Protect Seniors Online, Part II

protect-seniors-online-logo_horizontalIf you or a senior loved one still uses generic passwords for everything, such as Password123, please continue reading! When it comes to online scammers, they are smart, creative and won’t stop until they have successfully hacked into the personal information and accounts of their online victims. Internet users need to be constantly aware and stay one step ahead of these cunning criminals. According to recent research by Home Instead Senior Care, seniors don’t always feel confident in their abilities to protect themselves online. In fact, only 32% of seniors surveyed described themselves as “very confident” in their ability to safely engage in various online activities.

To help raise awareness and the confidence level of seniors, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis has launched their latest public education campaign, Protect Seniors Online. This campaign takes a look into the increased threat the seniors in our local Minneapolis, Minnesota communities face by focusing on the cyber threats that can put older adults in jeopardy. The Protect Seniors Online campaign offers valuable resources to educate seniors and their family. It also reinforces why it’s so important for a trusted Home Instead CAREGivers to assist your senior loved ones to ensure they are not vulnerable to harmful cyber scams.

protectseniorsonlineLearning how to interact and use different social media methods is a wonderful thing for seniors.  Learning new things activates the brain and is one way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. But being active in a variety of online websites also opens the door for potential hackers, spam and other cyber scams. To avoid being the target of an online cyber scam, it’s best to be aware of information you are putting out there. Read about Mike’s experience.

One step in staying  ahead of the hackers is to be aware of the latest cyber scams. According to experts at the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Better Business Bureau, following are the Top Five Hottest Senior Cyber Scams:

  • Tech support scams: These types of scams can manifest themselves as “pop-ups” that appear on your computer screen and look like legitimate offers for computer service or help.
  • Tax scams: The upcoming tax season is another window of opportunity for online fraudsters to take action on your personal information.
  • Ransomware: This is one of the most frightening forms of online fraud. It is a malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money has been paid.
  • False debt collectors: These emails oftentimes come as official-looking documents and the tone of the emails is threatening and urgent.
  • Sweepstakes scams: This type of scam will often want you to pay to receive your prize.

To learn more about the hottest senior cyber scams and take a quiz to test how good you are at spotting an online cyber scam, visit www.protectseniorsonline.com.

Michael Kaiser, executive director at the National Cyber Security Alliance says “cybersecurity is all about risk reduction.” “It’s difficult to achieve perfect security, but you can work to make yourself a more difficult target.” Practicing cyber safety can go a long way toward protecting your identity and personal information. Here are some tips from the 10 Cybersecurity Best Practices for Older Adults:

  • Think before you act
  • Create strong passwords
  • Share with care
  • Use security software

To learn more about each of these and get the  10 Cybersecurity Best Practices for Older Adults, visit www.protectseniorsonline.com. Also, click here to read the first article in the Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis Protect Seniors Online series.

The World Wide Web is a great thing! It is a tool used for learning, convenience, social connection, information storage and sharing. Don’t be fooled, stay vigilant and protect yourself online.

Serving the communities in Minneapolis and western suburbs, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is dedicated exclusively to helping seniors stay in their homes as they age. Our highly trained in-home CAREGivers provide all the supportive care a person needs to continue living at home. Everything from companionship to bathing, showering and using the bathroom, to Alzheimer’s and other dementias care are services Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provides. Sometimes just having a person in the home to help monitor their online activity or answer questions is all they need to reduce the risk of a cyber scam. To inquire more about the services offered and how our CAREGivers can help keep seniors safe online, contact us at 763-634-8247.

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Protect Seniors Online

protect-seniors-online-logo_horizontalWith social media on the rise and more older adults than ever surfing the World Wide Web, seniors face an increased risk of their personal and financial information being compromised. Staying connected through email or the various social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram can be a good thing for seniors as well as a great way to share photos with loved ones not living in Minnesota.  Another example is online banking.  Paying bills and managing your miscellaneous daily banking is very easy and convenient, but also opens the door for potential hackers, spam and other cyber scams.

Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis’ latest public education campaign, Protect Seniors Online, takes a look into the increased threat the seniors in our local Minneapolis, Minnesota communities face by focusing on the cyber threats that can put older adults in jeopardy. The Protect Seniors Online campaign offers valuable resources to educate seniors and their family as well as reinforce why it’s so important for our trusted Home Instead CAREGivers to assist your senior loved ones and ensure they are not vulnerable to cyber scams that may do harm.

protectseniorsonlineStudies show that most of the North American seniors surveyed by Home Instead, Inc. use social media. Nearly 12% of those who were surveyed report having had a negative experience including being asked for money and having to block someone. The potential dangers of oversharing while online could put you at risk. It’s important to be mindful of how much personal information is being posted and who can see it. Here are some things to remember:

The Dangers of Oversharing Online:

  • Be wary of what information is public. When creating a profile on any social media account, minimize the amount of detailed information you provide. Remember that specifics such as birthdays, a pet’s name and hobbies could end up in the wrong hands.
  • Information shared on one social media account can show up on another. For example, if you post a photo on Twitter, it may end up on Facebook if the two accounts are connected. Be sure privacy settings are set to protect you and you know exactly who is able to see your posts and personal information.
  • Be wary of quizzes, games and other apps that require personal information. Any bit of information could get into the wrong hands and lead to risk.

To learn more about the risks involved with sharing too much personal information and tips to prevent your senior loved one from becoming a scam target, visit the website www.protectseniorsonline.com.

Cyber attacks can happen to anyone. More than a third of seniors surveyed by Home Instead Inc. report that someone has tried to scam them online and 28% have admitted to downloading a computer virus. Older adults are particularly vulnerable for the following reasons:

  • Complexity of computers and mobile devices
  • Weak passwords
  • A trusting nature

Learn more details about each of the above reasons and other cyber scams here.

Practicing good online habits will decrease your chances of being targeted. Learn the 10 Best Cybersecurity Practices for Older Adults and take the Quiz: Can You Spot an Online Scam?

Serving the communities in Minneapolis and western suburbs, Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis is dedicated exclusively to helping seniors stay in their homes as they age. Our highly trained in-home CAREGivers provide all the supportive care a person needs to continue living at home. Everything from companionship to bathing, showering and using the bathroom, to Alzheimer’s and other dementias care are services Home Instead Senior Care Minneapolis provides. Sometimes just having a person in the home to help monitor their online activity or answer questions is all they need to prevent disaster. To inquire more about the services we offer and how our CAREGivers can help keep our seniors safe online, contact us at 763-634-8247.