Technology has changed a lot in the past 25 years. Just as banks have vaults and doors have locks, everyone needs to maintain proper cyber security on their computers, smartphones and other internet devices. This is especially important in advance of the biggest shopping day of the year: Cyber Monday. Seniors are particularly vulnerable, given that online scammers and identity thieves tend to target them.
Let us share a few basic online safety tips for seniors right here on our blog that you may use now and at any time throughout the year:
- Never give personal information in an email or to unknown sources
- Only make purchases from familiar websites
- Use credit cards, not debit cards or a checking account, because they are often separate from your bank and carry extra layers of protection
- Only shop from your computer or phone, and
- Regularly update antivirus software
Implementing these safety measures can go a long way toward limiting exposure to identity theft and financial fraud. Lesser known tips, such as those that we are including here, can make seniors and their loved ones even safer:
1. The Secure Lock Icon. There are billions of websites on the internet, and one way to tell whether a site is secure is if it has a padlock icon on the left side of the URL search bar. Just take a look at our website for an example. The URL is the unique web address for every website. If it does not have a lock icon next to it, do not enter your billing information.
2. Avoid Fake Apps. Be extra careful when downloading new smartphone apps or computer applications in anticipation of Cyber Monday. Scammers may send fraudulent emails requiring you to download an app to get a great deal on a holiday shopping item. Dishonest pop-up ads may appear and instruct you to click on a link. Be wary of taking this action. If you are really interested, go straight to the proposed website, and double-check for the offer.
3. Adjust Browser Settings. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari are common internet browsers. Seniors should regularly clear their browser history, and adjust their browser settings for optimum security. Settings are often found in the upper right corner of a browser.
If you or someone you know needs additional information, especially if you feel you may be the victim of an online crime, do not wait to contact an experienced attorney today. Our law firm understands how to protect Florida seniors when it comes to these issues, and many others. We encourage you not to wait to schedule a meeting with us now, or any time throughout the year.