7 tips for senior citizens to stay safe and secure in this Digital Age

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Published: August 21, 2019 6:03:12 PM

There is no company waiting to give their fortune to you through a lucky draw. Hence, never click on suspicious-looking or too-good-to-be-true offers.

cyber crime, senior citizen, senior citizens day, trojan, Android devices, fake applications, genuine apps, new virus, technology newsDue to the lack of cybersecurity awareness and training, most seniors have no idea that there are criminals trying to get their personal or financial information.

Today, with young adults moving out of the country for work or business, senior citizens are jumping onto the digital bandwagon to stay connected to their loved ones. And, with the rise in digital payments, scamsters and fraudsters who have been eyeing this space have come up with their own version of clones to target gullible users. Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales, Sophos India & SAARC, says, “Older people get isolated and lonely, and these are the two prime ingredients capitalized on by cybercriminals targeting this demographic. Primarily this was done through blackmailing, ransom and spam calls to people in their age group.”

However, cyber theft and online frauds are no longer a new thing. With the increased adaption of technology, online frauds such as internet crime, cyber threat, and hacks have also increased. According to a recent report from HelpAge, a staggering 60 per cent of respondents believe that the use of social media has resulted in increased economic loss. Hence, it has become crucial to stay safe from such fraudulent practices, especially with one’s identity and financial credentials that are used so vigorously online.

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Sharma of Sophos India adds, “Due to lack of cybersecurity awareness and training, most seniors have no idea that there are criminals trying to get their personal or financial information. However, as seniors become more digitally savvy, there is a need to explain how to be safe online.”

Here are some simple cyber-security best practices to follow and stay protected from cybercrime:

  1. There is no company waiting to give their fortune to you through a lucky draw. Hence, never click on suspicious-looking or too-good-to-be-true offers.
  2. It might seem like the easy thing to do – but using the same password on every service and app is a bad idea. Use unique, strong passwords on every site and app you use. You can use your browser or mobile device’s built-in password manager, or a third-party manager to do this.
  3. This one might sound like a no-brainer, but don’t share your passwords with friends either. If your friend gets hacked, then you can be followed too.
  4. If your friend wants to use the same app such as Facebook or a banking app, logout from your app and they should get their own account that’s under their control and login through that.
  5. Forgotten by many, but make sure to always password protect your phone or any other device you use especially while traveling. And lock it when you’re not using it. Use two-factor authentication on your accounts to keep hackers out.
  6. Never share your personal information including your full name, your birthdate, also your location.
  7. Always log out! Make sure you don’t leave any account open when you go away from your computer, phone or another device.

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