What your parents must know when online

Nowadays, Internet use among seniors is on the rise. But unfortunately, predators frequently prey upon the elderly taking priority of their trusting nature and a lack of tech knowledge. Statistics tell no lies. According to the Aviva agency survey, 73% of over-45s internet users confessed that they had been targeted by email scam and 6% of these claimed they had been caught in a cheat’s net.

Although there are many techniques that everyone can use to identify a possible intruder before it causes any real harm, some older adults may say “I am too old for that stuff.” So it becomes their children’s task to make their parents a more difficult target. Moreover, a lot of security tools are easy to set up and use, so even a twelve o’clock flasher can manage them.

These are some important things you must teach your grandparents to ensure they are safe when online:

1. Never assume any stranger online is a good man
Some older adults behave as if they were born yesterday. They trust every stranger that seems to be tender-hearted. There is a golden rule your parents must know: “unless you have a real-world relationship with the person trying to establish communication with you via email, video chat, messengers, he is likely looking to profit at the expense of you.”

Sometimes a stranger offers a deal that is too good to be true. There is every likelihood that the offer is fictitious and was created to make you reveal private information, install software with malicious code, or wire money to a hacker.

2. A good and secure password is a half the battle
Your parents’ computer has to be protected with a password that is both hard to guess and complex. Just teach your lovely relatives how to create these passwords. In a perfect world, it will be a combination of random numbers, letters, and characters. No personal information such as date of birth, maiden name, or pet’s name should be included. (And have a secure plan for remembering/retreiving passwords.)

3. Use security software
If you have a computer or any other device with Internet access, make sure that security software is installed.

  • Use a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network.
  • Use antivirus software to protect your system from viruses and malware. 
  • Use a VPN to encrypt all incoming and outgoing bandwidth and hide your IP for secure internet shopping. 

All these tools are easy to install and use, some of them enable automatically when your computer system turns on.

4. Put your parents up to common scams worth knowing

Here are only a few of the rampant internet scams your parents have to watch out for:

Phishing It is the most popular type of scam nowadays. Scammers create a fake website of a church, hospital or any other company to make people reveal their personal data. Although the fake websites look legitimate (scammers use a company`s color scheme, logo, design), you can notice that it is a fake. Keep your eye out for a domain name. It may originate from a domain like Am.azon.com.

Banking Scams Hoaxers often send out emails that look like an email from your bank. They claim that they need your account details to confirm something or investigate unusual activity. Needless to say what they can do with access to your private data.

Lottery scams If you think that nobody believes in fake lottery emails, think again. That scam is both actionable and easy to perform. You receive an email that congratulates you for being the only winner. You are overjoyed. All you have to do is to enter your data in order to get your money. Guess what happens next…

5. Let them know you are there to help

Some older adults don’t know what’s what and might not be sure whether a website or email message is legitimate. That is their children’s task to show them that we are ready to help in them become Internet literate. Let your parents know that they can ask you questions if they have any suspicions.No question is a dumb question when it comes to safety!

Author’s bio:
Sam Chester is a tech enthusiast, computer geek, and founder of www.cooltechzone.com. This site was created as a non-profit project; it neither sells anything nor advertises any IT product. Together with his brother, Sam is struggling for the internet that is open, globally connected, trustworthy, secure and available to everyone.

Thanks Sam!

For more information about caring for your aging parents, please consider downloading my course, Caring for Your Aging Parents, from Teachable.com. It takes a couple of hours, and you can just hit play and listen while you go about other business. 



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Originally Published on https://www.aboutagingparents.com/

Kathy Quan Blogger & Author

Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN is an award-winning blogger and author. She has been an RN for over 30 years. Most of those years have been spent in home health care and hospice where she has worked as a field nurse, a nursing supervisor, branch manager and in quality improvement. Today she works part time in hospice as a Quality Improvement specialist.