Posted 26th April 2023

Internet safety for older people

Internet safety for older people

The internet is a great way to keep in touch with loved ones, find out information and access entertainment. As it has massively grown in popularity and developed over the years, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers. In this blog, we’re going to talk about the main hazards and tell you what to look out for and how to avoid falling victim to an internet scam. Keep your personal information safe and learn how to spot a scam.

Password safety

With many things online, to get the information personal to you, you’ll need an account. All accounts on the internet are password protected for your safety. Only you should be able to access your account with your password. When choosing a password for your account, it’s recommended that you select a different password for each account. That way, in the instance someone was to discover your password, the rest of your accounts would still be safe.

When creating a password in the first place, try not to use words that are personal to you. This would include your name or someone else’s name. For example, if you have children, do not make their name your password. This could easily be thought of if someone was trying to cause harm and access your accounts and personal data.

To create a strong password, do not use any common words, numbers or even keyboard patterns. For example, the code “1234” is easy to guess when unlocking a mobile phone. Instead, opt for something random. Though make sure that you can remember them.

Email scams

Emails should only come from those you expect. This includes your friends and family. Or potentially companies you know and use. If something unfamiliar enters your email inbox, it is always best to proceed with caution. If something seems too good to be true, the chances are it probably is.

For example, a common internet scam would include receiving an email from an unfamiliar email address telling you that you have won a prize. Within that email, there would likely be text telling you to click on a link to claim your prize. It is extremely important to be cautious here and not click on any unfamiliar links. These can harm your device or be a scammer’s way to access your personal information and data. By contrast, another email scam could include a threat requiring urgent action. These emails can be scary to receive. However, in this instance, it is the scammer’s intention to make you feel that way to provoke an action.

If you ever receive an email and you are in doubt or feeling suspicious, it is always best to not open it. Show a relative and get their opinion.

Social media

Social media has been ever-growing over the past decade. The increase of popularity has led to the majority of us getting involved and making accounts. Social media can be a great way to share stories and keep in touch. To begin with, when creating your profile, you may wish to opt to make your account private. This would mean anyone who wants to see your profile and your posts must be approved by you first. This is a great first step to limiting who can see your personal information. Using these privacy features can limit others from getting hold of any personalised information that would identify you. This could include your location or date of birth.

With social media, it is advised to only speak to those who you know. If a stranger is attempting to contact you, you can use the report and block features of the social media platform that you are using.

Tips and tricks

That’s a wrap on staying safe on the internet. Here are some handy things to remember. If something looks like it’s too good to be true, it more than likely is. Do not click on unfamiliar links. If shopping online, check the business’s reviews to make sure the service is legitimate. Make sure your passwords are not easily guessable. Stay safe! And there you have it. If you’ve learned anything useful, be sure to share the information with your family and friends.

To find out our top smartphone tips for the elderly, click here.

Editor’s Note: This blog was originally posted 6th March 2023. It was updated 26th April 2023 to reflect the latest information.