With 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.
Studies 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.