3 Security Risks Seniors Should Understand in the Digital Age
Seniors are understandably worried about security risks surrounding their activities online. They don’t want to put their information and money at risk on a platform they don’t know much about, which is a reasonable concern. After all, seniors should enjoy the ability to communicate and shop online without worry. But such freedom does come with the need to be careful. Here are some common security risks that seniors will undoubtedly face in the online world.
One common security risk for seniors is scams. Seniors are ripe targets for scammers and have been for a long time. Scam artists from across the globe prey on seniors’ generosity and their desire for interaction. Because of this, seniors need to be aware of the most common forms of scams and follow some ground rules. Seniors should always consult another person if they are presented with an offer that sounds too good to be true — because it usually is. They should also avoid any multi-level marketing plan or venture where they have to put money up front. Money paid upfront for a promised service or product can easily disappear.
Another common security risk is hacking. A hacker can take someone’s personal information and sell it many times over on the internet. Thankfully, there are a few simple tools that can protect a senior’s information. First, seniors need to come up with strong, complex passwords and write those passwords down where they will be easily found. Seniors should also use two-factor authentication and biometric protections whenever possible. These efforts add an extra degree of security to every online account and can make a real difference when it comes to account security.
3. Identity Theft
The third security risk seniors must be careful of is identity theft. Identity theft is a common occurrence for people of all ages. Preventing it relies on people being vigilant and taking a considerable amount of time protecting their identity and their data. Seniors can sometimes be too preoccupied and focused on other aspects of their lives to worry about maintaining stringent information security practices. However, identity theft can ruin a senior’s credit and harm their ability to collect tax reimbursements or Social Security payments. Seniors need to take the same precautions against identity theft as others. They need to freeze their credit if there are any red flags or if they are sure they will not need credit anytime soon. Freezing credit is the only certain way to protect a senior’s credit file. They can also sign up for credit monitoring and be wary of using their debit cards. Debit cards do not have liability limits and can cause a considerable amount of headaches if hacked or compromised.
With a few important steps, seniors can certainly keep their information safe online. Using the internet has many advantages for people of all ages. It only takes a bit of vigilance to ensure that the experience will be a safe, happy one.