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Internet Safety Tips For Seniors

Nov 22, 2016 | Life at Ávila

Smartphones, tablets, e-readers, desktop and laptop computers are used by many seniors aged 65+. High speed internet and wifi make it easier for seniors to stay connected with friends and family. Technology advances like voice recognition and the ability to adjust screen brightness and even the size of text also make it easier for retirees to pursue leisure activities online.

Older Americans are broadening their digital experiences. In an April, 2015 study Pew Research Center reports:

In 2014, for the first time, more than half of online seniors indicated that they use Facebook: 56% of online adults ages 65 and older do so, up from 45% a year earlier. Internet use and broadband adoption continue to climb among older adults, and although there remains a wide age gap in smartphone ownership, the proportion of older adults who own a smartphone has increased by 8 percentage points since early 2014. Plus, older Americans who are internet adopters tend to have highly positive attitudes about the impact of online access on their lives, including the access that smartphones give them.

There are many advantages of using the internet to communicate with your children and their kids. And if you love to shop, you can use the internet to shop whenever you want and have your purchases delivered wherever you want. BUT internet use does require caution.

Internet Safety Tips For Seniors

Use a strong password Passwords protect others from accessing our devices and accounts. A strong password is one that can’t easily be guessed. If you have a lot of passwords, it might be difficult to track them all. You can use a notebook to keep track of your usernames, passwords and hint questions in case you need to change your password. You can also use a program to manage your passwords. Lastpass and Dashlane top PC Magazine’s Best Password Managers of 2016.

Install malware protection on your device. This software scans your device to avoid viruses, spyware and even protect your email inbox. Speaking of email, if a link or attachment looks suspicious or if you’re not sure you should open it – DON’T! Better safe than sorry.

Make sure your internet connection is secure. If you are browsing the internet in a public place, be aware that other devices may be able to access yours. Online purchases are best made from your secure, home network. Make sure that your home network is secured with a password, uses the highest encryption and that your router has firewall software installed. Your wireless network provider can help you make sure that your home network is set up correctly.

Check your statements regularly and consider setting spending limits on your credit and debit cards. Contact your bank or credit card company right away if you see any questionable online purchases.

Purchase from reputable sites. Yes, this should go without saying but sites like Amazon or Macy’s have spent lots of money to make sure that their online shopping carts are secure. And, if there is a security breach, they are required to immediately inform consumers so they can take appropriate action.

These tips aren’t meant to keep you from enjoying and using the internet as a helpful and convenient tool. Think of it this way – we all take steps to protect ourselves and our property by purchasing insurance or locking our doors. Internet safety is similar.

So have fun on the internet and BE SAFE!