Tech Corner: July 2022
Topic: Cybersecurity Tips for Seniors
Each year, statistics reveal that cyber threats and criminals steal approximately $40 billion from seniors in cyber-crimes. They work to gain access to a seniors’ confidential information through computers, smartphones, or any smart-enabled devices. Unlike the younger generation, seniors are typically not as aware of cyberthreats and tend to have more of a “trusting” gut feeling leading to an easier attack.
The following Tech Corner tips will help curve the statistics and give Senior Citizens the knowledge and know-how to recognize these types of scenarios and work to protect themselves and their information.
Use Strong Passwords
Password protect your technology, smart-enabled equipment and online accounts with secure and strong passwords. Try and use passwords that are at least 12 characters and a mixture of letters, numbers, symbols, and capital letters. Granted, it is important to also create a password that you can remember, but don’t use personal information in your password.
Second Guess Everything, Trust your Gut Instinct
If you receive an email that seems very odd, it probably is, especially if an email is asking you to click on something right away, enter your data within the next few hours, verify a recent purchase, etc. If you‘re unsure, delete the email and call the company directly to verify legitimacy of the request. One example is a fake Amazon email saying you recently purchased an item then having to click a link for details. Avoid clicking any links, log into your Amazon account and see if you have any questionable transactions.
Delete Unknown or Questionable Emails
If you receive a questionable email or an email from an unknown sender, don’t be afraid to delete it. If it’s that important, they will send you a follow up email or reach out to you directly. The IRS will never send you an unsolicited email asking you for confidential information, nor will your bank. If you receive an email of this nature, delete it.
Be Aware on Social Media Sites
Social media websites are a very common environment for scams, “click-bait”, and phishing schemes. Avoid failing for the “click here to win” or “you’ll never believe” posts. When you have to click to learn more, it is usually a scam or lead-in to more problems. Click-Bait is an image or tagline that purposely of entices you to click to learn more. Hide it on social media and move on.
Beware Phishing Emails
Phishing emails are designed to grab your personal information, such as Fedex emailing about a package to be picked up, the bank emailing about a wire transaction from your account, or TurboTax emailing about an unclaimed tax return. Don’t enter your personal details. Beware of these types of emails and delete them.
There are many great resources on the Internet, but seniors should be aware of the scams out there and attempts to grab personal information, lock down computers, and steal money from them, etc. Don’t fall for their tricks!