Simple Advice for Seniors Concerned About Internet Safety
Staying safe on the internet can seem like a daunting proposition, especially for older adults. News about hackers, viruses, and scammers can make you feel like surfing is better left to others, but there are easy ways to enjoy the internet without falling victim to trouble. Jamhuri Healthcare Services explains a few ways below.
Surf’s up for seniors
More and more, seniors are embracing technology and internet use. In fact, some statistics
indicate 67 percent of all seniors are regularly surfing one way or another these days, thanks largely to the increased use of smartphones. Older adults are also using devices like tablets and e-readers, and engaging with social media. If you enjoy spending time online, it’s important to be aware of what to do to avoid trouble.
warns, cybercriminals are clever, and ensuring you don’t become the next victim can be tricky. The first thing to do is get schooled on cybercrime and how you can avert it. “At the moment, almost nothing seems secure. Cybersecurity is a huge issue right now, and it looks like it will only get bigger. It’s crazy and it’s dangerous and burying your head in the sand won’t help.”
An ounce of prevention
Unfortunately, as technology becomes more advanced, cybercriminals are also increasingly adept at their craft. If you’re considering dipping your toes in and testing internet waters, or are already engaged and simply want to ensure you’re following best practices, there are several simple and incredibly clever strategies for protecting you, your devices, and your data.
As PCMag notes, one essential you can add to your defences is a VPN
. VPN stands for virtual private network, and it’s a smart way to cloak your data so cybercriminals can’t snag information about you as the data travels to and from the web. Since your physical location can be somewhat determined by your IP address
, it’s a smart way to keep hackers from discovering where you are.
Another clever defense tool is firewall
protection. This comes in both software and hardware forms, and works to identify and filter out threats. Chances are your device already has some firewall protection, but you might need to turn it on. Both Windows and Apple users can enable firewall protection easily, as both operating systems are designed with built in firewalls. TechRadar explains adding a third-party firewall
bolsters security all the more, and you can select from several well-known, free options with a variety of bells and whistles.
OperaVPS explains the hardware version of firewall protection
differs from your other internet-oriented hardware in important ways. Many people are confused about the difference between switches, routers, and firewalls, but these appliances serve different purposes. The router basically acts as the avenue through which data comes and goes. A switch allows you to use multiple devices on the same home network, and a firewall monitors traffic to ensure there isn’t anything dangerous hitching a ride. If you don’t have a firewall, you can read reviews
to select the best one for your circumstances.
Wolves in sheep’s clothing
Cybercriminals wear some pretty clever disguises these days, and even with solid defenses, scoundrels can sneak up on unsuspecting victims. With a little education, you can learn to recognize red flags and avoid being caught by common scams. For instance, any time an email requests personal information, such as your bank account data, passwords, or Social Security information, chances are the sender is up to no good.
Emails that ask you for money or suggest you take surveys and quizzes are often looking for ways to tap into your personal information as well. Chain letters and requests for financial support for unfamiliar tragedies, such as sick children you don’t know, are another tool criminals often use to play to people’s soft spots. If you don’t know the sender personally, chances are you should steer clear.
The internet provides people of all ages opportunities for entertainment, socializing, education, and fun. It also offers a wealth of opportunity for hackers and scammers. With a few precautions and a bit of discretion, seniors can safely enjoy the best of the internet without falling into trouble.
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