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How to Help Seniors Stay Safe When Using the Internet

By Jonathan Wells, 9:00 am on

Spending time online is a wonderful way for seniors to enrich their days, whether they are making social connections or just reading the news. However, many older adults are not as familiar with modern technology as their children and grandchildren, so it is important to make sure their Internet time is as safe as possible. Douglas County senior home care experts share a few tips to help your aging loved one remain safe while using the Internet.

Set Up Strong Passwords 

People of all ages make the mistake of creating simple passwords that are easy to hack, such as a pet’s name or a street address. Help your loved one come up with a secure password that includes a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Be sure to write it down for your loved one so he or she can remember it easily. 

Educate About Scams

Everyone has seen emails and ads promising things that are too good to be true, whether it’s an all-expenses paid Caribbean cruise or millions of dollars. Seniors are major targets for scammers, so it’s important to teach your loved one to avoid these flashy offers. Make sure your loved one knows never to send money to anyone without talking to you about it first. 

Check Credit Card Statements

Shopping online can be a wonderful experience for older adults, especially those who have limited mobility or cannot drive. If your loved one shops online, be sure to check his or her credit card statements often or encourage him or her to do it in case any unusual charges pop up. 

Discourage Posting Personal Information 

Remind your loved one to never share personal information online, even if he or she is doing it in an arguably secure space like Facebook or an email. This includes data like phone numbers, addresses, passwords, banking information, health information, social security numbers, and birth dates. Remind your loved one that his or her banking and medical institutions will never ask for this information online. 

Talk About Cyber-Bullying 

Cyber-bullying doesn’t just affect teenagers. Many adults face it as well, including seniors. It can happen on social media, in the comments section of a news article, and practically anywhere else people interact with others online. Encourage your loved one to let you know if he or she ever feels threatened, intimidated, or abused online. Together, you can decide if the threats are worthy of reporting to your local law enforcement agency.

If you’d like additional tips on keeping your loved one safe on the Internet, or if you think he or she may need assistance with daily tasks like meal prep, exercise, and cleaning, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to hourly and live-in care, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care. Douglas County families can trust in Home Care Assistance to help their senior loved ones remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. For more information on our at-home care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 720-287-1685 today.