There is absolutely no doubt about it; the Internet is an integral part of most of our lives. Many of us use the web to pay bills, conduct banking, browse social media, and even book our next trip. When you are surfing the net in the comfort of your home, it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. If you are not careful, you can easily give a thief just what they want when you share too much, or you do not pay attention to the site you are on.
In short, everyone is at risk, but the Department of Homeland Security indicates that “seniors are defrauded at twice the rate of the rest of the population.” At Wesley Enhanced Living, we understand the dangers as well as the fun the Internet can bring to your life. Avoid being a target when you are on the web.
6 Suggestions for Keeping Safe on the Internet
Enjoying the benefits of the Internet is easier when you keep these suggestions in mind:
- Change your passwords frequently. For every site or digital asset you access, including your home computer, make a password that is secure and change it regularly.
- Have a different password for every site. It can be hard to remember passwords, so the easy thing to do is have one for everywhere you go on the net. Unfortunately, if a thief is able to get a hold of that password, they have access to everything.
- Avoid oversharing when you are on the web. While you may want to share pictures of your vacation on social media or your grandchild’s soccer game, thieves are watching and connecting the dots to steal from you. Do not share personal information like your birthday or social security number. That is an identity theft incident waiting to happen.
- Use your common sense when talking to strangers. While it is great to meet new people, remember to be very conscious of what personal information you share with someone you do not know.
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! You probably grew up hearing the adage, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” The same holds true in the online world. If you did not enter a contest but are being told you won a trip, the red flags should emerge right away, and you should stay away from any communication on the matter.
- Be aware of who you can trust. Trustworthy sites that end in .gov (government) or .edu (education) are ones you can rely on for information. When doing your online banking, pay attention that you are on the right site by looking for the https:// and a small padlock in the corner of the address bar.
Enjoy all the fun and excitement the Internet can bring when you use your common sense, and stay mindful of the dangers that can happen when online. At Wesley Enhanced Living, we encourage our independent living and assisted living residents to explore the world around them – both online and offline. Call one of our Pennsylvania locations to arrange a visit.
Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality retirement communities for your loved ones. Please visit our independent living communities to learn more or click here to request more information today.