As a family caregiver to an older adult, their safety and security is likely one of your concerns. These days, there are all kinds of ways seniors can be scammed. When you think of scams, you may first think of those annoying telephone calls that claim your computer has a virus or that you need to send money to claim a prize. However, there are lots of scams that are perpetuated over the Internet. Still, surfing the Internet can be a fun pastime for older adults, but if they’re not Internet savvy, they may make mistakes that compromise their safety and privacy. Caregivers can help protect their aging relatives from Internet scams by sharing the following tips for using the Internet safely.
Use Strong Passwords
Caregivers should remind older adults to use strong passwords on the Internet. They should avoid using common passwords, like “password” or numbers in sequence such as “12345.” They also should not use easily obtained personal information, like a child’s name or their birthdate. A safer option is to use a short sentence as a password and incorporate numbers and symbols.
Never Give Out Passwords
One common scam involving the Internet is for thieves to call or email asking for their password for an online account. For example, a scammer may call or email pretending to be someone from Medicare claiming they need the person’s password to verify their account. This gives them access to the account where they can get all kinds of personal information they use for committing fraudulent acts. To prevent this, caregivers should remind older adults that companies never ask their customers for passwords via email or the telephone.
Think Before Clicking
Remind older adults not to click on links in emails unless they know the person who sent the email. Even then, they should be careful since hackers who gain access to someone else’s account often email everyone in their contact list with dangerous links. Caregivers can talk to seniors about the kinds of emails that may be dangerous. If an email looks odd or is out of character for the sender, they should not click on the link. It can be a tricky business since scammers often masquerade as legitimate companies, even using the company’s logo in their email. Remind seniors to look at the email address the message comes from and delete those that are obviously fakes. Another clue that an email is fake is if it contains spelling or grammar errors.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN SUMMERLIN, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF SUMMERLIN. 702-800-4616.