Computer Safety in Senior Living Communities

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 01 November 2011

Bruce and Esther Huffman never expected world-wide-web fame after their video went viral earlier this fall.

The Huffmans, who reside in an Oregon retirement community, were simply trying to figure out how to use their new webcam, to oblige their grandchildren’s requests for amusing videos and more online interaction. Inadvertently recording their trials & errors, the couple provided smiles & laughter for millions of YouTube viewers around the world:

There is an important lesson here too, though: as more residents of assisted living and independent living communities use a computer, tablet, iPhone or laptop – either in their own apartment or in the facility’s computer lab – for any number of reasons (keeping in touch with the grandkids, pursuing academic interests, online shopping, etc.), the greater the need for education about safe browsing, privacy protection, and avoiding scams, spam, and viruses.

Certainly many seniors are computer-savvy, or have grandchildren who can help them set up their systems and get online safely and efficiently. However, in any community or workplace setting (like colleges, government agencies, corporations or non-profit organizations) where hundreds of users – who are not all equally adept in using a computer – are potentially connected to/accessing one network, it is essential that proper protections are in place and responsible use is required.

Check out this how-to privacy and security guide from AARP for safe browsing basics.


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