The Internet is a great way for elderly people to keep up-to-date with what is going on in the world and keep in contact with friends and loved ones.
We’ve previously blogged about social media and how it can help loneliness in the elderly, but it’s always important to be safe when using it, so we’ve put together some top tips on Internet safety that you can go through with your loved-one and ensure they’re kept safe while surfing.
Keep passwords safe
When setting up any accounts for your loved-one, you should ensure passwords are not easy for potential hackers to guess – they should use a mix of upper and lower-case letters and it’s always a good idea to include numbers too.
Let your loved-one know that they should never give their password to anyone and make sure same password isn’t used for all accounts as if a potential hacker can breach one they will attempt to breach others.
Don’t click suspicious links
Let your loved-one know that if they receive an email or a pop-up with an offer that seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
People will often imitate established companies, such as banks, using fake email addresses, and will ask them to click links and input details, so if they’re unsure if an email is legitimate, have them let you know and you can call the company’s customer service number and check.
Be cautious when entering personal details
If your loved-one is online shopping, they need to make sure the website they’re entering any personal or bank details into is secure. To ensure a website is secure, the address will start with https, a padlock symbol will appear in the browse next to where the website address is, which you should be able to click to check the security information.
If they have any doubts about a website, it’s best to leave it.
Ensure anti-virus software is up to date
If an email is received with an attachment that your loved-one clicks, this could spread a virus in your computer and allow hackers to take control and have access to their personal details.
You will need to make sure your loved-one’s anti-virus software is always up-to-date as it will alert them to any potential viruses or breaches of security.
Only talk to family or friends you know personally
Scammers can often use chat rooms and social media to talk to people to gain their trust and scam them out of lots of money, so it’s best your loved-one sticks to only talking to people they know in real life and family members. It might be an idea to add their friends and other family members to their profiles yourself and have them check with you first should they received any requests.
If your loved-one is unsure about anything online, have them check with you before proceeding.
Scams and fraudsters are not only lurking online. You can also read our blogs on avoiding scams and frausters in general life and advice for the elderly to protect themselves from doorstep scams.