5 Online Safety Tips for Older Adults

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The Internet is a fun place for seniors, as it can keep them active, engaged, and connected with family members. However, seniors are more susceptible to online frauds and scams than younger adults. Here are a few precautions family members should take to make the Internet a safer place for their aging loved ones.

1. Create Strong Passwords

Having strong passwords for all online accounts is one of the easiest ways to keep seniors safe online. These passwords should be at least eight characters long with a mixture of numbers and letters. Your loved one should have a unique username and password for every new account he or she sets up. While keeping up with so much information can be a hassle, it’s still better than losing private data or having your loved one’s identity stolen.

2. Avoid Online Shopping

Online shopping can be quite risky when items or services are purchased from smaller stores. Until your loved one is more comfortable using the Internet, he or she should avoid making purchases online. Seniors who would still like to shop online should always use credit cards instead of debit cards. A home caregiver can monitor your loved one’s online safety when you need to take a break from your caregiving duties. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Waterloo respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. 

3. Don’t Open Unusual Files

Unless your loved one requested a file or tried to download a specific program, he or she should never open any unusual files. Even if the file was sent by a family member or friend, seniors need to remember that criminals can easily hack email accounts. If they’re ever in doubt, they should contact the sender before proceeding any further.

4. Be Wary of Particularly Good Deals or Offers

Amazing deals and discounts can be found online, but seniors must exercise caution when they see especially enticing offers. Very few things are going to be offered for free, and buyers should be wary of anything that seems too good to be true. As seniors are learning more about the Internet, they should consult their caregivers before making any purchases or providing private information. If your loved one has been diagnosed with a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, his or her online activity may need to be supervised closely, and a home caregiver can help. Families looking for top-rated senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

5. Create a Social Media Account

After seeing familiar faces on social media, many seniors believe the sites are safe and trustworthy. Advise your loved one not to post any private information besides his or her name on those sites and not to accept requests from any strangers. Family caregivers can also add their own numbers as emergency contact numbers to shut down their loved one’s accounts instantly if there’s any suspicious activity. Using the Internet safely is just one of the issues aging adults must navigate in today’s modern world. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Waterloo families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at 319-260-2222 today.

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