5 Online Security Tips for Older Adults

The internet supplies an assortment of benefits for older adults. With the likes of social media and video communication technology, it has never been easier for them to stay in touch with family and friends. In addition, it has mental health benefits and can assist with delaying cognitive decline.
This is why, according to research by the Pew Research Center, 73% of older Americans are now online.
Yet it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There are various threats that can be found on the internet, some of which are specifically targeted at vulnerable people, including seniors. A cyberattack could even result in them losing their entire pension, so it’s essential they remain safe while browsing the web.
To help maintain online safety, here are five online security tips you can provide to your elderly parent or relative.

1. Supply an education

It’s important to teach your loved one about the potential dangers of the internet. Sadly there are many of these, including unsecured websites, phishing emails, and devious social media messages.
These will often specifically target seniors and try to entice them with fake offers such as free gifts and vacations. You may also find fabricated messages sent by a government agency. If they believe the IRS is threatening them with a fine or jail time, they will tend to do what they can to resolve the issue—falling into the hands of scammers in the process.

2. Recommend support

If the senior you’re helping lives alone and you cannot visit regularly, it’s advisable for you to bring in someone else to assist their online browsing. If you hire a home caregiver, they can supply a continual watch and ensure the old person hasn’t fallen into any trouble with their internet usage.
Plus, if they’re anything like the professional caregivers at smithlifehomecare.com, they’ll be able to help out in many other different areas. From shopping chores to driving clients to their doctor’s appointments, they can provide diverse care services with the utmost compassion.

3. Use the latest antivirus software

When there are no people around, there is one last line of defense your loved one can utilize: antivirus software.
However, it’s not simply a case of downloading the software. You have to keep continually updating the program to its latest version. If it’s not up to date, this could lead to hackers exploiting the older software. Thankfully, most antivirus programs will have an auto-update feature that you can simply enable.

4. Help with creating strong passwords

Rather than your loved one sticking with a simple “1234” combination, a strong password can shut down a lot of malicious activities in an instant. When creating a password, ensure it incorporates a combination of numbers, symbols, and lower-/upper-case letters. Furthermore, you should create a unique password for each account they have online.

5. Log out

It’s a simple point, but a vital one to keep in mind. Once your loved one is done with the apps and websites they were using, they should log out. This can help prevent privacy and security risks.