The internet has changed our lives in more ways than we can imagine. Most of us use it daily for work, pleasure, to organize our time, and to communicate with loved ones. We’re online at home, streaming our favorite TV shows, sending emails, and browsing the net on tablets, laptops, and desktops. We’re online on the move, browsing social media on our mobiles. Some of the most important things that we do, such as banking, are done solely online.
Over the last two years, the internet has been essential when it comes to keeping in touch with loved ones. The pandemic has made it very difficult to see the people that we love face to face. This was perhaps more difficult for older people than anyone else. Many were very isolated, and being able to communicate online, to talk to and even see loved ones, was a live saver. But it has meant that many of our senior relatives have had a crash course in life online. Countless people had only used the internet for the very basics before 2020. They now spend time on social media and Zoom. Unfortunately, these people are more likely to be target by cybercriminals or make costly mistakes online. Here are some of the ways that you can help your older family members stay safe.
Be Aware of Scams
Scammers target older people because it’s often easier. Older people are more trusting, less aware of the dangers online, and more likely to fall victim to a scam. One of the best ways to protect your loved ones is to arm them with information. You should be aware of these scams targeting elderly parents so that you can keep an eye out, give them the information they need to stay safe and show them what they should be watching out for.
Install the Right Tools
With so many risks, few of us can stay safe online without a little help. Spend some time with your loved one downloading security software and tools to help them remember passwords.
Talk About the Importance of Passwords
Even with apps and browsers that remember our passwords, those of us that have been online for years are often guilty of choosing the same, easy-to-remember passwords for everything. This is dangerous and leaves you open to cyber-attacks. Make sure your loved one knows the importance of strong passwords.
Check on Their Updates
Most of the app and software updates that happen on our phones, tablets, and computers have some safety features. Unrelated updates often include a valuable security patch. Most of us have at some point ignored an update notification. This can be very dangerous. Make sure your older relative understands the importance of updates, and double-check for them now and then.
Stress the Value of Privacy
Social media is a wonderful but dangerous place, especially if we share too much. Make sure your loved one appreciates the value of privacy and spend some time going through location sharing settings on their phone, to make sure what they do share doesn’t reveal more than they’d like.
As we get older, it’s only natural that we start to fall behind when it comes to the latest technology. It will happen to all of us sooner or later. For your parents and other relatives, this might have already happened, which is why it’s important that you keep them safe, and make sure they understand the risks.