. You can filter out spam using spam filters from your email provider.
When it comes to using social media, it is never a good idea to give out too much personal information. Be careful when it comes to accepting or sending friend requests on various social media sites. We would recommend not accepting requests from people you don’t know.
There are no shortage of scams on the internet. Your best protection is your knowledge. If it looks too good to be true, do not trust it. This is especially true for raffles, discounts, vouchers, low-priced or free promotions. Even if you know the person who sends the promotion, it pays to be extra careful. If you’re suspicious at all, be sure to verify it with the person first by giving them a call.