Fact: seniors are active online. According to a Pew Internet & American Life Project report out this year, “53% of American adults age 65 and older use the internet or email.” This number is growing every day.
Whether they’re using a computer, laptop or tablet at home or in senior living communities across the country, seniors should stay on their guard, especially if they want to shop for the grandkids or give to a favorite charity online. Scams abound, and computer users of all ages must be vigilant against these often well-disguised traps, from sites that steal a user’s identity and personal information, to those that ask for money to be wired to a less than reputable source, to those that spread viruses via spambots and pop-ups (an issue that definitely has a more far-reaching impact in senior living communities that offer residents access to/use of shared computers).
This recent post from AARP warns against a new wave of scammers following Superstorm Sandy, “from bogus charities seeking donations, to home repair scams and sales of flood-damaged vehicles.” Read the post here, then be sure to spread the word to friends and family who may be looking online for ways to help storm victims.
Encourage safe browsing always: protect your passwords (and change them often), avoid sites that ask you to share confidential information online (Social Security numbers, financial information, their home address), and be skeptical of groups, individuals and solicitors you don’t know who are reaching out for your time, money or personal data.
Check out computer safety tips specific to senior living residents here.