The digital age has brought about remarkable advancements in technology and connectivity, but it has also created a new set of problems...especially to those vulnerable community members. Elderly individuals in particular are more vulnerable and at a higher risk of becoming targets for cybercriminals.
In this blog post, we will delve into six practical tips aimed at safeguarding your elderly loved ones from the pitfalls of cyber scams.
1. Education is Key: The most fundamental step in preventing elderly family members from becoming victims of cyber scams is education. Take the time to explain the common types of online scams, such as phishing, fraudulent emails, and fake tech support calls. Encourage an open dialogue and to ask questions when they encounter anything suspicious.
2. Set Strong Passwords: Help your elderly loved ones create strong, unique passwords for their online accounts. Use a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. Consider using a password manager to simplify the process.
3. Avoid Sharing Personal Information: Emphasize the importance of never sharing personal information, such as Social Security numbers, financial details, or Medicare information with unknown individuals over the phone, email, text or any other digital communication. Help them to understand that legitimate organizations including banks, government agencies, and healthcare providers, will never request personal information through unsolicited calls or messages. Encourage them to double-check the legitimacy of any such request.
4. Use Strong Privacy Settings: Assist them in configuring strong privacy settings on social media accounts, emails, and online profiles. By doing so, you can help them control who has access to their personal information and posts, reducing their vulnerability to unwanted intrusions. Make sure they understand who can see their social media posts and personal information.
5. Encourage Them to Verify: Teach them the importance of verifying the identity of anyone requesting personal information or access to their devices. When an unfamiliar person or organization contacts them and asks for personal information, they should always first confirm the legitimacy of the individual or organization before proceeding. Emphasize the importance of taking their time to assess the situation. Scammers often employ tactics to create a sense of urgency, pressuring individuals to act quickly.
6. Secure Their Devices: Ensure that their computers, smartphones, and tablets have up to date antivirus and anti-malware software. These security solutions act as a protective shield, actively scanning for and neutralizing potential threats such as viruses, malware, and spyware. Make sure to enable regular scans and automatic updates to keep the software’s threat database current.
Remember, the goal is not to discourage elderly family members from using the internet, but to empower them with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate it safely. Encourage them to ask for help or share concerns about anything online. By working together, you can help your elderly loved ones enjoy the benefits of the digital world while staying protected from cyber scams.
If you believe you have been the victim of a bank scam, please contact our team here.