Elderly Cybersecurity | 4 Tips for Seniors to Stay Safe Online

August 14, 2018

4 Tips for Seniors to Stay Safe Online

Staying safe online is important for everyone, but some of us haven’t been interacting with the internet as long as others. Elderly cybersecurity should be a crucial focus of your interaction with technology in today’s world. If your information gets into the wrong hands, there can be dire consequences. While it’s nearly impossible to achieve fool-proof cybersecurity, there are things you can do to more efficiently protect yourself online. Here are four tips to keep yourself safer when you’re online.

1.     Password protection. The first step in effective elderly cybersecurity is creating and using strong passwords for your accounts. From private email to accessing your banking accounts online, you must set up strong passwords to protect your information. A strong password is considered to be something that isn’t easily guessed and should be 12 characters long including a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t include personal information, like the name of a child, but make it something that you’ll remember. You should not use the same password for multiple accounts as this makes you more susceptible to cyberattacks. Not only should you protect your accounts with strong passwords, you should password protect your devices, too. Make sure your phone, tablet, and computer all require passwords to gain access to them. This way, if you someone happens to pick up a device, they won’t be able to get access to personal information.

2.     Spot a scam. Another way to stay safe online as a senior is to train yourself to spot a scam. Cyber criminals can be quite crafty but knowing what to look for can give you the upper hand. If you receive an email that sounds urgent as if there is something wrong with a bank account or your taxes, it’s probably a scam. Institutions that deal with finances rarely send urgent emails that outline immediate actions needed to be taken to prevent a disaster – they’ll more than likely call first. If something feels off, it probably is! Don’t trust messages from people that you don’t know and never click links in emails from senders you don’t recognize. These links can contain dangerous viruses that can steal your information, take control of your devices, or worse.

3.     Use your computer’s security features. The computer and operating system that you’re using likely has built-in security features like firewalls and anti-virus protection. Make sure that these things are set up properly, so that they can run in the background to provide protection. These features can block websites that seem suspicious and prevent dangerous viruses from attacking your computer.

4.     Ask for help. If you’re unsure about how to set up your computer securely, or you have general questions about online safety, ask someone for help. Whether you reach out to a family member, or simply contact an IT support person through your internet provider, asking about things you’re unclear on can go along way in protecting yourself online.

Elderly cybersecurity doesn’t have to be complicated. Following a few best practices can help you stay protected against cybercriminals and other dangers online.

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