7 Out of 10 Seniors Use the Internet – But is it Safe?

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Recent studies find that 7 out of 10 senior citizens use the internet. If your dad is one of them, what precautions is he taking to keep his information safe? Viruses, scams, malware, ransomware, spyware, and so many other attacks add to the challenges of using the internet for everything from banking to staying in touch with friends.

If your dad does use the internet, he needs to employ habits that keep him safe. Make sure he is doing the following things.

Use Safe Passwords

Each year, experts take a look at the most commonly used passwords. Many of them are horrible choices. Passwords like 123456, Password, and admin are lousy choices. They’re easy for hackers to guess.

Instead of a word or series of numbers, your dad should use a series of letters, symbols, and numbers. A password like $a8A9!T is harder for hackers to figure out. Some security/anti-virus programs (Avast and Norton for example) have password creators that can help your dad create a hard-to-guess password.

Do Not Accept Messages From Strangers

On social media sites, your dad should have his privacy controls set to prevent strangers from sending him messages. If he does get a message from someone he doesn’t know, he should delete it. If a user keeps messaging him, make sure he knows how to block that person from being able to contact him again.

Identify and Report Scams

Make sure your dad knows how to identify a spam email. He should know the obvious ones that say he’s won or inherited cash. He also needs to be aware of emails that try to trick recipients into logging in through a fake link or giving out banking information.

When your dad gets scam emails, he should report them. Most email services have buttons you can push to mark messages as spam. Your dad can also send scam emails to the FTC () to report them. While it may not stop all spam emails, it is the first step in the fight to end spam.

Try to Monitor His Time Online

When your dad is online, make sure someone is around to answer questions or monitor who he chats with. It could be you or a caregiver. Senior care professionals are there to help your dad with tasks like laundry and meals, but they can also make sure your dad is using safe practices while online. Having a companion in the home may be enough to keep him from needing to talk to others on social media.

To learn more about this and other important senior care services, talk to a representative. A senior care agency can discuss your dad’s situation and recommend helpful services. Call today.



If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in South Riding, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.