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Cybersecurity tips for seniors

Keeping Your Senior Loved Ones Safe Online

Cybersecurity is important at every age, but it is an issue seniors might not be familiar with. This information can help keep your family members safe.

It’s a myth that seniors can’t learn new things, especially when it comes to technology. Statistics from the Pew Research Center show that smartphone usage among older adults has doubled since 2012. An estimated 61% of seniors are smartphone owners. Internet use is also climbing steadily, with 67% of seniors surfing the web. 

Older adults have discovered that the Internet is an easy way to stay connected to friends and family, as well as to shop their favorite stores. While it’s convenient for seniors to do their banking and shopping from the privacy of their living room, there are risks to consider. To avoid becoming a victim, it’s important for older adults to learn about common scams and security threats.

Helping a Senior Family Member Stay Safe Online

Create strong passwords: If it seems like every senior you know has been hacked on Facebook, you might be right. Older adults can be more susceptible because they may not be aware of the importance of creating strong passwords. The best passwords contain at least eight characters and are a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Another tip is not to use your name, family member names, your address, the name of a pet, or other terms that may be easy for a potential hacker to guess.


Secure home Wi-Fi: Also make certain your senior’s home Wi-Fi network has a strong password. Having an unprotected network makes private information vulnerable. Anyone with minimal technology skills can access the network from a home next door or even a car parked on the road outside the home.


Click with caution: Receiving an email from a sender you don’t know may be a scam, and it’s usually best not to open them. Some contain viruses and others may be phishing emails designed to steal a person’s identity or financial information. Caution your family members to be especially wary of emails with subject lines promoting anything for “free” or claiming they’ve won a sweepstakes prize.


Stick to secure sites: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people discovered how easy and convenient online shopping can be. But it’s important to shop only on security-enabled sites. Those websites with a URL that begin with https:// are typically the safest. The “s” means the user’s data is encrypted as it is being transmitted. Never enter financial or personal information on a site that lacks the “s.”


Use social media carefully: Facebook has become one of the most popular online destinations for older adults. While it is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family and even to reconnect with childhood friends, there are some precautions to take. One is to show family members how to enable privacy settings. It’s usually best to set accounts up so only friends can see posts. Also, encourage your senior not to accept friend requests from people they don’t know personally. 


Follow the Sunrise Blog

When you are the caregiver for a loved one, having a reliable resource to turn to for information and advice might be difficult. That’s why we encourage families to follow the Sunrise blog. Each week we share new articles on topics ranging from health and wellness to understanding dementia. Bookmark our blog and stop back often!

Article By: Sunrise Senior Living

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We would love to help guide you on your senior living journey. Fill out the form and one of our senior living experts will be in touch within 24 hours to discuss any questions you have.

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