More and more seniors are computer savvy these days. Seniors and computers are a great match, for plenty of reason:
• they have the patience and dedication that it takes to learn;
• they have more leisure time for picking up and developing new skills;
• they are motivated to stay in touch with family and friends;
• for some seniors, computers are a way to overcome physical challenges;
• online shopping is a real plus for persons with mobility problems.
But you probably know that seniors are a prime target for scam artists, and you may have read about some of the many Internet and e-mail fraud schemes out there. Some seniors do feel hesitant about going online, and recent studies show the 65+ crowd are the most likely to be cautious on the Internet. But that can be a good thing! With a little education on the subject, it is possible to surf the web safely and avoid e-mail pitfalls.
Here are a few simple “do’s and don’ts” to help an older friend or loved one stay safe online:
DON’T…respond to any e-mail asking you for personal information, such as social security number, bank account numbers or PIN number. Banks, credit card companies and other legitimate businesses will not ask you for personal information in an e-mail.
DO…be sure to log out from any site where you’ve entered personal information, a password, user name, etc. if you use a computer in a public place, such as your local library or senior center.
DON’T…click on an e-mail attachment unless you know who it’s from, and until you’ve carefully checked the personal e-mail message that goes with it. Some viruses “send themselves” from someone else’s computer without the owner knowing. When in doubt, double check with the sender before clicking the attachment.
DO…install antivirus and antispyware software on your computer, and keep it up to date.
DON’T…respond to junk e-mail (spam), not even to “unsubscribe” from their e-mailing list. That just lets the spammer know they’ve found a valid e-mail address. The safest path is to ignore and delete.
Just as in any other area of life, knowledge is power when it comes to computer security. Knowing they have taken a few precautions while online-just as they do in real life-will help seniors enjoy the Internet with confidence.
About Senior Helpers:
Senior Helpers provides many in-home, caregiving services for the elderly in West Chester, Oxford, Jennersville, Chadds Ford, Honeybrook, Glen Mills and surrounding areas. We offer extensive in-home health care services for seniors who embrace their independence and the personal dignity that goes with it. Our in-home health care services are provided by bonded and insured caregivers all of whom pass a national background check.
If a senior family member needs in-home care services in Chester County, Lancaster County or Delaware County, Pennsylvania, we are an excellent choice with exemplary references. In-home care is the compassionate choice for your elderly loved ones’ continued independent living. We promise we will do our best to make it a positive experience for them and you. For more information, please visit: http://seniorhelpers.com/location/4227.
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