5 Internet Safety Tips for SeniorsPosted by: The Stairlift Company · on 10th November 2017
The younger generation has grown up using the internet in daily life, including tasks such as studying, gaming, shopping, and chatting to friends. Online safety is something that may seem obvious to my generation but not as obvious to older people who are often still learning the ropes when it comes to internet usage.
Unfortunately, it is now becoming more widespread for fraudsters to use online platforms to scam people and therefore it’s vital that everybody takes steps to tighten up their PC’s security. I’ve put together these key internet safety tips to help you protect your computer and keep private information safe.
Create a unique password
Too often we want our passwords to be easy to remember, but unfortunately that also makes them easy to guess. As much as I love my pet rabbit, using solely his name as my password will not help to keep my computer secure. The best passwords:
- Over 8 characters long
- Incorporate punctuation or numbers
- Have a mixture of upper and lower case letters
- Are not names or dictionary words
- Do not include personal info e.g. your name, DOB
- Are never used for two different accounts
Secondly, never share your password with anybody, even if you trust them implicitly. This is because some scammers can impersonate you and message your family or friends, asking for personal details and sometimes passwords.
Check your privacy settings
If you own social accounts on sites like Facebook or Twitter, take a few moments to check your privacy settings. These will tell you who is able to view your profile or certain posts, and can be changed to suit your preferences. Also be wary of putting too much personal information on your social accounts, and avoid disclosing the fact you’re on holiday (it’s much better to share the snaps once you’ve returned!).
Check web addresses
A surefire way to identify a safe website is by having a quick look at the web address and making sure it begins with ‘https’, with the ‘s’ standing for ‘secure.’ Also, a padlock symbol in the browser window is another technique to spot protected websites. If you want to try your hand shopping online, only buy from reputable sites that have these secure symbols, or who are well-known retailers.
Be careful with opening emails/links
Just one click of a phoney link can result in scammers getting access to your personal information. As a result, ensure you don’t click on any links unless you know the person who has sent the email. This extends to banks and other official companies; if you smell something fishy, check back to see what their authentic emails have looked like in the past, or simply contact the company in question.
Watch out for scams
Scams come in a diverse variety of styles, but some telltale signs include:
- A sense of urgency
- Bad spelling or grammar
- Asking you to send money
- Asking you to open links
However, untrustworthy emails are not always so obvious. Sometimes you may receive more official-looking scam emails, supposedly from banks or utility providers, telling you there’s a problem with your account or that you need to verify personal details. If in doubt, do not open any links, and instead get in touch with the company who is supposedly contacting you to check if they sent the email.
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