Aging adults use the Internet to play games, pay bills, conduct research, and interact with family and friends. However, just as there are benefits of going online, there are also potential dangers. Below you’ll find tips that keep seniors safe when using the Internet.
1. Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi
Using free Internet connections could save money on your senior loved one’s data plan, but accessing unknown networks puts his or her safety at risk. In public venues such as cafés, libraries, and shopping malls, your loved one should use open networks with caution. Hackers and scammers have access to these same networks and could steal your loved one’s sensitive information. Your parent should only use public Wi-Fi when accessing news and social media, as opposed to making online purchases or checking his or her financial information.
2. Never Make Purchases from Unsecure Websites
Paying utility bills, making credit card and insurance payments, and purchasing clothing may be much easier to do online. Still, your loved one should only enter his or her financial and personal information on secure sites. Cybercriminals spend the majority of their days browsing the Internet to get access to people’s credit card and bank details. When making purchases, your loved one should call the company directly and ask for a link or website address he or she can use to make payment. A trustworthy site should be marked with a padlock icon in the address bar.
A home caregiver can monitor your loved one’s safety when you need to take a break from your caregiving duties. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Roseville respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
3. Download with Caution
Even emails from trusted family members and friends could be compromised, which is why your loved one should use caution when downloading images and documents. Your parent should avoid downloading files from unverifiable websites. There are various anti-virus software programs seniors can use to alert them when web addresses are unsafe. Your loved one should abandon these sites immediately to protect the device and his or her personal information.
4. Choose Strong Passwords
Many older adults, especially those living with memory problems and cognitive issues, use the same password for multiple accounts. However, your loved one should use different logins and make each password as strong as possible. The more challenging the password, the more difficult it will be for scammers to guess. There are password manager apps your parent can use to maintain multiple and more complex logins.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, his or her online activity may need to be supervised closely, and a home caregiver can help. Families looking for top-rated Roseville home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
5. Be Careful When Meeting New People
Whether your parent joins an online book club or signs up for a dating website, he or she should remain cautious when meeting online acquaintances in person. Explain to your loved one the dangers of inviting people into his or her home and the importance of keeping his or her address private. When it comes to meet-ups, your loved one should never go anywhere without you or another caregiver present. The venues where he or she meets other club members or a potential love interest should be safe, secure, and out in the open.
Using the Internet safely is just one of the issues aging adults must navigate in today’s modern world. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality at-home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably. Call us today at 916.226.3737 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.