6 Cybersecurity Tips for Seniors
Technology has become an unavoidable part of our everyday lives. While the internet is a great tool for connection, it is also a hotbed for crime. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to these types of crimes because they are often not familiar with cybersecurity techniques and resources. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to change that. With this year’s theme being “Do Your Part”, we want to do our part. We’re helping spread awareness with six tips for seniors looking to enhance there cybersecurity:
1. Create Strong Passwords
Passwords are the first line of defense in protecting you online, yet many seniors do not use them on their devices. Your phone, tablet, and computer should all have passwords that deter people from entering, especially if you lose your device. For your online accounts (like banking and social media), you should use strong passwords that are made up of a mix of letters, characters, and numbers. Try not to include any personal information as these can be much easier for people to guess. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, save them in a hidden word document on your computer.
2. Protect Your Computer
Hackers are always looking for the easy way in. Viruses and other infections commonly come in through email attachments or compromised software. Adding an extra layer of protection through firewalls, antivirus programs, or ad blockers are a great way to combat this. There are many options—free and paid—that are available to help you further protect yourself.
3. Be Aware of Scams
There are hundreds of internet scams aimed at getting people’s information. Oftentimes, you will get an email or a pop-up saying that you have won a prize or that something (like your bank account) has been compromised and you need to enter your information to claim the prize or get your system back to normal. The most important thing you can do to avoid these is to think before you act. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Trust your gut or consult a trusted family member or friend before entering any information in a place you usually don’t.
4. Remember to Log Out
Passwords only work if you remember to log out of your accounts and devices. Even if you are on your personal device, it’s still an important step to take. Leaving apps or devices open invites security threats in.
5. Have Some Help
If you live alone or are not that tech-savvy, find a trusted friend or family member that could help you. It never hurts to have an extra set of eyes looking out for you and if you ever have a question or concern, you can reach out to them.
6. Social Network Safely
Social networking sites are a great way to stay connected to family and friends. But sharing too much online can be dangerous. Any information you share becomes permanent public knowledge. Even if you delete something, it remains on the server. So pause before you hit “post” and don’t accept messages or friend requests from anyone that you don’t know. When browsing, be cautious of clicking links that take you to other pages.
- Don’t visit any websites that seem unsafe.
- Ignore emails, friend requests, or messages from people you don’t know.
- Create strong passwords and change them every so often.
- Keep antivirus programs up to date.