You Can Listen to This Article Here
Internet Safety Tips For Seniors
The internet can be a great place for entertainment, information, and productivity, but not everyone has the same familiarity with the internet and its many nuances. Seniors, in particular, can have a difficult time using the internet due to its complicated nature, making them especially vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.
Proper cybersecurity is an essential part of protecting your information online, and although it may seem like second nature to younger generations, it can be a lot to learn for people who are unfamiliar with how to protect themselves online.
If you or a loved one is a senior looking to increase their internet usage, there are a number of things to keep in mind in regards to your cybersecurity. A lot of information is exchanged privately and publicly on the internet every day, and it’s essential to make sure your sensitive information is only being shared with people you approve of. In this article, we’ll discuss the most important internet safety tips to ensure your private information stays that way.
Use Strong, Unique Passwords
In order to access many resources on the internet, you’ll have to create an account that includes some kind of username and password. While both of these aspects of your account should remain private, it’s essential that you create passwords that are strong and unique to each account.
By creating a password with numerous unique characters, a hacker will have a harder time guessing it and, therefore, won’t be able to access your sensitive information. What’s most important, however, is using distinct passwords for each of your accounts. That way, if a hacker manages to acquire one of your passwords, all of your other accounts will remain secure because the compromised password won’t work with them.
One of the biggest threats to anyone on the internet is emails and communications that are scams or contain malware. These messages are designed to be misleading and goad unsuspecting people into clicking on them so a hacker can access sensitive information. If you see an email that looks suspicious, inspect what information you can see without actually clicking on it, and delete it immediately if it appears to be a scam.
Beware What You Share
Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram can be a great place to connect with friends and family members, but they can also be places where hackers harvest personal information. When making public posts, avoid sharing information such as your home address, phone number, and any account passwords, as hackers could easily take it and use it for whatever they please. Many social media sites have their own privacy features, so it’s best to use those and reinforce your online security.
Invest in Security Software
On the topic of security, there are many forms of security software available that can keep your information secure and protect you from things like malware and spyware. They also take out a lot of the work of cybersecurity for seniors, which can make using the internet much easier and more convenient. Security software will often notify you when a potential breach has occurred as well, so you can take the proper precautions and ensure your information remains safe.
Use Default Browser and Computer Security Settings
If you’re not interested in advanced security software, many computers and internet browsers also come with their own security settings that seniors can take advantage of. This often includes default firewall settings, the ability to delete your browsing history, and adjusting certain permissions when browsing, so websites only take as much information as you allow. Using these settings allows you to take better control of your information, and they can keep you safer than ever before.
Whenever you’re done using the internet, it’s important to log out of any apps or accounts you were using. Leaving them open on your computer could invite someone to use your accounts without ever needing to know your password or username, and there will be very little you can do to stop them once they’ve gained access.
If you don’t log out of accounts because you’re afraid you may forget your account information, it can be helpful to write down usernames and passwords and keep them someplace where no one will find them.
Get Help From a Friend or Family Member
If the fine details of cybersecurity ever get overwhelming, it can be very helpful to consult a friend or family member who can guide you through things. Whether you’re in an independent senior living community or you have someone at home with you, ask questions about staying safe on the internet and how to install things like security software. Once they get you set up, you’ll be able to enjoy everything the internet has to offer without worrying about your personal privacy.
Cyber attacks and hacks may seem commonplace on the internet, but with the proper safety measures, you can use the internet safely. Just remember, the internet can be a beautiful place full of convenient services and resources for entertainment. So long as you have sufficient cybersecurity measures in place, you’ll be able to use it like a professional in no time.
About the Author