4 Basic Tips for Safer Senior Web Surfing from Senior Care Corner; Helping Overcome Fears of Online Risks

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While the number of seniors active online continues to grow, there are still many expressing reluctance to use the web due to fear of the potential dangers associated with online activity. Rather than see seniors forego the benefits that can be derived from the web, especially from social networking, Senior Care Corner has tips family caregivers can use to teach online safety.

Senior Care Corner

The web is a tool that can produce many benefits for seniors” says Barry Birkett of Senior Care Corner. “Our tips are intended to serve as part of the instructions for using that tool safely and with respect for what can happen if a user isn’t cautious.

While the number of seniors active online continues to grow, there are still many expressing reluctance to use the web due to fear of the potential dangers associated with online activity. Rather than see seniors forego the benefits that can be derived from the web, especially from social networking, Senior Care Corner has tips family caregivers can use to teach online safety.

“The web is a tool that can produce many benefits for seniors,” says Barry Birkett, Senior Care Corner co-founder. “Our tips are intended to serve as part of the instructions for using that tool safely and with respect for what can happen if a user isn’t cautious.”

There are many practices users employ to protect themselves online, so many that an exhaustive list may serve to reinforce the fears keeping many seniors from the web. Senior Care Corner’s list of senior web safety tips is intended to be short enough to be memorable and applied by those new to the Internet but still guide them to safe online practices.

Basic Tips for Online Safety

1.    As said so well in the movie The Social Network, “the internet isn’t written in pencil, it’s written in ink.” In other words, keep in mind that anything posted on Facebook, written in an email or which otherwise makes it online just might be out there permanently - - and control is lost once it’s posted. Many people have experienced negative repercussions from information they, friends or loved ones have innocently posted online.
2.    When it comes to email, don’t click on any links unless absolutely certain they’re legitimate; don’t assume that official looking emails from your bank, the government or anyone is from the party listed as the sender – confirm separately before providing any private or personal information; and, don’t believe too-good-to-be-true news of prizes, requests to help move money from other nations, or other stories.
3.    Choose passwords and password hints – those questions websites ask for use when you forget your password – carefully. Be sure to avoid using information that someone seeking to access your accounts can find on your Facebook page or elsewhere online - - because they are looking. Unfortunately, many of the hint questions used by sites request information often available in social media profiles.
4.    When accessing the web through a public WiFi hotspot, such as those found at coffee shops, fast food outlets and many other locations, avoid entering passwords or other private information to avoid having it stolen by someone eavesdropping on your online activity through the hotspot. For loved ones in a senior living facility, check with the staff to learn how to access the internet securely, as most now provide accommodation for residents.

While these tips don’t guarantee 100% safety online, when combined with a sense of caution in one’s approach to activity on the web they will go a long way in assuring users an experience that is enjoyable.

About Senior Care Corner
Senior Care Corner (on the web at SeniorCareCorner.com) provides solutions, information and tools to family caregivers and others who care for and about senior adults to help them improve the lives of the seniors in their lives. Their blog, biweekly podcast and bookstore address a wide variety of topics family caregivers can use to better understand the wants and needs of their senior loved ones.

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