If 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.
Learning 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.
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.